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Digital platform law approved by Australian Parliament

Digital platform law approved by Australian Parliament
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An Australian law compelling Facebook and Google to pay publishers for using their content was approved Thursday by the country's Parliament after some late-breaking amendments.

The news media bargaining code faced significant opposition from both Facebook and Google, with the former announcing last week that it would restrict Australian publishers from sharing or posting content on the platform and limit Australian users from viewing or sharing international publishers’ links and posts. 

Facebook agreed late Monday to reverse the ban on news links after negotiations that produced the new amendments.

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“The code will ensure news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public interest journalism,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement after the law's passage.

The changes will insert a two-month period to give platforms and publishers more time to negotiate before being forced into arbitration. They also suggest that online companies that make “a significant contribution” to the Australian news industry may be exempt from making payments. 

Facebook has already made a deal with Australia’s Seven West Media, while Google began negotiating earlier and has already inked a handful of agreements.