Reform ‘won’t fix defamation’

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 19 : 27-Jul-20

Minter Ellison partner Peter Bartlett has questioned whether the proposed new defence for public interest journalism will be effective. It is based on a British provision that requires a journalist to prove that they reasonably believed that the publication of a statement was in the public interest. Bartlett warns that if the new defence is interpreted in the same way as the British defence, it is likely to have a similar impact as the existing defence of statutory qualified privilege, which has not been successfully used by the media. The Council of Attorneys-General will approve a model defamation bill on 27 July.

CORPORATES
MINTER ELLISON, AUSTRALIA. COUNCIL OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Tweaking will not protect journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 24 : 4-Oct-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter is at odds with Law Council president Arthur Moses over a ministerial directive that allows him to veto prosecutions against journalists over reports that may breach secrecy laws. Porter’s ministerial directive also seemingly contradicts one issued by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in early August, in the wake of the Australian Federal Police’s media raids. Porter’s ministerial directive could potentially enable him to kill off AFP cases against media companies and journalists that have been sanctioned by Dutton.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

Reforms to level media playing field

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 4-Oct-19

Traditional and digital media companies will be subject to the same regulatory regime under changes proposed by the federal government. Any reforms arising from the review of the regulatory regime are expected to be implemented in stages, as recommended by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission in the final report of its Digital Platforms Inquiry. Potential reforms could include imposing local content obligation on subscription video-on-demand services and increasing the producer tax offset for TV shows.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, DISNEY+

A-G’s media plan misses mark

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 6 : 2-Oct-19

The effectiveness of the federal government’s proposal to provide new legal protections for journalists continues to be questioned. News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid contends that providing the attorney-general with ministerial discretion to block legal action against journalists for publishing legitimate news reports will have no effect on the level of scrutiny and investigation into journalists. Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses and Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance CEO Paul Murphy also contend that the reforms are insufficient.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

A-G given veto to safeguard journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 1-Oct-19

News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid says the federal government’s proposal to provide new legal protections for journalists is insufficient. Attorney-General Christian Porter has issued a ministerial direction to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions which will require it to seek permission from the attorney-general to pursue legal action against journalists if such prosecution is deemed to be in the public interest. Law Council president Arthur Moses has also expressed reservations about the reforms.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Film industry wants local content requirements for streaming services

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: Online : 18-Sep-19

Australian actors, producers and directors are calling on the federal government to introduce local content requirements for streaming platforms such as Stan and Netflix. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has previously indicated this was something the government would consider. The screen industry is also calling for existing local content rules for free-to-air and pay television operators to be retained, while the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance notes that the industry generates around $3 billion in economic activity each year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NETFLIX INCORPORATED

Level the playing field but don’t over-regulate tech

Original article by Paul Smith, John Davidson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: W1 & W3 : 30-Jul-19

Participants at an innovation summit have expressed mixed views regarding the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s report on digital platforms. Former Google Australia MD Maile Carnegie says technology companies should be subject to the same rules regarding data privacy as other sectors. However, Carnegie rejects the suggestion made by media companies that Google is a publisher. Nerida O’Loughlin from the Australian Communications & Media Authority said ACMA does not have the expertise to regulate the algorithms used by big technology companies.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, WISETECH GLOBAL LIMITED – ASX WTC

Local content move for digital players

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 29-Jul-19

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has signalled that streaming video providers may be required to invest in more local content in the wake of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s landmark inquiry into digital platforms. He says there is a strong case for subjecting digital platforms to the same regulations as traditional broadcasters. The ACCC’s final report noted the inconsistencies that are inherent in the current approach to media regulation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, YOUTUBE INCORPORATED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY

Violent net video ban faces review

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 25 : 8-Apr-19

Both sides of politics have committed to a parliamentary review of the Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material legislation after the federal election. Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom co-founder Peter Greste warns that although the legislation provides defences for legitimate journalism, it will still require media organisations to defend themselves in court. He adds that cash-strapped newsrooms are now less likely to do so than in the past. The legislation was introduced in response to the live-streaming of the Christchurch mosque shootings on social media.

CORPORATES
ALLIANCE FOR JOURNALISTS’ FREEDOM, UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Push to curb social giants like traditional media

Original article by John Davidson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 20-Mar-19

Sacha Molitorisz of the Centre for Media Transition says digital platforms should be subject to the same regulation as traditional media companies with regard to the distribution of objectionable content. He supports the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s proposal for a single media regulator. The issue has attracted renewed scrutiny in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attack, with digital companies unlikely to be censured for allowing it to be streamed live on their platforms.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY. CENTRE FOR MEDIA TRANSITION, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, SKY NEWS