A group representing Canadian private TV and radio broadcasters is asking the Liberal government to include Apple in legislation that would force Google and Meta to share revenues with news publishers, reports The National Post.
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) said under the government’s proposed regulations only Google and Meta are covered by the Online News Act, “even though there are other platforms that benefit from the distribution of news content and are negatively impacting news businesses in Canada.”
The group gave the example of Apple, which includes Apple News, a free news-aggregator app, with its products and also offers Apple News+, a paid subscription service for content including magazines and newspapers. “The CAB believes that such services should be scoped into the framework, rather than excluded up front,” it said.
The Online News Act is legislation designed to “ensure that dominant platforms compensate news businesses when their content is made available on their services.” The Act received royal assent on June 22, 2023. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is responsible for overseeing the bargaining framework under the Act.
Among other things, the proposed regulations:
- Require platforms to conduct an open call process to solicit news businesses;
- Establish a minimum threshold that platforms would have to meet to contribute to the sustainability of the Canadian news marketplace;
- Prescribe what constitutes a fair agreement;
- Provide safeguards to protect journalistic independence;
- Support the participation of collectives representing independent local, Indigenous and official language minority community news outlets.
If companies do not meet the threshold through voluntary agreements with news outlets, they may have to go through mandatory bargaining supervised by the CRTC. However, digital platforms have responded forcefully to the legislation, with Google calling it a “link tax” and threatening to stop featuring Canadian news websites in its search and other platforms when the law comes into force.
Meta went a step further: It imposed a Canadian news blackout beginning on August 1, effectively blocking Facebook and Instagram users in Canada from being able to see news articles on the platforms or to post links themselves.
“The legislation is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms, when the reverse is true,” the company said in a statement in June.
Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today