Canadian Publishing Industry News
25 September 2020,    
Throne Speech says web giants should pay
 
 
Earlier this week, the Speech from the Throne declared that “Web giants are taking Canadians’ money while imposing their own priorities,” and issued a promise that thing will change, with legislation potentially coming as early as this Fall.

   This was welcome news to many in the media, especially as various estimates put job losses in journalism beyond 3,000 since the pandemic struck.

 

But, as a recent CBC story points out, taking on Google and Facebook could be an uphill battle, as experience in other countries shows. France tried to force Google to pay for snippets of news stories but was unsuccessful. The battle brewing in Australia may give us a better preview of what we can expect here.

 

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault
Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault

Australia wants news publishers to negotiate with Google and Facebook for compensation when their content is reposted, which both tech firms rejected. CBC reports that Facebook “welcomes new rules for the internet that support innovation, free expression and the digital economy.”

 

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault told CBC that one effective strategy would be building momentum with several countries, making it harder for the web giants to maintain their stance. The minister is reportedly drafting requirements for streaming services to contribute more to Canadian content, and for social media platforms to address harmful content, such as hate speech.

 

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