Minister confident of media code passing | Ralph-Lauren

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Finance Minister Simon Birmingham is confident media bargaining legislation will sail through parliament without any more amendments to appease Facebook.

The proposed bargaining code is bound for the Senate after the government spent the weekend trying to negotiate a resolution with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Senator Birmingham said there were some promising signs following the fresh round of talks.

“We would urge Facebook to acknowledge that it should behave as we would expect any other re-publisher of content to behave,” he told ABC radio on Monday.

The minister made it clear there would be no further changes to satisfy the social media giant.

“We think the bill as it stands — that passed through the House of Representatives and into the Senate — is a bill that meets the right balance and serves the purpose of ensuring that Australian-generated news content by Australian news organisations can and should be paid for,” he said.

“Google has managed to do that with many media companies, there is no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has.”

As Facebook restricts the sharing of news in Australia, Google is striking a series of deals to pay for local journalism.

The Guardian has become the latest publisher to sign an agreement with Google.

The internet giant has already struck deals with Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment and News Corp.

Senator Birmingham has directed his department to pull all digital advertising from Facebook until the company lifts restrictions on viewing news and information in Australia.

“It is my expectation that we will pull back from advertising on Facebook while they undertake this type of terrible activity of pulling down sites inappropriately, of seeking to exert power or influence over our democratic systems,” he said.

“We won’t tolerate that and we will be standing firm on the legislation and also looking at all of those advertising arrangements.”



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