Canada Is Trying To Force Meta To Pay News Outlets For Letting Users Link To News Articles

In one of the strangest online media laws in some time, the Canadian Parliament enacted the Online News Act, mandating technology companies such as Google and Facebook to pay mainstream Canadian news publishers just for allowing platform users to link to their content. The law, inspired by a similarly absurd law passed in Australia in 2021, aims to prop up the mainstream media. However, the date when the act will come into operation remains unknown. Read the full text of the act here. As per the act, tech giants will have to negotiate licenses for sharing news content through a bargaining process with legacy outlets. If consensus eludes, binding arbitration would ensue. The legislation has been cheered by proponents as a step forward in buttressing the news media that has suffered dwindling ad revenues, and rather than the media companies altering their business models, lobbyists have instead pushed for tech platforms to hand them money. “The Online News Act will help make sure tech giants negotiate fair and equitable deals with news organizations,” tweeted Pablo Rodriguez, Canada’s Minister of Canadian Heritage. However, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has obviously expressed disapproval and announced plans to cease the availability of news articles on both platforms for Canadian users. Meanwhile, Google is not sanguine about the legislation. Labeling it as unfeasible, Jenn Crider, a Google spokeswoman, asserted that the company had offered “thoughtful and pragmatic solutions” that went unheeded. “Every step of the way, we’ve proposed thoughtful and pragmatic…Canada Is Trying To Force Meta To Pay News Outlets For Letting Users Link To News Articles