Sir Tim Berners-Lee is widely acknowledged as the ‘father of the internet’, he wasn’t just there when it was born he delivered it.

When Sir Berners-Lee talks about the web, those who understand sit up and listen, so when he warns that the planned Media Code will hurt the internet, Australian politicians should pay attention.

However, will our politicians move beyond their backroom deals with their friends like Rupert Murdoch and stop this madness before it’s too late?

The arrogance and hubris displayed by the Prime Minister and Treasurer that somehow their ill-conceived legislation will solve the sustainability of journalism issue (which is a very real issue) with no negative side effects are just astounding.

Mr Berners-Lee has made a submission to the parliamentary committee charged with reviewing this proposed bill alongside 50 other respondants.

In his submission, he writes “On the web, the sharing of content rests on the ability of users to do two things: to create content, typically text but also other media; and to make links in that content to other parts of the web.” He argues that “links are fundamental to the web”.

In conclusion, Sir Tim calls for action from the government:

“It would undermine the fundamental principle of the ability to link freely on the web, and is inconsistent with how the web has been able to operate over the past three decades. If this precedent were followed elsewhere it could make the web unworkable around the world. I therefore respectfully urge the committee to remove this mechanism from the code.”

You can read Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s submission along side 49 others on the parliamentary committee website.

In the spirit of full disclosure Ausdroid Media, officially made a submission to the committee calling for a rejection of the code as it stands.

When the inventor of the internet warns you your plan is stupid and dangerous maybe it’s time to listen.

While we genuinely agree that the viability of media is a concern, the proposed code is not a solution we support.

Perhaps a solution is to look at the market effects of the advertising revenue sharing model that funds the majority of journalism would be a good starting point.

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    John Phillips

    Murdoch press is leading the squeal about Google hiding links to their publications. Hypocrites. Just as the newspapers are free to pick and choose what they publish, so is Google.


    The dinosaur law, the same reason we still use coal. Liberals….


    Guardian News & Media Australia is not a Murdoch arm (ausdroid, in its blind support for Google and its kickbacks wants to categorise any entity in favour of regulation as being pro-Murdoch) and wrote in its submission, “We support many aspects of the bill, and believe that the Australian government is leading an important effort to rebalance power relations between online platforms and news media publishers. For many people, dominant online platforms have become the internet, or at the very least the principal gateways to it.” Of note is the observation that Google has ‘become the internet’. In other words,… Read more »

    Last edited 1 year ago by jmave25
    Daryl Hall

    Thanks Duncan for this information. I personally don’t understand why there is a need for this legislation. It appears simple to me, if anyone provides Web content, including news outlets, they can have ads within the content or create a block which allows only subscribers to view the entire content, thus enabling payment for the service. Both of which are in operation right now. It seems to me that the traditional news outlets are trying to stop their own demise by halting the progress of other forms of communication as they have been unable or unwilling to adapt. Although this… Read more »