It seems like countries are waking up to the unfairness of tech giants not paying for news content featured on their platforms. After Canada and Australia, Malaysia in the Southeast is considering making tech giants like Meta and Google pay for news content.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) recently held talks with Meta, Google, and other social media platforms over the challenges posed by online media. The discussions involved measures to tackle harmful content online like child sexual abuse, online gambling, scams, and phishing, discontent against race, royalty, and religions, etc.
What does Malaysia want?
- The discussions also involved implementing a regulatory framework along the lines of the policies implemented in Canada and Australia to make tech giants compensate for news content.
- MCMC said Australia’s policy has set an example for the world on the importance of fair compensation.
- In Canada, Meta has gone on an offensive over the new policies by banning news content, removing links, and limiting access to news outlets on its platforms.
- However, in Australia, the policies have paved the way for Google, Meta, and others to come to compensation agreements with news outlets.
- In Malaysia, tech giants and online content have come under greater scrutiny since Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim came to power in November 2022.
- Earlier this year, Malaysia threatened to prosecute Meta over the non-removal of content it deemed undesirable. The case was dropped after talks between the government and the American tech giant.
- Not just Australia, Canada, or Malaysia, but even India’s Union I&B Ministry Secretary Apurva Chandra has said that it is important for tech giants to share revenue with news outlets. European countries are also mulling a similar policy.
Why pay for news?
- The argument is that the tech giants are making undue revenue by hosting original news content that doesn’t belong to them, while not compensating the news outlets.
- However, the tech giants have counter-argued that news outlets are already making revenue by using their platforms for free for sharing and marketing their content.
- Tech giants also say that it is difficult to scour for the original source of content when the same content is being circulated, rewritten, and shared by millions of different entities.
- While countries are discussing whether tech giants should pay news outlets for content or not, nearly a decade later, on other hand, generative AI platforms have cropped up as a threat to original content producers.
- Generative AI like ChatGPT by OpenAI are accused of using original content from the internet to feed their Large Language Models to generate AI content without paying the original producers.
- The Guardian recently revealed that they have blocked OpenAI from accessing their content over concerns of intellectual property rights. Previously, CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Washington Post and Bloomberg have also blocked OpenAI’s web crawler.