As Predicted, Smaller Media Outlets Are Getting Screwed By Australia's Link Tax

from the exactly-as-we-warned dept

Ever since the giant news organizations, led by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., began pushing the ridiculous idea of forcing Google and Facebook (and often just Google and Facebook) to pay a "link tax," we've been pointing out that while this might be a windfall of free money for the news giants, small news organizations (like, um, us) would likely get totally screwed over. With Australia leading the charge of silliness and passing its link tax, we're discovering that our predictions were exactly correct.

The big Australian publishers, News Corp. and NINE, are making out like bandits, while the smaller publications? Not so much.

A long-term commercial deal between Facebook and Google and Guardian Australia is expected to be completed in a matter of days, adding to a raft of agreements struck between large tech companies and major media outlets since February. While companies like Nine Entertainment Co, News Corp Australia and Seven West Media are already implementing plans off the back of the deals, there is increasing concern among smaller companies that they still have not been remunerated fairly.

Of course, this isn't really surprising. In fact, the real worry should be that the administrative costs for the internet companies to have to figure out how to compensate smaller publishers is so unworthy of the hassle, that those smaller publications will just start to be excluded en masse from Google and Facebook, once again serving the interests of the largest publishers, and not actually helping the cause of journalism at all.

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Filed Under: australia, link tax, rupert murdoch, wealth transfer
Companies: facebook, google, news corp.


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jun 2021 @ 7:01pm

    But are these outlets realizing that they messed up, though? Spain and Germany, at the very least, recognized that the link tax didn't help at all. With how entrenched Murdoch is in the Australian ecosystem, it wouldn't surprise me if smaller media outlets in Australia would simply tighten the thumbscrews wrapped around their own fingers instead.


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