Paul Deegan, president of News Media Canada, says that legislation needs to be passed. News Media Canada is the association of the Canadian news media. The federal Liberals, as part of its election campaign platform , promised to introduce legislation within 100 days of the election. The legislation, which Deegan says is supported by all federal parties, is based on an Australian model. It would allow Canadian publishers to negotiate collectively with Google and Facebook for a share of revenues.
Part of the Australian legislation, Deegan says, is if negotiations fail or don’t make progress, there’s a baseball-style arbitration process in which each party makes its best offer and an arbitrator chooses. “I think in terms of the most expeditious way to get this done is by just allowing publishers to negotiate collectively, which is a relatively straight forward amendment to the Competition Act,” Deegan said. “So what we want is the ability for all publishers, large and small, anybody deemed to be a qualified journalistic organization in the country, to be able to negotiate collectively.