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International Federation of Journalists warns against 'watering down' Australian plan to make Google and Facebook pay up

THE International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed concern at Australian plans to water down proposals to make Google and Facebook pay for journalism.

Canberra’s fair trade regulator Rod Sims said he was dealing with the companies’ objections to the proposed rules.

Facebook has warned it might block Australian news content rather than pay for it, while Google says it will put free services at risk.

IFJ general secretary Anthony Bellanger said the bargaining code Australia proposes is “a welcome first step towards making the tech giants pay for the content they exploit [but] it already did not go far enough [or do enough] to ensure the workers in the media industry secured their fair share of revenues.

“Any further watering down in the face of threats from these tax-dodging companies would undermine its credibility and effectiveness.

“It is time for governments to stand up to the tech giants. Treat them as publishers, tax them and use those funds to help sustain vital local and community media jobs which are being decimated.”

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