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Canadian Minister Supports Australia's Plan to Make Google, Facebook Pay for News Content

© AP Photo / Michel EulerIn this 18 November 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the entrance hall of Google France in Paris.
In this 18 November 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the entrance hall of Google France in Paris. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.02.2021
The disputed piece of legislation prompted a brief threat for Google to leave Australia for good, calling the new law a precedent that poses an existential threat to the tech giant.

Canada's heritage minister Steven Guilbeault has repeated his support for Canada's plans to adopt a media code – a law that would force Google and Facebook to pay news outlets for the content posted on the two online giants' platforms. Guilbeault stated that the countries must address the "imbalance between news media organisations" and the platforms, which benefit from the content that the outlets create.

"Our position is clear: publishers must be adequately compensated for their work and we will support them as they deliver essential information for the benefit of our democracy and the health and wellbeing of our communities," the Canadian heritage minister said.

Guilbeault previously expressed his support via Twitter to the plans of the Australian authorities to impose charges on the two online platforms in case they have not reached separate agreements with news content providers. His new statements follow Google's apparent step back from the threats of leaving Australia if the code is adopted.

Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai spoke to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg earlier this week and Morrison said that the parties managed to end up in "a much more positive space" in terms of company's plans to leave the $4.8 billion-worth market. Their conversation, in turn, took place after Microsoft hinted it would gladly replace Google with its Bing search engine in Australia even if it will be affected by a new law.

Google logo  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.01.2021
Google Threatens to Shut Down Its Search Engine in Australia if New Legislation Gets Green Light

Google previously claimed that the new media code would set a dangerous precedent that would become an existential threat for the company. The Australian authorities, in turn, see it as a safety net and would prefer news outlets to reach private agreements with Google and Facebook, instead of resorting to government arbitration set out by the media code. Google recently said it had already launched a News Showcase project, which allows news media to moderate the content, which will be shown in Google, and get payments for it.

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