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Canadian News Industry Body Echoes Google’s Worries on Online News Legislation, Startling Insights

Canadian News Industry Body Echoes Google’s Worries on Online News Legislation, Startling Insights

Google’s concerns about a new law in Canada that aims to make large internet companies share advertising revenue with news publishers have gained support from News Media Canada (NMC), a Canadian news industry body. NMC agrees with Google on several issues, including the need for a firm financial liability ceiling, eligibility criteria for news publishers, and the inclusion of non-monetary measures in remuneration. The Online News Act, which is part of a global trend to make internet giants pay for news, passed the Canadian parliament in June, and the government is finalizing rules to implement the law by December 19.

In a statement, NMC Chief Executive Officer Paul Deegan expressed agreement with many of Google’s concerns and emphasized the importance of addressing them while finalizing the rules for the law. He also highlighted the need for eligible news publishers to have an online presence and for non-monetary measures, such as training and product, to be considered as part of the remuneration.

Google has raised concerns about the law’s requirement for links to news stories as the basis for payment, as well as potential uncapped liability and limitations on its support for the news industry. The company argues that the Act fails to recognize the public’s ability to freely find and share news content online, which is crucial for free expression, access to information, press freedom, and an informed citizenry.

The Canadian government has acknowledged the concerns raised by Google and NMC and stated that it will review the submissions received during public consultation for the draft rules. The government aims to address these concerns while finalizing the regulations and ensuring a fair and balanced approach to the law.

This development highlights the ongoing debate and challenges surrounding the relationship between internet giants and news publishers, as governments around the world seek to ensure a sustainable future for journalism in the digital age.

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Nayan Kumar