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The Facebook Fiasco


pmccarthy
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I was initially very supportive of the legislation; why should foreign corporations (who make huge profits here and pay little or no tax) also get to carry our broadcasters’ news for free? 

Then it became obvious that this is all about protecting Murdoch’s profits. I see the Government has done a deal with Google; it wonder if they will work as hard to get the freeloading global giants to reimburse the ABC for its content? 

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I don't know if it is related to Google's threat, or not, but loading times and caching have slowed considerably over the past four weeks. I'm on NBN and not far from a node, so copper wire transmission speeds from the node can't have dropped noticeably since late last year. 

 

This site, and its sister site, seem to be able to supply a good spread of information that members want. And it is not usually a place that trollers and scammers infiltrate. 

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I agree the driver is for the wrong reason, but the outcome seems for the right reason.. I was reading the bill, but it was tiresome..

 

Note, Gargoile has come to agreements already and is negotiating with the ABC as well.. it is not limited to commerical providers.

 

[edit]

quite frankly, society could do well with a lot less farcebook... and instascam...

 

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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I really am on the fence about this so far but here are some of my concerns. Perhaps others here know more about this than me.   

 

 To be absolutely clear I do acknowledge that content providers need to be paid. 

 

  In the case of FB is it using news content or merely providing a link to content.    It seems to me that the news organizations believe that the link  and preview constitute use of their content and therefore should be paid for.     Often you will click on a news link and you will be taken to a news article that is behind a paywall.   In this case the link on FB serves as an advert for the news organization to entice you to their site and then ask you to pay.  Is this content or an advert?

 

If a link to a news story does constitute  a "use of content" does that ultimately mean if I post one of my tedious and pointless posts on this forum and I post a link to an article   that  I am using content and could in the future I, or the forum owner be asked to pay?

 

My main worry though is that the remedy the government is looking for is for FB and Google to do deals with media companies.  I have read that News Corp among others have either made a deal or are negotiating a deal.    This makes me fell uneasy.    If this is the way we are going we need transparency and regulation.    We need to be certain that News Corp does not say to FB or Google, "we will give you a good price on our product if you don't make a deal with the ABC" (or vica versa).     Will small news operators be included in these deals?

 

When it comes to FB removing links to news stories I don't see that it has any particular obligation to post any news links.  It could be argued that FB could return to it's original use,  pictures shared between friends and family etc.

 

Other than that I am actually a big believer in content providers being paid.  We have become used to everything being free and I suspect we all have a moment of rage when we are asked to pay or to subscribe in order to enjoy content.

 

 

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Aaah, the overview that I'd only been half listening to, gave me the impression that bookface/goggle were publishing news articles "borrowed" from professional news purveyors without due recompense and acknowledgement.

 

I hadn't occurred to me that they might be just posting links that directed viewers to read that news directly from the source.

 

If the latter is the case, I can't see a problem because they are indeed only promoting the original source.

 

Which of the above was happening?

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17 minutes ago, octave said:

...If a link to a news story does constitute  a "use of content" does that ultimately mean if I post one of my tedious and pointless posts on this forum and I post a link to an article   that  I am using content and could in the future I, or the forum owner be asked to pay?

Octave I haven’t found much in your posts that is tedious and pointless and I hope we never get to the ridiculous situation where nobody will do anything without being paid for it- although that seems to be the ideal in America.

 

Societies where people do good works for the common good tend to be far more harmonious and stable. There is an awful lot of useful, unpaid work done by people on this site and we all benefit.

 

17 minutes ago, octave said:

...My main worry though is that the remedy the government is looking for is for FB and Google to do deals with media companies.  I have read that News Corp among others have either made a deal or are negotiating a deal.    This makes me fell uneasy.    If this is the way we are going we need transparency and regulation.    We need to be certain that News Corp does not say to FB or Google, "we will give you a good price on our product if you don't make a deal with the ABC" (or vica versa).     Will small news operators be included in these deals?

A nasty little deal like that would not surprise me, considering the blatant campaign against the ABC being run by Murdoch and his lackeys in the Fed Govt.

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From https://blog.google/around-the-globe/google-asia/australia/answering-your-top-questions-about-google-news-showcase

 

What is Google paying for?

Payments are made for the publishers’ curatorial expertise for beyond-the-paywall access and to curate content for story panels. Publishers receive monthly fees, which are intended to provide payments over three years. News Showcase is not a pay-per-click model, anything publishers get in terms of additional traffic from story panels or new subscribers is on top of that fee.

 

What is the benefit of Showcase to publishers?

 

It also adds to the sustainability of news businesses where participating News Showcase publishers receive a fixed monthly fee for curating their articles on News Showcase, and in some cases for providing access to articles behind their paywall so that readers can see the value of becoming subscribers and publishers can build a relationship with readers.  Showcase drives clicks through to news brands’ websites, giving publishers the opportunity to monetise that traffic through ads or subscriptions––on top of the fee. 

 

The Google News App

Google News Showcase story panels are now live in the Google News app. To view, navigate to news.google.com on your mobile, or you can download the app. (Android, iOS)

 

What’s the difference between France and Australia?

We have offered (and agreed) similar deals for News Showcase in Australia as in France and many other countries around the world. Our concerns about the Code In Australia are about being asked to pay for all links and snippets which the European Copyright Directive does not. Links and snippets are the building blocks of the free and open web. Sir Tim Berners Lee, in his submission, agrees.

 

In Australia, we’re proposing to pay publishers for value with News Showcase. The difference to other places would be that News Showcase would operate under the Code, that means Australian publishers can go to arbitration on News Showcase to solve any disagreements.

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Anything that reduces the status and income of Facebook and exposes its incessant ruthless grab for power and control - not to mention the outright theft of our data without our knowledge - can only be a good thing.

 

AFAIC, we need some tougher monopoly and anti-trust laws to prevent the wholesale ruthless grab for power and control, that giant global corporations specialise in.

 

As of this week, I'm dealing with another ruthless power grab and imposition by another giant global corporation - the move by eBay to "managed payments".

 

This eBay move is a classic "join our force or be excluded" corporate move - the requirement is to submit to eBay more of ones business information, that what would be required to open a business account in a bank.

 

And there is no room for "hobby sellers" on eBay who don't operate a business. Those sellers will be met with extensive trade restrictions in future, on the eBay platform. These people are some of the most ruthless a***holes on the planet.

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I wonder how I have survived with the lack of health advice and news I have suffered over the years, because I do not use Facebook.

It seems Facebook gives out the address of news and health etc so people can connect to them. Is Facebook of Google actually publishing those stories?

Once again it seems that our government is going off half cocked and will no doubt come up with stupid legislation enabling ScoMos mates to make more money.

As usual when government stuffs up their first response is to denigrate or ridicule someone else.

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You don't pay to use Facebook - but what Facebook fail to tell you, is - they have become a mega-billion company, purely because they sold your data, browsing habits, and personal information, without any reference to you.

 

Facebook is worth over $500B, and Zuckerberg's personal net worth is over $100B - not bad going for a company that didn't exist before 2004.

 

All done because Facebook users were happy to hand over billions in personal information value for nothing, in exchange for the free use of Facebook. If that's not a one-sided deal, I don't know what is.

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@octave, although the bill is not explicit on the subject, it does not generally include the links people would post as part of a conversation or personal information dissemination. So, links you or I post to forums, or even as general posts of Farcebook are not taken into account. The links are considered content when they are part of a systemic, organised, and curated newsfeed or other function that is intented to encourage people to the site. Also, I recall, though could be wring, that it is not a blanket requirement of every potential social media platform - the new department/authority being set up to administer this I think decides when a social media company will meet the criteria to compell them to pay for such content.

 

I don't have a problem with links being included in content in this context. These links are being aggregated to drive many more visitors to the site than individual news sites cout.. Advertisers don't care about content, they care about eyeballs... The news companies can't compete, and there is a definite imbalance on the benefits the aggregators receive versus any advertising provided by curating those links to the content providers. At first, when I read links were included in content, I thought much the same, but digging deeper, I think there is merit to it. I am personally not entirely comfortable with the proposed legislation in its current form, but this is a complex problem with no easy answers, and the line has to be drawn somewhere and refined over time.

 

No doubt, Ian would prefer to be in the position where he would come under their watchful eyes, as it would mean he would have a very big business on his hands..  But he is not going to be affected by this legilsation... yet...

 

[edit]

 

An interesting article, notwithstanding the castigation of the principles these tech companies have: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/facebook-australia-rupert-murdoch

 

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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I'm confused. If Jerry posts here that he read a good story in the Chew Valley Gazette and posts a link to the story, am I stealing from the owners of the Gazette if I follow the link to read the story, but don't pay to do so? 

 

What if I had heard about a fee to be charged motorists to enter Clean Air Zones established in English cities, and a Google search returns a link to a story in the Chew Valley Gazette? Should Google pay the publisher because Google's search algorithm found that link?

 

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but for this Law to have been developed in a small country as Australia is, on population, and the proposer is known to have sucked up to Trump, is it wrong for me to smell a rat?

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48 minutes ago, red750 said:

All indications are that many countries, eg. UK, France, Canada, among others, are applauding Australia for leading the world in this manner, and are watching closely, with the view of doing likewise.

Which is why Facebook slipped on the jackboots.  Advertising revenue from Australia is chump change for them.  But if the whole world gets the idea that you can actually get a multinational to pay their way, why, that could actually affect their profit margin.

 

I just hope that Scomo et al, having grasped the tail, now continue to ride the tiger until it's exhausted.  (Sorry for any mixed metaphors).

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the proposer is known to have sucked up to Trump, is it wrong for me to smell a rat? "

YES 

A blooodi big FatCat Rat.

Probably Some news paper tycoon has got the governments ear.

My outlook account, when signing out, goes straight to a news feed.

Will that one get charged ?. I doubt it as it.

spacesailor 

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2 hours ago, old man emu said:

I'm confused. If Jerry posts here that he read a good story in the Chew Valley Gazette and posts a link to the story, am I stealing from the owners of the Gazette if I follow the link to read the story, but don't pay to do so? 

 

What if I had heard about a fee to be charged motorists to enter Clean Air Zones established in English cities, and a Google search returns a link to a story in the Chew Valley Gazette? Should Google pay the publisher because Google's search algorithm found that link?

 

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but for this Law to have been developed in a small country as Australia is, on population, and the proposer is known to have sucked up to Trump, is it wrong for me to smell a rat?

This illustrates the complexity of the field - but a line has to be (or should be) dawn and then developed as the complexities work their way out.

 

In the case of my post, the link wasn't part of curation or aggregation and nor was it for any commercial gain. Therefore, it is simply content that points to other content with no intention to profit. You have also not specifically searched for the news - you have come across it while reading my post. Althought, it raises  an interesting qustion - if you did search for the specific terms and google listed my morum post referring to the Chew Valley Gazette, what would the status be? The way I read the legislation, is it would not come under the legislation's remit as the Foruim would not likely be able to be a registered news source, and the link provided by Google would be the forum and not the Gazette. It is not Also, to couch it in terms of theft is a little inaccurate as well.. but I'll save that for now..

 

In the case of google, it curates this content for the sole purpose to make it available to people who search for things, for the purposes of attracting eye-balls and for the purposes of making money through selling advertising. As they curate and aggregate, they are the ones who also aggregate the eyeballs and that is where the advertisers willspend their money... So, ScoMo is actually doing something socilaist - and redistributing income 😉

 

The Google et al model is probably doomed for long term failure.. as they mop up the revenues, the news sources fail and they face an ever-narrowing field to choose from. OK, they may ony reference a smallpercentage of their total feeds to news, but it is often news that generates a large part of the remaining content..

 

1 hour ago, red750 said:

All indications are that many countries, eg. UK, France, Canada, among others, are applauding Australia for leading the world in this manner, and are watching closely, with the view of doing likewise.

France has already moved in the same direction and the social media giants are already paying...

 

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Not the way I read the bill, which is due to go to the senate shortly...

 

There is a general law of copyright, which even won't be breached in what you suggest, because you are not claiming it as your own, and you are (presumably) not seeking to profit from it.

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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9 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

to couch it in terms of theft is a little inaccurate as well..

I used "theft" in a generic sort of way. If a publisher produces a thousand physical copies of a newspaper the publisher owns that physical thing. If the publisher says I can own a copy if I pay a dollar, then if I pay the dollar, legal title is transferred, and no theft occurs. If, however, I take a copy without paying the dollar and permanently deprive the publisher of it, that's theft.

 

Now we get into the Civil Law side of it. The does the publisher own the intellectual content contained in the words and pictures printed in the newspaper, or does the publisher simply own the paper and ink that make up the physical object? If, while waiting in a newsagent to buy a Lotto ticket, I read the front page of a newspaper but don't buy the newspaper, have I stolen anything from the publisher?

 

 For mine own part, it is Greek to me.

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I worry too OME. But I am continually impressed about  how I begin thinking the law is an ass, then  somebody like jerry explains and I find that the law is not so stupid after all.

I reckon that jumping to conclusions is a form of mental laziness which I do suffer from.

Mind you, there are plenty of historical examples where the law was indeed an ass.

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