Post Tagged with: "news media canada"

Maryland State House by Danny Huizinga (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/onmk19

How Did News Media Canada Get Bill C-18? The Lobbying Records Tell the Story

Bill C-18, the Online News Act, represents a massive win for News Media Canada, the lobbying arm for news organizations such as Postmedia and Torstar. After obtaining hundreds of millions in taxpayer support with programs such as the Local Journalism Initiative (made permanent in Budget 2022), the Journalism Labour Tax Credit, and the Digital Subscription Tax Credit, the organization set its sights on the Internet platforms. In fact, not content with obtaining payments for reproduction of news content, it lobbied for a far broader approach that even includes payment for links or merely “facilitating access” to news content. The bill has already led to spiked op-eds critical of the government in the papers represented by News Media Canada, with critical commentary an outlier.

So what convinced the government to introduce a bill that adopts such an extreme approach? A look at the registered lobbyist meetings just since the election last September provides a hint. There have been 52 registered meetings with Ministers, MPs, and senior officials or roughly one meeting every four days since election day nearly 8 months ago. This represents an astonishing level of access and may help explain why the concerns of independent media and the broader public are missing from the bill.

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April 19, 2022 4 comments News
2017 Freedom of Expression Awards by Elina Kansikas for Index on Censorship https://flic.kr/p/Uvmaie (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Spiking Op-Eds: How the Government’s Online News Act is Already Leading to Media Self-Censorship

Last week, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez introduced Bill C-18, the Online News Act, a bill that adopts an extreme approach to compensation by requiring payments for merely facilitating access to news in any way and in any amount. As a result, the Canadian government envisions mandated payments not only for copying or reproducing the news or for directly linking to news articles, but also for general links to news sites. But the concerns with Bill C-18 do not end there. The bill threatens press independence in two important respects.

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April 14, 2022 5 comments News
News on the Tablet by Dennis Sylvester Hurd https://flic.kr/p/b2fsCa Public domain

Here Comes the Online News Act: Why the Government’s Media Shakedown is Bad News For Press Independence and Competition

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez is expected to introduce the Online News Act (technically An Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada), his response to a massive lobbying campaign from Canadian media organizations today. Bill C-18 will hand new power to the CRTC to oversee what are effectively mandatory payments by Internet platforms such as Google and Facebook for the mere appearance of news on their platforms. This represents nothing less than a government-backed shakedown that runs the risk of undermining press independence, increasing reliance on big tech, and hurting competition and investment in Canadian media. I will have several posts in the coming days including an analysis of the bill once it drops and a review of the lobbying campaign for the bill, which included over 100 registered lobbyist meetings by News Media Canada over the past three years and skewed coverage of the issue in which the overwhelming majority of news stories backed government intervention.

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April 5, 2022 20 comments News
Newspapers by Allan Foster (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2uxm9t

My Appearance Before the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications: Why Copyright Reform Isn’t the Answer to the Challenges Faced by the News Media Sector

Yesterday I took a break from talking about Bill C-10 to appear before the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications as part of its study on Bill S-225, Senator Claude Carignan’s bill that proposes copyright reform as a mechanism to address the challenges faced by the news media sector (the bill is the focus of this week’s Lawbytes podcast, featuring a conversation with Senator Paula Simons). I was joined by representatives from News Media Canada and Facebook, which made for an engaging discussion. My opening statement is posted below:

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June 17, 2021 9 comments Committees, News
Warning Sign by Robert Couse-Baker https://flic.kr/p/daYemu (CC BY 2.0)

Beware the Unintended Consequences: Some Warning Signs for Canada from the Australian Government Battle With Facebook

Last year, the Australian government presented Google and Facebook with an ultimatum: if the companies wanted to continue to allow users to link to news articles, they would be required to compensate news organizations. The Australian plan called for the creation of a mandated code that would create a process to determine the price to be paid for the links. Facebook’s response made it clear that if that was the choice – links with mandated payments or no links – it would choose the latter and block Australian news sharing from its service. While some described this as a threat (including Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault) or a bluff, it turns out the company was serious.

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February 19, 2021 25 comments News