Ever since its introduction, the Online News Act or House of Commons bill C-18 has made many waves in the news, but this one might be the biggest. Meta might end news access for Canadians if Online News Act becomes law.
As per the Parliament of Canada’s website, C-18 is“An Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada.”. Commonly called Online News Act, it was first introduced in the April of 2022 and it ensures:
- fair revenue sharing between digital platforms and news outlets
- provides for collective bargaining by news outlets
- promotes voluntary commercial agreements between digital platforms and news outlets, with minimal government intervention
- establishes a mandatory arbitration framework where digital platforms and news outlets cannot reach commercial agreements
- defines the role and tools of the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as the regulator.
In response to the Online News Act, Meta, the parent company behind Facebook has decided to end access to news for Canadians on their platforms, if the act passes and becomes law in its current form. Meta spokesperson Lisa Laventure said, “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,”
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The next step, as per the Government of Canada’s website is “The CRTC will set out the processes and procedures to implement the Act, including the bargaining process and the process for news businesses to apply to be designated. At any time during this period, digital platforms and eligible news businesses would be able to negotiate commercial agreements outside of the legislative framework.” CRTC stands for Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and it is an independent public authority in charge of regulating and supervising Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications. Stay Tuned with TechCult to stay on top of everything Meta and everything tech.
Source: Parliament of Canada’s website