By Jon Chesterson
Australians have benefitted profoundly for nearly three decades, as has the rest of the world from the internet – freedom of information, knowledge and choice to communicate and share, which strikes at the heart of the human condition and the founding egalitarian principles of the web.
But Morrison and the Liberals with guzzling greed and the architecture of Murdoch and News Corp want to change all that for profit and power in the hands of the elite and super wealthy few – to control these golden ribbons of information… just links.
Astonishingly they propose to charge billions posting a link pointing people to the source of that information – I mean fuck, what a racket, something so simple, no product here other than spreading the news wider; providing a vehicle free of charge for something the seller would normally pay for. Like charging me if I offered you a free lift to the supermarket to get your groceries! The supermarket gets its money anyway, you get your groceries and I am hopefully not too much out of pocket for facilitating the engagement. Morrison and Murdoch want to denigrate and capitalise it, make money out of it, turn into a scheme, a scam. That money will only go to the biggest of the media and entertainment corporations like News Corp, Seven and Nine Networks who are already ripping a hole out of our pockets, fleecing our minds, our reality and choices with lies, sensationalism, fake news, advertising and propaganda under this fake code and legislation. It’s extortion.
Meanwhile, the Australian public are calculated collateral damage as the deal is flattened out and forced through. Facebook are the scapegoat not the bully here. It takes one to accuse another and make the mud stick to their victim, as that’s what bullies do, and this one does it with a smirk on his face and shit in his pants.
This damages the web, the social contract that has existed between countless millions for nearly three decades. The reason authentic media and independent journalism are struggling to survive is because the world has changed, we have technology that puts power, access and choice in everybody’s hands and we have failed to come up with a new business model to ensure those who provide it can earn a living. The big players are doing very well and will make even more money, but most independent and smaller news media agencies will continue to struggle as they are forced to scramble at the crumbs from the golden table. Morrison’s model does nothing to change that. It targets the wrong audience, misrepresents the real problem, and seeks to capitalise politically and economically from it. It’s all lies, smoke and mirrors.
And because Morrison is PM, he has the power to create and use bad legislation to execute this tyranny. And yet again he uses lies to conceal the real goal and mission as he and his insidious band of thugs have done countless times before.
No more pesky facts on Facebook, no more facts to put before the general public, no more facts to access or share. He doesn’t want us to have facts because if the truth were known he’d have no chance of ever forming a government again. The stakes are extraordinarily high just as they were for Trump and no doubt Putin who has actually got exactly what he wants and has had it for a long time.
Morrison aims to take it all down and narrow the field for his little band of followers and believers – the Liberals under the reckless banner of neoliberalism, now euphemism for fraudulent ungovernable capitalism. Not less government but more, far, far more. Just when you thought you were traveling north into the promised land, you one day discover all along it was south deeper and deeper into the wastelands of obscurity and starvation.
It’s not just Google who says paying for links and snippets damages the web.
Many others have raised concerns that paying for links and snippets would undermine the fundamentals of the free and open web. This includes:
The Business Council of Australia said:
“… the requirement for digital platforms to pay for providing a link to another website runs counter to one of the fundamental tenets of the internet: the ability to link freely between content. The ability to freely make these connections has underpinned the creativity and sharing of knowledge enabled by the internet. This legislation undercuts this fundamental principle that has, for decades, enabled the internet to deliver real benefits to all Australians.”
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, said the law “risks breaching a fundamental principle of the web by requiring payment for linking between certain content online.”
Scott Farquhar, co-founder of Australian tech company Atlassian, told The Australian on January 15: “The precedent of charging for links and snippets is a fundamental threat to the open internet, not just Google.”
Vint Cerf, chief internet evangelist at Google, who’s also regarded as one of the ‘fathers of the internet’ said:
“In its current state [the bill] represents a fundamental challenge to the free and open Internet, to the functioning of the country’s digital economy, and to Australia’s economic future…”
Many more submissions made to the Senate Committee and previously to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission raise similar concerns.
Source: 8 Facts about Google and the News Media Bargaining Code, published Jan 22, 2021.
Morrison and the Liberals have ignored all of this, as usual, they have their eyes on a far bigger prize all for themselves and so far, it’s working out for them – The truth is hidden behind closed doors and secret passages, in the labyrinth and privileged halls of political corruption, abuse and power, the law stackers and the IPA. The rest of us in Australia are and have become increasingly collateral damage as will others across the world if governments of similar persuasion and construction follow his lead, thinking they are solving the problem of global inequity, when all they are doing is getting a leg over Facebook, robbing one giant Peter to pay another giant Paul.
The rest of the world do not understand what is going down here in the land of Aus and it is not just internet, FB, access to news; it is honesty, truth, civil liberties, equity, fairness, égalité, social justice and the foundations of democracy itself. The rest of us, the common folk, the ‘battlers’ already forgetting what money (real news and reality) looks and feels like as we vent our misguided anger on Facebook.
There is more to living than watching Morrison crap on and on every day on ABC News, press conferences and announcements; taking his word for what and who we should be angry with. And all the time, every time it should have been him.
Morrison shouts, everybody jumps and down we all go.
Just ask that bastard Murdoch!
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