The News Media Bargaining Code proposed by the ACCC and before Parliament now is a complex one, but today Google has stepped up its fight with a new campaign in the faces of pretty much every Aussie on the internet.
However, I don’t think Google wins favour with their tactics. You see, when Wikipedia throw up banners on every single bloody Wikipedia page asking for donations, it’s because Wikipedia is a non-profit running basically the world’s encyclopedia with zero advertising.
By Contrast, Google earns $4.8billion in Australia, so by placing a huge, bold, colourful banner at the top of EVERY SEARCH RESULT PAGE is a huge statement.
It’s a statement about how seriously they take this.
But it’s also an expression of their immense power. Plenty of people love to complain about the power several media organisations have across the Australian Media landscape – but none of them have the power to place a message in front of so many people in such a short space of time. No other business has that power.
And – In Google Australia MD Mel Silva’s “Update about the News Media Bargaining Code” Video – she speaks of the importance of a “Free and Open Internet”
But can I make one observation? Have a look at this video on the EFTM YouTube channel:
Below it – the View count.
Now look at Mel Silva’s video:
No View count. Now I looked around online, there used to be a way for average YouTubers to remove the view count, but I can’t for the life of me find it now. So is Google using a feature not available to others?
Even if it is available to others, it’s hardly transparent for them to hide the impact of their video.
Just all seems a bit one sided – which is the Government’s argument about this whole thing.
We’re getting no-where folks, we need everyone to put their weapons down and work this out.