As the witness portion of the Canadian Heritage committee hearing into the Online News Act (Bill C-18) comes to a premature end later this week (a hearing is planned with Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and the CRTC, but remarkably Facebook, the CBC, and many experts will be blocked from appearing), new data from the Parliamentary Budget Office calls into question the claims of big benefits for Canadian newspapers. In fact, while the government has been anxious to cite the (questionable) PBO estimate that the bill will generate $329 million per year for Canadian news organizations, last week the PBO quietly released supplementary data that suggested it believes the vast majority of the money will actually go to the CBC, Bell, and other broadcasters. In fact, the supplementary data – posted with a link after the release of the PBO’s report – concludes that newspapers will receive less than 25% of the funding or about $81 million to split among hundreds of news outlets.
Post Tagged with: "c-18"
Broadcast Bonanza: PBO Says Bill C-18 Would Give a Quarter Billion to Broadcasters Such as Bell and the CBC, Less Than 25% of Payments to Canadian Newspapers
Survey Says: Why the Government Reacted With Alarm to a Critical Opinion Poll on the Online News Act
On the very first day of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s hearings on the Online News Act last month, News Media Canada, the lead lobbyist for Bill C-18, was asked about a poll it commissioned this year which found 79% support requiring Google and Facebook to share revenue with Canadian news outlets. When Bloc MP Martin Champoux asked whether respondents were well informed, President and CEO Paul Deegen assured him “they were very well informed”. Deegan had a different response yesterday to another poll – this one commissioned by Google – as he took issue with the poll and warned that Google must provide “an honest presentation of the facts.” I have never thought any of these corporate-commissioned polls were of significant value and I’m not going to start now, whether it is News Media Canada or Google that is doing the commissioning. However, I think what makes the Google poll notable is the response to it, rather than the actual data.
Why the Online News Act is a Bad Solution to a Real Problem, Part Six: CBC Eligibility Harms News Competition and Its Public Interest Mandate
The blog series on why Bill C-18, the Online News Act, is a bad solution to a real problem continues with the first of several posts on the eligibility rules, starting with the decision to make the CBC eligible for the system that could lead to mandated payments. The inclusion of the public broadcaster should be opposed by its critics and supporters since it harms both competition and the public interest role of the public broadcaster. Indeed, critics will rightly note the market distortion it creates for private entities who stand to lose further advertising-related revenues to the CBC, while supporters should be concerned that the bill undermines the CBC’s claim to a public interest role and makes an ad-free version of the service even less likely. [Previous posts in the series: the risk to the free flow of information stemming from mandatory compensation for linking, how the bill encourages clickbait and other low quality news given the absence of standards in the definition of “news content”, the unprecedented government intervention in a sector where independence is essential, how the bill undermines Canadian copyright law and Canada’s international copyright law obligations, and a Law Bytes podcast episode based on my appearance before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.]
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 141: Why the Online News Act is a Bad Solution to a Real Problem, Part Five – My Appearance Before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage launched its hearings on the Online News Act (Bill C-18) with a pair of hearings late last month. At this stage, it remains unclear whether the committee will undertake the extensive study the bill deserves. I appeared in the very first hearing, using my opening statement to touch on four key concerns: the definition of “use”, government intervention, the risk of increased misinformation, and the breaches of Canada’s trade and treaty obligations. Coinciding with National Newspaper Week, this week’s Law Bytes podcast features an introduction to the bill and audio clips from the appearance.
Why the Online News Act is a Bad Solution to a Real Problem, Part Four: Undermining Canadian Copyright Law and International Copyright Treaty Obligations
The series on why Bill C-18, the Online News Act, is a bad solution in search of a real problem has thus far focused on three issues: the risk to the free flow of information stemming from mandatory compensation for linking, how the bill encourages clickbait and other low quality news given the absence of standards in the definition of “news content”, and the unprecedented government intervention in a sector where independence is essential. Today’s post raises an unlikely issue given that Bill C-18 is the responsibility of Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who also has part responsibility for copyright law in Canada. Buried within the bill is Section 24, a short provision with big copyright implications:
For greater certainty, limitations and exceptions to copyright under the Copyright Act do not limit the scope of the bargaining process.
What does this mean and why is it in the bill?