Thu 30 October 2023:
Google and the Canadian government came to an agreement on Wednesday whereby the search engine giant will pay Canadian news businesses CAN$100 million (US$73.6 million) a year to share their stories on its platforms.
The agreement averts Google’s threat to prevent Canadians from searching for Canadian news on Google in Canada due to the Online News Act, which mandates that Canadian publishers be paid for sharing content. Critics doubted Ottawa could strike a deal with Google, and Meta had already stopped sharing news on Facebook and Instagram.
“Many doubted that we would be successful, but I was confident we would find a way to address Google’s concerns,” Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge told reporters outside the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The Online News Act was passed to help Canadian newspapers. Many are in dire financial difficulty because the news traditionally paid for in their publications was being reproduced free online. The law only applies to digital platforms that have 20 million monthly users and yearly revenues of CAN$1 billion (US$736 million). Meta and Google are the only companies affected.
“Google has agreed to properly support journalists, including local journalism,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “Unfortunately, Meta continues to completely abdicate any responsibility towards democratic institutions.”
After Meta removed news content from its platforms in Canada, some smaller news publishers that depended on Meta for distribution reported difficulties reaching readers.
As per the deal, Google obtained certain benefits. While Google projected $100 million, the Canadian government calculated that the search engine giant should compensate news organizations with roughly CAN$170 million (US$125 million) annually. Additionally, Google was allowed permission to work with a single organization that represented all Canadian publications.
But Meta remains a holdout in the face of the Google agreement. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was informed by a Meta representative that the company will not alter its stance as long as the Online News Act is in effect.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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