The new code, which the Australian parliament approved Thursday, “will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate,” Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a statement.
Arbitration, meanwhile, will now only be used as a “last resort” following a period of “good faith” mediation.
Facebook said after those revisions were made that the new agreement would allow it to “support the publishers we choose to.” It later revealed a deal with major Australian news company Seven West Media, with plans to sign more with other publishers.
The Australian government said that the code will be reviewed by the Treasury department after a year to “ensure it is delivering outcomes that are consistent with the Government’s policy intent.”
While Facebook has found a workaround to its problems in Australia, it’s still forcefully defending its opposition to similar far-reaching measures.
Clegg, a former UK deputy prime minister, opened up about the company’s decision to stop news sharing in the country in his statement, acknowledging that the move would “have felt abrupt and dramatic to many.”
“It wasn’t a decision taken lightly,” he wrote, adding that the company had “been in discussions with the Australian government for three years trying to explain why this proposed law, unamended, was unworkable.”
The company had no choice but to take swift action last week, he argued, “because it was legally necessary to do so before the new law came into force.”
— Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.