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Piracy site-block expansion to search engines passes Parliament


Australia's Parliament has passed the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018, with the federal government saying it will enable rights holders to better fight copyright infringement. The Australian government introduced the new legislation in October, proposing to expand piracy site-block laws from carriage service providers to online search engine providers. The Bill will also allow faster blocks of mirror sites, reduce the burden of proving that a site is hosted outside of Australia, and expand the legislation to sites that not only have the "primary purpose", but also to those that have the "primary effect" of infringing copyright. "The government has zero tolerance for online piracy. It is theft, and damaging to our creative economy and local creators. We are committed to protecting Australia's creative industries and the world-class content we produce every year," Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said.

Aussie politicians to get prominent position in Google search results


If you search for the Australian Liberal Party on Google Monday, the results may look a little different. Google has launched its experimental Google Posts feature in Australia, a company spokesperson confirmed to Mashable Australia. The platform, which feels something like a one-way social media platform, allows select people and organisations to add blog posts or video directly to the top of their search results, and the conservative party is one of the first to get started. The product, which was first offered to presidential candidates during the current U.S. election, has now been made available to a wide number of registered Australian politicians, Fairfax Media reported. Prime ministerial candidates Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten had not begun posting at time of writing, however.

Australian news generated AU$10m in revenue for Google in 2019


Google wants to have a discussion "based on facts" with government and regulators when it comes to the profitability of online news in Australia, saying the value of news isn't about economics. "The value of news to Google isn't about economics, it is about its role in educating and informing Australians, as well as its importance in strengthening democracy," it said. In a blog post, which comes in direct response to the Australian government announcing earlier this year it would develop a code of practice to make tech giants such as Facebook and Google pay for Australian content if it is a source of profit, the search giant reiterated that it barely makes any money from news content -- a mere AU$10 million in revenue last year. "We don't run ads on Google News or the news results tab on Google Search. And looking at our overall business, Google last year generated approximately AU$10 million in revenue -- not profit -- from clicks on ads against possible news-related queries in Australia," it wrote.

Equinix completes AU$1b Metronode acquisition


Equinix has completed the AU$1.035 billion acquisition of Australian datacentre company Metronode. The closure follows an agreement Equinix made with Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan in December to acquire all the equity interests in Metronode group of companies in an all-cash transaction. More than ever, data centers run the world, but many of them need a 21st century reboot. Today's data centers have to be more efficient, redundant, and flexible than ever. We examine when and how to best run your own data center versus when to outsource to the cloud or a service provider, and when to take a hybrid approach.

Google Australia posts AU$125m profit as it continues to fight ATO on tax matters


Google Australia has made its financial results to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) available, reporting AU$125 million in after-tax profit for 2017, up from the AU$104 million posted a year prior. Profit before tax was AU$149 million, on revenue of AU$1.02 billion, which comprised of AU$604 million from advertising, AU$266 million from research and development (R&D) services, and AU$136 million from hardware. Reported under Australian accounting standard AASB 15, revenue numbered AU$1.02 billion; however if the company reported under AASB 118, revenue would be revealed as pushing AU$3.46 billion. Google Australia adopted the AASB 15 standard on January 1, 2017. Cost of sales and services for the 12-month period was AU$459 million, down from the AU$700 million reported in 2016.