Australia’s news media bargaining code will set a dangerous precedent for the future of the net.
I love The Guardian. It has long been my most trusted news source worldwide. I have been honoured to write for and work with this grand institution. So I am sorely disappointed that it’s dancing with the devil, Rupert Murdoch, in backing Australia’s news media bargaining code.
The code is built on a series of fallacies. First is the idea that Google and Facebook should owe publishers so much as a farthing for linking to their content, sending them audience, giving them marketing. In any rational market, publishers would owe platforms for this free marketing, except that Google at its founding decided not to sell links outside of advertisements. The headlines and snippets the platforms quote are necessary to link to them, and if the publishers don’t want to be included, it is easy for them to opt out.
Second, the major media companies of Australia — Murdoch’s News Corp, Nine and, yes, The Guardian — are not beggars in Oliver Twist’s poor house as they would have us believe. They will survive.