Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says other countries are quietly siding with Canada as giant tech companies reject his government’s Online News Act.
C-18, which was passed by the House of Commons in June, requires tech giants Google and Meta to pay media outlets for news content they share or reuse on their platforms.
Meta has already removed news and content from Canadian publishers and broadcasters from its platform in Canada in response to the law. Google has threatened to do the same.
Trudeau, who recently returned from a meeting of G20 countries in Indiasaid The first CBC burner that other countries are encouraging their government to stand firm.
“Actually, in countries around the world, and I heard this again when I was abroad, people are saying, ‘Stand strong because this really matters,'” he told host Jayme Poisson.
“This is not an easy fight, but it is the right fight.”
When the Liberals introduced the law, which is modeled after a similar law in Australia, they argued that tech giants have taken over a large share of the advertising market that media outlets once depended on.
The government says Google and Meta had a combined 80 per cent share of the $14 billion in online advertising revenue in Canada in 2022.
As a news organization, the CBC could see a financial benefit under C-18, which requires the CBC to provide an annual report on any compensation for news it receives from digital operators.
Trudeau’s comments come as foreign governments consider regulations for their own jurisdictions.
Other governments review their own laws
TO bill in california similar to the Online News Law could soon become law; Meta has threatened to remove news from its platforms in that state. The New Zealand government is also taking public feedback on your own bill.
Trudeau said other jurisdictions are watching how the Online News Act is implemented in Canada.
“They are [saying]”Go to Canada and take this fight.” Then we will do it. We don’t mind doing it because it’s very important,” he said.
Earlier this month, the government released draft regulations for C-18 and estimated that Google and Meta would have to pay a combined $234 million to media outlets in order to comply.
The government said companies fall under the law if they have total global revenue of $1 billion or more in a calendar year, “operate in a search engine or social media marketplace by distributing and providing access to news content in Canada ” and have 20 million or more average monthly unique Canadian visitors or average monthly active users.
As things stand, Google and Meta are the only companies that meet those criteria. Government officials have said Microsoft’s Bing search engine is the next closest to falling under the law.
Following the publication of the regulations, Meta said it would not reverse its decision to block news content on its platforms.
A Google spokesperson told Breaking: that it is still reviewing the draft regulations, but that the company has significant concerns.
To hear Jayme Poisson’s full interview, follow CBC’s daily news podcast, Front Burner, wherever you get your podcasts.