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New Australian regulation will have negative consequences for the YouTube Community: what you need to know

Dear Australian creators and artists,

Firstly, thank you for everything you do to inform, entertain and inspire your audiences here and around the world. My primary focus is supporting you and your work to build a thriving creator ecosystem.

I’m writing today to make you aware of a proposed new law, known as the News Media Bargaining Code, that could have a significant, negative impact on the creator ecosystem in Australia.

There are several areas that deeply concern us about this proposed law because it prioritises the traditional news industry over smaller creators of content and the platforms where they find an audience. We are particularly concerned that it provides unfair advantages to large news businesses over anyone else online, including the very creators that make YouTube, YouTube:

  • YouTube may be obligated to give large news publishers confidential information about our systems that they could use to try to appear higher in rankings on YouTube, disadvantaging all other creators. This would mean you could receive fewer views and earn less.
  • It will create an uneven playing field when it comes to who makes money on YouTube. Through the YouTube Partner Programme, we already share revenues with partners who monetise on YouTube, including news publishers—and we are proud to support quality journalism. But through this law, big news businesses can demand large amounts of money above and beyond what they earn on the platform, leaving fewer funds to invest in you, our creators, and the programmes to help you develop your audience in Australia and around the globe.
  • Under this law, big news businesses can seek access to data about viewers’ use of our products. YouTube believes user data protection is paramount and we should not be required to hand this data over.
The imbalances created by this proposed law could potentially affect all types of Australian creators, far beyond those who focus on news: from vloggers, to educational creators, to music artists and beyond. We are doing everything we can to push for changes and make sure YouTube in Australia remains a place where anyone can connect to an audience or build a business, not just a few large media companies.

In the coming days, you’ll hear more from us about how you can get involved. But for now, I’d ask you to read the open letter to Australians from Mel Silva, Managing Director, on behalf of Google Australia.

Update, August 20: We understand this process has been fast moving and you have questions. You can now find out more about the next steps, how you can get involved as well as an FAQs section on the Creator Hub

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