Google to remove news links in Canada – DW – 06/30/2023

Google has become the latest tech giant to be hit by a new law in Canada, which will force digital companies to pay media outlets for content they share or reuse on their platforms.

The Online News Act, passed last week, aims to support a Canadian news media sector struggling to survive. Over the past decade, many media companies have bankrupt because most users choose to read news for free through social media.

Under the new Canadian law, tech companies are required to enter into commercially fair agreements with media outlets for news links and information carried on their platforms, or face binding arbitration.

Google refuses to pay compensation

Google released a statement expressing its opinion that the new law is “unworkable.” Google said the Canadian government had given no guarantees that the law's “structural problems” would be resolved when it was implemented.

In a blog post, Google said the new law will make it harder for Canadians to find information online and make it harder for journalists to reach their audiences. However, individuals in Canada will still be able to access news from Canadian websites by entering each media outlet's web address directly into a browser or through a dedicated application.

Google's decision to remove links to Canadian news comes after talks with the government aimed at finding a solution failed.

Meta, another tech giant, also announced last week that it would block Canadian news on Facebook and Instagram.

Google and Meta, which control a significant share of online advertising, have been accused of causing traditional news media companies' declining revenues, while using the media companies' content for free.

Canada wants to protect traditional news media

“We have informed the (Canadian) government that we have made the difficult decision… to remove links to Canadian news from our search, news and discovery products and that we can no longer operate Google News Showcase in Canada,” Google said.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, a former journalist, stressed that the loss of advertising revenue now flowing from newsrooms in Canada poses a serious problem, not only for the journalists involved, but also for the country as a whole. .

He stressed the need for well-paid journalists to maintain a strong culture, a healthy society and reliable politics.

An October 2022 Canadian Parliament budget watchdog report estimates that the new online news law would bring Canadian newspapers approximately C$249 million in annual revenue from digital platforms.

Canada's new Online News Act refers to regulation of online media in Australiawhich became the first in the world to require Google and Meta to pay for news content on their platforms.

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Lonnie Kimmons

"Internet fanatic. Evil organizer. Tv fanatic. Explorer. Hipster-friendly social media junkie. Certified food expert."

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