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Executives From Google And Meta Oppose The Canadian Online News Bill

Executives From Google And Meta Oppose The Canadian Online News Bill
If legislation requiring internet companies to pay news publishers is implemented, Google and Meta would stop providing access to news items in Canada, company officials told Canadian parliamentarians on Wednesday.
As part of a larger worldwide trend to demand internet companies pay for news, Canada's proposed law would require platforms like Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc to strike business arrangements and pay Canadian news publishers for their material.
According to testimony given to a Senate committee by Richard Gingras, Google's vice president of news, links to news items seen in Canadian search results may be required to be removed if the legislation is approved. Gingras cited a "uncapped financial liability" if Google were required to compensate publishers for connections to their websites.
If the bill is approved as written, Meta would likewise stop offering news content in Canada, according to Rachel Curran, director of public policy for Meta in Canada.
Ottawa's proposal is comparable to a trailblazing measure that Australia approved in 2021, which also sparked threats to limit service from Google and Facebook. After the law was changed, both eventually reached agreements with Australian media companies.
As a potential response to the legislation this year, Google explored limiting access to news for select Canadian customers; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau termed this a "terrible mistake."
According to Gingras, Google linked to Canadian news publishers more than 3.6 billion times last year, assisting these businesses in generating revenue from advertisements and new subscriptions.
According to Curran, Facebook feeds provided Canadian publishers with more than 1.9 billion clicks in the year that ended in April 2022, amounting to free advertising worth an estimated $230 million.
"A framework that requires us to compensate publishers for links or news content they voluntarily put on our platforms is unworkable," Curran said.
The most recent piece of legislation to require digital media services to pay for connecting news information is a measure submitted in April 2022 by Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez.
"All we're asking the tech giants like Facebook and Google to do is negotiate fair deals with news outlets when they profit from their work," Heritage Ministry spokesperson Laura Scaffidi said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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