Meta has threatened to cut off access to news services and stories if Canada’s Online News Act becomes law. The move would see any users in the Great White North banned from sharing information from various news corporations.
According to Reuters, the House of Commons bill C-18, also known as the Online News Act, was drafted in April of 2022. This piece of legislation would see companies like Google and Meta paying fees for user-shared copywritten works from news businesses:
“This enactment regulates digital news intermediaries to enhance fairness in the Canadian digital news marketplace and contribute to its sustainability. It establishes a framework through which digital news intermediary operators and news businesses may enter into agreements respecting news content that is made available by digital news intermediaries. The framework takes into account principles of freedom of expression and journalistic independence.”
This regulatory bill would see that news corporations were paid for revenue allegedly lost due to social media. It has long been assumed that old media was in a losing battle against the digital age, and the previous regime would try everything to stay relevant. But, unfortunately, this looks like the last act of desperate companies.
If a business is losing money due to competition, should it not improve its product or delivery method to appeal to the fleeing customer base? Thankfully, regardless of Meta’s other mistakes, the company is not taking this lying down.
A spokesperson for the bruised tech giant said this in response to the bill, “A legislative framework that compels us to pay for links or content that we do not post, and which are not the reason the vast majority of people use our platforms, is neither sustainable nor workable.”
Even if bill C-18 were to become law, users would find a way around the block by either posting archived links or copying/pasting headlines into their feeds. However, considering several people rarely read past the headline, this won’t do much to solve the bigger disinformation problem out there.[Source: Reuters] [Source: Parliament of Canada]
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