Canadian government proposes bill to make Internet giants’ pay ‘for use of news content

2022-05-20 0 By

Toronto, April 6 (reporter Yu Ruidong) The Canadian federal government on April 5 announced the introduction of an online news Act, which would require online platforms, especially Internet giants, to pay news media for the use of news content.Bill C-18 requires digital platforms to engage in fair commercial transactions with media for the news and information they share to provide “fair compensation,” respect independence and promote the diversity of news organizations.It also allows collective bargaining for media, large and small.Digital platforms and news outlets can avoid arbitration if they reach a standard deal within a certain period of time.More than 450 news organizations have closed in Canada since 2008, including more than 60 in the past two years during the pandemic, according to government figures.Over the past 12 years, Canadian television, radio, newspapers and magazines have lost C $4.9 billion in revenue, and at least a third of journalism jobs have been lost.In 2020, Canada’s online advertising revenues were C $9.7bn, with more than 80 per cent going to the two giants, Google and Metasverse’s Facebook.The government said it was “time to address this market imbalance”.Canadian officials acknowledge that Bill C-18 is based on similar legislation in Australia.Last June, the Canadian News Media Association sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling on the government to pass legislation to curb Internet giants Google and Facebook’s monopoly over news media.The move follows legislation passed in February last year obliging Internet giants such as Facebook and Google, which act as intermediaries for news distribution, to pay news organisations.In December 2020, the European Commission published the draft Digital Services Bill and the Digital Market Bill, which aim to restrict online tech giants.In March this year, the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission agreed on the Digital Market Act.