Australia passes legislation that will force digital giants to pay for news

After a hectic week that saw Facebook walk back its decision to prevent news sharing on its platform in Australia, the country’s parliament passed the final amendments to the so-called News Media Bargaining Code that will force Google and Facebook to pay for news.

Bob Cox, chair of News Media Canada and publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press, told CBC News that Canada should move quickly on legislation to do the same.

“If these companies will only act once legislation is imminent, then we’d like to see legislation sooner rather than later,” said Cox.

Canada’s federal government has said it plans to introduce its own policy framework by this summer.

Prior to the legislation passing in Australia, Facebook announced it plans to spend at least $1 billion in the news industry over the next three years.

As we informed you last week, Facebook’s news sharing blackout had some unexpected outcomes, as the pages for several important services were blocked.