Keeping an eye on Communist, Totalitarian China, and its influence both globally, and we as Canadians. I have come to the opinion that we are rarely privy to truth regarding the real goal, the agenda of Red China, and it's implications for Canada [and North America as a whole]. No more can we rely on our media as more and more information on China is actively being swept under the carpet - not for consumption.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Facebook stops sharing news in Australia. Is Canada next?
DEFANGING BIG TECH
Facebook stops sharing news in Australia. Is Canada next?
Wed., Feb. 17, 2021
In a possible preview of what’s coming to Canada, Australia’s biggest media conglomerate has signed a deal with Google on the same day Facebook stopped the country’s users from sharing news on its platform.
Australia has been at the vanguard of a global push by the media industry and governments to force digital platforms to share the advertising money they collect through the use of news content. Media companies have been losing crucial ad revenue for decades, with much of it going online.
Canada’s federal government, which is working on rules to make digital platforms pay media companies, is launching a new round of consultations with both media organizations and digital platforms in light of global developments, a senior government source told the Star on Wednesday.
The Australian government was expected to begin the process of enshrining its new rules this week. Google and Facebook have been opposed, but until Wednesday, it was not clear how they would respond. Now the lines appear finally to be drawn.
Facebook, one of the biggest news-sharing platforms in the world, dropped a bombshell on Australia in response to the rules, saying it would stop allowing users in the country to share news on its platform.
“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia,” a statement from Facebook said.
“With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”
Meanwhile, Google has been striking deals with media companies and on the same day as Facebook’s decision, announced an agreement with News Corp, the storied media conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Details of the News Corp deal are confidential, said Google, but it comes just days after Google agreed to an agreement reportedly worth $30 million (Australian) annually with Seven West Media, which owns 21 publications, according to the Associated Press.
The News Corp deal covers content shared by Google from more than 30 publications in Australia and some global ones like the Wall Street Journal, NYPost and The Sun in the UK.
“Today’s agreement with News Corp covers a wide range of our products such as News Showcase, YouTube, Web Stories, Audio and our ad technology,” said Google’s president of global partnerships, Don Harrison, in a statement to the Star.
“News Showcase now has partnerships with over 500 publications around the world, demonstrating the value this product can bring to our news partners and readers everywhere.”
Google said it is in “active discussions” with Canadian publishers and hopes “to launch in Canada in the near future.”
In Ottawa, the senior government source who spoke to the Star said the government has not yet committed to an approach for ensuring that tech giants compensate media organizations, but that it would likely differ from both the Australian and French models.
The federal government is aiming to introduce the legislation by the summer, said the source. The Star is not naming them because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Industry leaders in Canada, including Torstar, which owns the Toronto Star, have pushed for a remuneration model similar to the one in Australia.
The Australian model would give media organizations the ability to collectively bargain with digital platforms. If an agreement couldn’t be reached, then an arbitrator would step in and choose between one or the other final proposals. Google said the model was biased and had previously indicated it would pull its search engine from Australia, citing financial concerns.
However, the deals Google struck this week are “fantastic” news for Canadian publishers, said John Hinds, president of News Media Canada, a lobbying group pushing for remuneration for media companies.
“The fact that (publishers in Australia) are pleased with the deals and feel that it can ensure the survival of quality news and that it’s adequate compensation for Google to use the content, I think I would go with that,” he said.
“That’s what’s shown both in Australia and to a lesser extent in France, is that unless there’s a regulatory framework, the deals don’t happen.”
Dwayne Winseck, a professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, said that Canada will likely see a similar battle play out when the government moves to regulate.
“We are seeing these companies slowly being pressured into making more concrete investments,” he said.N w
Support for the Liberal government to draw up regulation comes from politicians on the other side of the aisle in Canada as well.
Sen. Claude Carignan, a Conservative, introduced a bill in the Senate on Wednesday that would amend the copyright act to provide for compensation for the use of journalistic works.
On the same day, Martin Champoux, a Bloc Québécois MP, stood in Parliament and said that the federal government “isn’t doing anything” even though “our local media are in a crisis due to the web giants.”
“We need to do something to support the creators,” he said. “If journalists didn’t work so hard, there would be nothing to share on social media. There would be no Facebook, or Google, or Twitter.”