• Monday, August 08, 2022

Canada is making strides to compel tech companies to share revenue with news publishers.

on Apr 07, 2022

New legislation in Canada requires tech companies like Twitter and Facebook to compensate Canadian publishers for distributing their work.

The law would "guarantee that major digital platforms fairly reward news publishers for their content and increase fairness in the Canadian digital news sector, including the survival of independent local news enterprises," according to the government.

Bill C-18, also known as the Online News Act, would require platforms with a "bargaining imbalance with news businesses" to negotiate contractual arrangements with broadcasters and other publishers, most likely by sharing advertising earnings, similar to a regulation introduced in Australia last year.

Smaller publishing houses would be able to band together to strike a bargain. If a deal isn't struck in six to twelve months, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will decide.
"Our democracy depends on a free and independent press. It's how we stay up to date and involved in what's going on in our neighbourhoods and around the country. The health and viability of the news sector, particularly local news, are currently in jeopardy "Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, states

"We want to ensure that journalists and the news media are adequately compensated for their efforts. Canadians require trustworthy and credible information now more than ever, especially in this era of increased mistrust and misinformation."

The bill is identical to one passed in Australia last year, which forced Facebook to stop allowing Australians to share news on the site. Later, the company and the company came to an arrangement. Since then, Facebook and Google have paid out more than $200 million to Australian media outlets, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, offering a significant boost to the industry.
Television, radio, newspapers, and magazines in Canada have collectively lost $4.9 billion in the last 12 years, according to the Canadian government. Since 2010, at least one-third of Canadian media employment have vanished, and about 450 news publications have collapsed between 2008 and August 2021.

Meanwhile, Canadians are increasingly consuming news through digital media, with a small number of companies accounting for 80% of internet advertising revenue.

The Canadian bill has been well received by the media.

Jamie Irving, head of News Media Canada, says, "This method has been a shining success in Australia, where publications large and small are inking important content licencing agreements."

"Today, more than ever, trustworthy information is required, and real news delivered by real journalists costs real money. This measure, which does not require more taxpayer dollars, levels the playing field and offers Canada's news publishers a fair chance."

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