Google has ‘serious’ concerns with Liberal bill requiring platforms to pay for news content
There are some very serious concerns with the new bill introduced by the House of Commons on Monday, which seeks to compel platforms to pay for news content in Canada.
According to the new bill, “platform providers, such as search engines, social media sites and advertising and analytics platforms” will now have to pay for news content published by a third party. The bill refers to non-publishing platforms, which are currently the only ones responsible for the dissemination of news, as “partners.”
This requirement was previously set out in a report from the Canada Media Fund (CMF), a non-profit organization that is primarily dedicated to funding news and commentary on media in Canada. The CMF is a non-partisan organization that helps fund media projects and causes while giving back to the Canadian media community in the form of research, public education and advocacy efforts.
The bill itself comes with some very interesting loopholes. One of the big problems is that these kinds of bills, which are intended to compel platforms to pay for news content, come with some stipulations that are often overlooked. Such as:
This bill does not specify how much content should be covered by the new rules.
The bill only covers “news content published by a third party.”
The bill only applies to “digital platforms,” which may or may not include a search engine, a social media platform, or an advertising platform.
This bill would set out a process whereby a third party could be granted access to the company’s digital assets in order to comply with the legislation. For example, if a company publishes a news story on its website, it could apply for access with the bill, and if granted access, the company could then pay for news content. The bill would then have to review that news content.
Some of this may be considered fine if we were to only consider