Digital Rights Watch made a submission to the Economics Legislation Committee on the proposed Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2020.
Summary of recommendations:
- Prioritise addressing the harmful business model of digital platforms by focusing on consumer protection.
- Focus on creating a systemic solution which supports a diverse and dynamic space for all types of journalism in Australia.
- Adequately fund and support the public broadcasters.
- Broaden and fix the definition of news covered by the current proposal.
- Do not fixate the proposal to Google and Facebook, but broaden the scope of “digital platform service” to create a model which enables other platforms to emerge in this space with similar functionality (influence, advertising practices, impact on media providers, etc).
- Do not allow individual news corporations to negotiate special terms with the platforms directly. Even if small producers of “core news content” coordinate, they will not be able to approach the bargaining table with the platforms with nearly as much weight as the established news corporations which have marketing and legal departments that smaller outlets often do not. This perpetuates and consolidates the inequity posed by digital platforms in this space.