Frydenberg on behavioural responses

I avoid needlessly giving money to the government by adhering to the speed limit, stopping at red lights, parking in allocated parking spaces, and so on. I avoid late fees on my bills by paying on time. In short, being a rational person, I respond to incentives. I’m not always happy to respond to those incentives, but here we are.

Now Josh Frydenberg is a smart guy – but here he is, trespassing on my tolerance for silliness.

“Google, Facebook and other digital giants should focus not on blocking users in Australian accessing domestic content, they should focus on paying for it. The digital giants should focus on paying for original content, not blocking it. That‘s my message to those digital giants,” he said.

“We have introduced legislation, that‘s now before a senate committee, to put in place a world leading mandatory code to see those digital giants pay traditional news media businesses a fair sum of money for those news media businesses generating original content. That is a world leading scheme we are putting in place, it has been acknowledged not just by regulatory agencies but by other governments around the world.

“It is going to have a final arbitration model in place, and it is going to be a very significant advancement for our domestic media businesses.”

Josh – maaaaate – they don’t need you, or your ‘world leading scheme’ that ‘other governments around the world’ think is a good idea.  Pause here for hysterical laughter – ‘other governments think its a good idea’.

Mind you – I’m not convinced that Google will actually pull the trigger on geo-blocking its news search in Australia, but I live in hope.

In short – the Australian media industry needs to be less like dinosaurs, and more like cockroaches.

This entry was posted in Economics and economy, Free Enterprise, Media. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Frydenberg on behavioural responses

  1. John Brumble

    More like cockroaches?

    Jaysus.

  2. steve

    they may be dinosaurs but I think they have cockroaches covered

  3. John A

    “We have introduced legislation, that‘s now before a senate committee, to put in place a world-leading mandatory code to see those digital giants pay traditional news media businesses a fair sum of money for those news media businesses generating original content.”

    Josh, maaaate, are you also going to impose that legislation on the local media tech-giant called Auntie?

    Because, you know, they pinch content from the newspapers.

    And are you going to impose that same legislation on News Ltd group and Fairfax-Nein which also pinch content from the FTA television channels?

    It was once called “the news cycle” – probably because those so-called journalists are going around in circles…

    Where will it end?

  4. Richard

    When I want to get my news I go down to talk to my local used car dealer, as they seem to possess more honesty and ethical values than professional journalists as well as being more accurate in their reporting.

  5. H B Bear

    Why wouldn’t Google just geoblock Australian news? We would be a rounding error in the scheme of things. And let the Lieborals take the heat when Joe Mouthbreather loses his “free” news.

  6. Roger

    Now Josh Frydenberg is a smart guy…

    If yo9u say so, but being smart is not of much use in his position unless you also have sound political principles.

  7. DavidH

    Use a VPN and appear to be accessing from outside Australia. Do they handle that in their world leading scheme?

  8. Bruce

    More like cockroaches?

    Even more “cockroach-like” than they are now?

    That’s setting the bar so low that even a cockroach couldn’t get UNDER it.

    Or, are they all supposed to be like NSW denizens?

  9. Paul

    So will libraries be targeted next? What about blogs where comments share links?
    Or how about only charging Google a fee, and all small search engines pay nothing?

  10. egg_

    Frydenberg completed honours degrees in economics and law at Monash University

    Hmm…

  11. Vicki

    Australian media industry needs to be less like dinosaurs, and more like cockroaches.

    What an unfortunate analogy, Sinclair!

    Dinosaurs may be extinct, but they live in our imagination as fearsome creatures that we respect.

    Cockroaches? Eeeghh! For squishing underfoot!

  12. The Sheriff

    egg_
    #3724099, posted on January 14, 2021 at 3:43 pm
    Frydenberg completed honours degrees in economics and law at Monash University

    Hmm…

    Josh couldn’t get 99 on VCE, so I don’t think we can say he’s that smart.

  13. Damon

    “Frydenberg completed honours degrees in economics and law at Monash University”, and the best job he could get was in politics?

  14. Woolfe

    If google directs you to an Australian news site and you access the site and read the story surely you then add “clicks” to the news site and see the adverts on the site.

    If so is not the news site benefiting from Google thus should pay google, not the other way round?

  15. Sinclair Davidson

    What an unfortunate analogy, Sinclair!

    I thought it was funny. 🙂

  16. BalancedObservation2

    Not sure I’d use the term “cockroaches”. But I think I know what you mean Sinclair.

    I’d like to see daily newspapers leverage their resources far more effectively and to be much more innovative, adaptable and relevant. They seem so unaware of the huge scope they have to do that. The term “dinosaurs” is spot on to describe them.

    They in fact have immensely more resources than what Google started out with. And are too dumb and hide bound to use them creatively and intelligently. They’re the main contributors to their own slow but almost certain demise – not social media. They should be able to out compete social media or create new spaces in the market to flourish.

    If they did those things our creaking legacy media wouldn’t feel the need to run to mummy to interfere on their behalf against their fellow though infinitely larger monopolists and virtual monopolists.

  17. Bruce of Newcastle

    Mind you – I’m not convinced that Google will actually pull the trigger on geo-blocking its news search in Australia, but I live in hope.

    Increasingly people are using VPNs anyway. I started when my ISP censored righty sites Blazing Cat Fur and ZeroHedge, which are as innocuous as they come. The former still is blocked iirc.

    VPNs are starting to be integrated into browsers, and encrypted browsing and messaging is seen more and more to be essential, as WhatsApp has found when they changed their terms of use to enforce sharing of user data with FaceBook. Millions of WA users fled for the exits to Signal, which is having to put on more staff and servers.

    If Goolag keeps whackamoling righty sites and the ACCC plays its own guacamole with Goolag, FaceChook and the Aussie MSM there’ll be even more red-pilled people produced.

  18. BalancedObservation2

    Damon

    #3724140

    “Frydenberg completed honours degrees in economics and law at Monash University”, and the best job he could get was in politics?

    No real surprise there.

    That’s quite a long way below a simple pass degree from Melbourne.

    But I like our Josh all the same. I think he’s doing far better with his mate Scomo than what the alternative side is offering. He’s actually surprised me favourably. If he keeps it up I may have to re-evaluate my Uni assessments.

  19. Mark M

    Re-define, regulate and renegotiate the digital data that big tech mines and sells from individual Australians.
    It’s of value to them.
    Oh , wait … the government uses that.

  20. H B Bear

    I’d like to see daily newspapers leverage their resources far more effectively and to be much more innovative, adaptable and relevant.

    Increasingly there is too much information and far too much opinion out there. People wii pay for clever people to curate and sift through it all. Newspapers aren’t even close to fulfilling that function.

    They are part of the problem.

  21. BalancedObservation2

    Vicki

    #3724109

    Cockroaches? Eeeghh! For squishing underfoot!”

    Vicki think of their spread and survival as equivalent to market share – you might like the analogy more.

    I can remember a time when you’d never see one at all in Melbourne. Not that there are many now either. But there’s some.

    When I left Melbourne to live on the North Coast of NSW people up north told me you’re a real North Coaster when you can squash them with your bare feet with alacrity.
    It turned out to be true.

  22. Scott Osmond

    Frydenberg is living proof of what my grandad said. You can give an idiot an education and when you are done all you have is an educated idiot. Noone can quite stuff up like someone with a higher education qualification.

  23. Sinclair Davidson

    Cockroaches survived where dinosaurs didn’t.

  24. BalancedObservation2

    Scott Osmond

    #3724196

    Leave our Josh alone – he’s a good boy.

    You need to think of the alternative and the Scomo – Josh team looks pretty good.

    As for university education … I might take your advice if I happen to need brain surgery.
    Who do you think I should go to? My local barber? He’s a very sensible practical fellow.

  25. DM OF WA

    So what is your solution? Should we sit back and let the invisible hand solve the problem?

    FYI Google is a single gigantic, monopolistic corporation not billions of little independent businesses;
    so your analogy makes no sense to me.

  26. Bruce of Newcastle

    Cockroaches survived where dinosaurs didn’t.

    Sinc – you ever tried to get rid of indian mynahs?
    My bet is on the dinosaurs.
    They’ll eat the cockroaches.

  27. Sinclair Davidson

    Google and Facebook are best understood as internal venture capital markets.

  28. H B Bear

    Google and Facebook are best understood as internal venture capital markets.

    In what sense? They are oligopolists or monopolists that pay billions for any business that looks like threatening them viz Instagram and WhatsApp.

  29. Sinclair Davidson

    They also do a lot of internal R&D.

    Also buying out ‘competitors’ is a great model for people who would like to be bought out.

  30. DM OF WA

    Also buying out ‘competitors’ is a great model for people who would like to be bought out.

    In other words: they make offer you cannot refuse.

  31. H B Bear

    They also do a lot of internal R&D.

    Name one innovation they have come up with other than unwanted bloatware on their existing products – basically what Microsoft has been doing for decades with DOS software. It’s exactly the same reason big miners can’t do exploration and development- they are big, cumbersome, slow and wasteful. As soon as a junior acquires the scale to cause them a real headache they write them a cheque to piss off. I don’t have a problem with it. Plenty of fortunes have been created along the way.

  32. Tel

    That‘s my message to those digital giants …

    Not only do those digital giants not give a toss about his message, nearly every Australian is equally beyond caring. Governments love to buddy-buddy with news organizations who influence the voters … we all get that.

    Pause here for hysterical laughter – ‘other governments think its a good idea’.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadian-govt.-offers-huge-tax-breaks-to-trusted-news-organizations-11-mont

    Canada went the simple direct option and spooned out the tax breaks … or bribery for those who still speak the old language.

  33. H B Bear

    Microsoft is now doing some good stuff in hardware – a long way away from what they were doing when Bill was around.

  34. Tel

    Google and Facebook are best understood as internal venture capital markets.

    Where does all the money come from?

  35. Tel

    They also do a lot of internal R&D.

    Also buying out ‘competitors’ is a great model for people who would like to be bought out.

    In both cases their spending is well beyond any visible revenue stream they might have … how is this possible?

  36. H B Bear

    Also buying out ‘competitors’ is a great model for people who would like to be bought out.

    No argument there. But it is almost the defining characteristic of oligolopolistic competition.

  37. vlad

    Australian governments, State and Federal, lead the world in one thing only: stupidity.

    If no one else on earth is doing it, Josh, whatever it is, it’s very probably because it’s a really, really dumb idea.

  38. Tel

    Increasingly people are using VPNs anyway.

    Bypassing a security device is illegal, regardless of how pissweak that security device might be.

    If I lock my door by gluing a toothpick across the frame and someone yanks open the door and breaks that toothpick it is still (technically) break and enter. With respect to computing the key phrase is “unauthorized access” … meaning the owner of the system has simply told you “Do not look at this” … no matter how easy it might be to bypass.

    Division 478—Other computer offences
    478.1 Unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data

    (1)
    A person is guilty of an offence if:

    (a)
    the person causes any unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data; and
    (b)
    the person intends to cause the access or modification; and
    (c)
    the person knows that the access or modification is unauthorised; and
    (d)
    one or more of the following applies:

    (i)
    the restricted data is held in a Commonwealth computer;
    (ii)
    the restricted data is held on behalf of the Commonwealth;
    (iii)
    the access to, or modification of, the restricted data is caused by means of a telecommunications service.

    Penalty: 2 years imprisonment.

    https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2004C01213

    IMHO an overly harsh law, but regardless of what I think, that is the law … just sayin’ … you choose which risks you wish to take with your life and liberty.

  39. H B Bear

    Tel – what is “restricted data”for the purposes of that Act? I doubt it applies to just piss farting around on the Internet.

  40. Dusty

    Tel, if you get busted because you used a VPN it’s because you fucked up somewhere.
    Also, why the hell should you follow a bullshit law if the risk of getting caught for it is so low you’re more likely to find an honest politician with a sizable cock?

  41. Tel

    Tel – what is “restricted data”for the purposes of that Act?

    Excellent question, but I don’t think it has been tested. There’s an official definition … if you had checked the link I gave you:

    restricted data means data:

    (a)
    held in a computer; and
    (b)
    to which access is restricted by an access control system associated with a function of the computer.

    I know, I know, what’s the definition of “access control system” given that the above definition merely defers to a different definition? If google imposes a geo-block that must be a restriction, right? You are restricted from seeing the thing behind the blocker … your access has been controlled based on the location of your IP address … must be an access control system, I guess?!?

    Therefore if you get around the blocker you must have accessed restricted data … bypassed the access control by jumping the VPN into a different IP address. Now I know that’s bloody silly … but as the saying goes … tell that to the judge.

  42. Tel

    Also, why the hell should you follow a bullshit law if the risk of getting caught for it is so low you’re more likely to find an honest politician with a sizable cock?

    Dusty, there are some questions in the world, even I cannot answer.

    My official recommendation is always obey the law, m’kay? What you do with that is your business.

  43. DM OF WA

    Everyone wants to read quality news but few are willing to pay the content creators for
    it as long as they can read “free” news on Google. The news business is an expensive
    business and someone has to pay for it or else it cannot continue. These days you see
    lots of stupid claims on the Internet about alternate media replacing the legacy media.
    That is obviously nonsense. None of the many bloggers or vloggers or Youtubers or
    TikTockers or website operators is ever going to generate original news content. It costs
    real money to operate a news bureau in Washington or Afganistan or the many other places
    on the face of the earth.

    The plutocrats at Google have never operated a newsroom: why would they?

    Google has permission to basically plagiarize the work of real news organizations and then
    reap the advertising profits. And everybody, including government, silently consents to
    that.

    How did that happen? It started with the New Economy. In the beginning, the Internet was
    going to be the great equalizer: the forum where everybody would have an equal voice. It
    was the Next Big Thing and nobody dared to question what the tech moguls were doing.
    Anyone who suggested regulating them like real-world businesses was a neanderthal troglodyte.
    And now it is too late and we are on the verge of being controlled by a “technopoly”.

    If Google was an ethical business (which it is not) it could easily set up a subscription
    system where Google users are charged a small amount (a micropayment) for every article they
    read with the money collected being paid to the content creators.

    I have no love for the Liberal Party nor Labor and Mr Joshua Frydenberg is just another dumb
    technologically illiterate politician in a parliament full of them. But at least he is trying.

    So Sinclair Davidson should either offer his own solution or stop the snide commentary. (Does
    Davidson even believe there is a real problem or does he think the government invented the
    Google problem?)

  44. H B Bear

    There’s an official definition … if you had checked the link I gave you:

    I don’t read legislation unless I am getting paid or sued. It’s the first place to start looking at whether you are caught by legislation.

    It sounds as if a geoblock may be caught but that would appear arguable. Let’s leave it up to others.

  45. BalancedObservation2

    HB Bear

    # 3724190

    Yes newspapers are a big part of the problem, themselves.

    Your point on curating is an excellent one. We really are overloaded with info. Many newspapers have a wealth of experience and resources which would help there.

    But I think there are many more roles newspapers can handle without much trouble. They can make inroads into social media’s markets I believe.

    What we’re missing in social media is more in-depth, and informed evaluation and discussion but a lot of what we get is simply uninformed thought bubbles chasing uninformed thought bubbles.

  46. BalancedObservation2

    Monopolies aren’t all evil. There’s quite a body of thought historically led by a guy called Schumpter I think which partly at least defends them.

    They certainly have huge resources for in-house R&D and for commissioning R&D. And for integrating and expanding the kutput from recent R&D. Apple has done that reasonably well.

    Monopolies can afford long term resource hungry research over very long periods whereas small companies can go out backwards developing even brilliant ideas.

  47. BalancedObservation2

    Sinclair Davidson

    # 3724211

    “Google and Facebook are best understood as internal venture capital markets.”

    That’s quite an insightful comment, Sinclair.

  48. a reader

    When the tech giants link to a story that’s somewhat different to when they actually use the content for their own commercial ventures. The first is really no different to someone telling you to read a newspaper. The second is clearly plagiarism

  49. Mother Lode

    At bottom, members of the main parties believe that everyone accepts and expects to be giving the government any money it wants, just for the asking.

    They cannot imagine people seeing the government as something they have to manage, as something they must defend themselves against.

    And politicians get really confused when people don’t respond to their impositions as forecast. Sometimes it is as if government set up a gate in the middle of a field – just a gate – and is incredulous when people just go around it.

    They will be totally taken aback that Goolag decided not to just hand money over but has instead opted to push back. Surely, if politicians pass a law, that is that. No one should or could do other than fall in with that law.

    What Goolag is doing is what all the little people wish they could do, but they don’t have the resources.

  50. WDYSIA

    Google has something like 98% of the search engine market and squashes all of its competitors. As it is now embedded in many governments’ infrastructure it is impossible to avoid. Even governments are owned as they discovered this week.

    Social media is not much better. Jack Dorsey of Twitter is today pontificating about how he can bring world peace after he censored POTUS and his mates at Amazon etc. brought Parler down. Suddenly Jack Dorsey is the victim and the weight of the world was on his shoulders to make this decision. Since when did Jack Dorsey replace the department of Homeland Security the FBI and all the other agencies and by who’s will? The guy is delusional.

    At the other end, the punchy little CEO of Gab – I will credit him and his team for building a little outfit against all odds – despite attracting nearly 2 million new users or however many, still doesn’t even represent 1% of Twitter’s customer base and doesn’t even register on the radar of Facebook’s customer base (even if the COO of Facebook likes to blame them for the Capitol hill riots). And yet, he talks about World Domination himself. Then, after branding the tech CEOs as the devil incarnate, he flirts with Elon Musk on Twitter who flirts with Dorsey and defends Dorsey after protesters camped outside of Dorsey’s house highlighting all the Holocaust denial and anti Semitic posts on Twitter and pointing out his double standards. Suddenly it’s mate mate. And it doesn’t matter if they are a nobody scrapper from Scranton, Pennsylvania or a multimillionaire Osama bin Laden look alike ponce like Dorsey who has forgotten his own humble roots. These guys are all insane.

  51. John A

    DM OF WA #3724393, posted on January 14, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Everyone wants to read quality news but few are willing to pay the content creators for
    it as long as they can read “free” news on Google. The news business is an expensive
    business and someone has to pay for it or else it cannot continue. These days you see
    lots of stupid claims on the Internet about alternate media replacing the legacy media.
    That is obviously nonsense. None of the many bloggers or vloggers or Youtubers or
    TikTockers or website operators is ever going to generate original news content. It costs
    real money to operate a news bureau in Washington or Afganistan or the many other places
    on the face of the earth.

    The plutocrats at Google have never operated a newsroom: why would they?

    Google has permission to basically plagiarize the work of real news organizations and then
    reap the advertising profits. And everybody, including government, silently consents to
    that.

    How did that happen? It started with the New Economy. In the beginning, the Internet was
    going to be the great equalizer: the forum where everybody would have an equal voice. It
    was the Next Big Thing and nobody dared to question what the tech moguls were doing.
    Anyone who suggested regulating them like real-world businesses was a neanderthal troglodyte.
    And now it is too late and we are on the verge of being controlled by a “technopoly”.

    If Google was an ethical business (which it is not) it could easily set up a subscription
    system where Google users are charged a small amount (a micropayment) for every article they
    read with the money collected being paid to the content creators.

    I have no love for the Liberal Party nor Labor and Mr Joshua Frydenberg is just another dumb
    technologically illiterate politician in a parliament full of them. But at least he is trying.

    So Sinclair Davidson should either offer his own solution or stop the snide commentary. (Does
    Davidson even believe there is a real problem or does he think the government invented the
    Google problem?)

    DM, you have stated the problem clearly.

    However, the very trying Mr Frydenburg has crafted a solution which is the reverse of what is required.

    The requisite solution is that Google should pay the news gatherers for their work (he has that part right) by means of a commercially negotiated contract. The government should only be enforcing the copyright rights of creators, instead of permitting plagiarism.

    That is, LESS government intervention and MORE of enforcing the law that is already in place and usually well understood.

    However, once again we see the legislation factory increasing its output whilst lowering its productivity.

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