In response to a new law that aims to make tech giants pay Canadian media for news, Google says it will block Canadian news.
The Online News Act, which mandates platforms like Meta’s Facebook and Google to negotiate deals with news providers, was approved by the Canadian parliament last week.
Following Meta’s announcement that it would also restrict news content for its Canadian users, Google made the move.
In six months, the bill is expected to take effect.
Australia amended a law that was similar. The legislation was passed two years ago, but after Meta temporarily stopped users in Australia from sharing or viewing news on its platforms, Australian lawmakers made changes.
Since the amendments were made, Google and Meta have negotiated over 30 deals with Australian media companies, bringing the blackout to an end.
Google had previously proposed modifications and deemed the Canadian law “unworkable” in its current form. Both Google and Meta have held talks with the public authority about the regulation.
However, in response, the Canadian government asserts that the legislation is necessary “to enhance fairness in the Canadian digital news market” and that it will assist in ensuring that struggling news organizations receive fair compensation.
Addressing CTV News on Thursday evening, the pastor answerable for the document, Pablo Rodriguez, said he was amazed by Google’s turn, noticing they had “discussions as late as toward the beginning of today”.
The independent budget watchdog of the Canadian parliament found that news organizations could receive as much as $248 million (C$329 million); £196 million) from digital platforms annually.
In any case, a large number of the very media affiliations and outlets that supported the bill may now confront a danger to their organizations, as Google fills a critical piece of web traffic to Canadian media sources.
At the Globe and Mail, for example, Google represents 30% of the traffic, distributer Phillip Crawley told parliament last month. For Le Devoir, an unmistakable French language distribution, Google drives 40% of its traffic, with almost 30% coming from virtual entertainment.
Google didn’t determine how long its prohibition on neighborhood news connections would endure, or whether Canadian clients would be shown connections to tales about Canada from distributers not situated in the country.
In a blog post, Google stated, “We have now informed the government that we unfortunately will have to remove links to Canadian news from our Search, News, and Discover products in Canada when the law takes effect.”
It stated, “We believe it’s important to be transparent with Canadian publishers and our users as soon as possible.” “We don’t take this decision or its impacts lightly.”
“Not given us reason to believe that the regulatory process will be able to resolve structural issues with the legislation,” the policy team at Google Canada said in a statement to the BBC.
In any case, in its post on Thursday, the organization said it arranged “to take part in the administrative cycle” and to “keep on being straightforward with Canadians and distributers as we push ahead”.
News Media Canada, which had lobbied for the law and represents hundreds of news organizations across the country, stated that it still believed there was a “viable path forward.” “This is a time for all stakeholders to act in good faith, as responsible corporate citizens, and engage actively in the regulatory process to ensure that regulation is balanced, predictable, and fair,” it said. “Rather than demonstrating their extraordinary market power by withholding access to timely, accurate news for Canadians,” it added.
Google has announced that it will remove links to Canadian news from its Search, News, and Discover products in Canada in response to the country’s new Online News Act. The law, which was passed by Parliament last week, requires online platforms like Google and Meta to negotiate deals with news providers to pay for the use of their content.
Google has said that it believes the law is “unworkable” and that it will “harm Canadian news publishers and users.” The company has also said that it is willing to continue to negotiate with news providers on a voluntary basis.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has also said that it will remove Canadian news from its platforms in response to the law.
The Canadian government has said that it is disappointed by Google’s decision and that it is committed to working with the company to find a solution.
The Online News Act is similar to a law that was passed in Australia in 2021. In that case, Google and Facebook negotiated deals with news providers to pay for the use of their content. However, the Australian law has been criticized for being too complex and for not providing enough transparency about how the payments are being made.
It is unclear what the impact of Google’s decision will be on Canadian news publishers. Some publishers have said that they are concerned that they will lose traffic and revenue if their content is no longer available on Google’s platforms. Others have said that they are confident that they can find other ways to reach their audiences.
The Online News Act is set to take effect in six months. It remains to be seen whether Google and Meta will change their minds before then.