Law would allow news outlets to negotiate with digital giants for payment: minister

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Published February 23, 2022 at 4:19 pm

OTTAWA — Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says he is pressing ahead with plans to introduce a law to make digital media giants pay Canadian outlets for using their news.

Speaking at a virtual conference on the future of news, Rodriguez says the new law will create a framework for news organizations to collectively negotiate fair deals with online entities such as Google.

He says the government will base a forthcoming law on one brought forward in Australia to make digital giants pay for news content, but it will contain some differences.

Canada would have a regulator and impose arbitration if a fair deal cannot be struck between Canadian media and the likes of Google and Meta, formerly known as Facebook.

Google’s vice-president of news Richard Gingras says the search engine is not opposed to regulation, but wants to protect the open internet and the principle of free linking between sites. 

He criticized Australia’s law, saying its arbitration model was unbalanced and unpredictable and he hoped Canada would come up with a more workable blueprint.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2022. 

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The Canadian Press

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