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Bill C-18 and What it Means For You

Bill C-18 and What it Means For You

New Regulations in Canada

The Government of Canada has enacted a new law called Bill C-18 (the Online News Act). 

“The Bill introduces a new bargaining framework intended to support news businesses to secure fair compensation when their news content is made available by dominant digital news intermediaries and generates economic gain,” an explanatory note from the government says

“It seeks to support balanced negotiations between the businesses that operate dominant digital news intermediaries and the businesses responsible for the news outlets that produce this news content.” The bill has proved to be quite controversial as it has put what Google reps call a “link tax” into effect.

Google claims Bill C-18 “breaks the way the web and search engines have worked for more than 30 years.”

An Angus Reid report released in July, states 85 per cent of Canadians do not pay for any online news subscriptions and Canadians under the age of 64 usually check social media sites such as Facebook and Reddit first to get their news. The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates Bill C-18 will shift around $329 million to the Canadian news industry.

Rachel Curran, head of public policy for Meta Canada, doesn’t agree. “For many months, we have been transparent about our concerns with the Online News Act. It is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms, when the reverse is actually true.”

Since Google and Meta aren’t interested in paying to host Canadian news content, they will be blocking Canadian news from their platforms in response to the new law.

This means Google has to remove links to Canadian news from their Search, News and Discover products in Canada, and news articles can no longer be viewed and shared via Facebook. 

As a result, WCOWMA will no longer be able to share relevant news stories through our social media platforms. We will continue to include links for interesting articles in this newsletter and on our websites.

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