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Google warns that the online news bill could subsidize biased media outlets




Google warns that the federal online news bill could force subsidies to non-authoritative or biased news sources such as Russia’s state news agency Sputnik.

However, an organization representing Canada’s news media industry has stated that the bill’s wording is strict and specifically excludes means of promoting the organization’s interests.

Google has a very wide definition of legitimate news sources bills, so non-professional news outlets with more than one journalist in Canada, including those funded by foreign countries, are from tech giants. Claims that it may be subject to payment.

The online news bill, modeled after a similar Australian law, aims to support the Canadian news industry and counter the spread of news from biased and unreliable sources.

Known in Congress as the C-18, the bill will force tech giants such as Google and Meta to pay for the reuse of news produced by the Canadian press.

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, filmed in Ottawa on February 2, introduced the government’s bill in online news. (Adrian Wild / Canadian Press)

The proposed law also prevents the tech giant from penalizing or prioritizing the agreed news organizations.

But Google says this can affect the way news is ranked and content moderated in search engines.

After the war in Ukraine began, it began to limit the visibility of the state-owned Russian media organization RT, including the Google News search tool.

The definition is too broad, the company says

“We can present Canadians with the most useful and reliable content and could impose heavy fines to implement our own policies,” said Lauren Skelly, a Google spokesperson. Stated.

High-tech giants support the bill’s central purpose, but as the bill was drafted, it could have unintended consequences, such as paying for news businesses that don’t meet the standards of journalism, Skerry said. He said he was concerned about having sex.

This could include two people who set up a digital news organization from the basement, a newsgroup sponsored by a foreign state with a bureau in Canada, or a news organization with a far-left or far-right bias.

“We must believe that this is not the result of policymakers’ intentions and hope to work with them to address these concerns,” Skerry said.

“The written law uses a very broad definition of a qualified news business and an” excessive priority “clause that, when implemented, may require payment of content that does not meet basic journalism standards. doing. “

However, the president of Canada, a news media representative of the country’s news media industry, said the proposed law was carefully expressed.

“This is a very good law that specifically excludes the press, which promotes the interests of the organization, rather than creating original news content of general interest,” said Paul Deegan.

“The bill will allow many smaller publishers to come together to negotiate content license agreements with major tech companies. All stakeholders will work together to make this urgent need before summer vacation. It is advisable to pass the law. “

Regulation was entrusted to CRTC

“It is not the government’s role to decide what online news is,” the Canadian Cultural Heritage said in a statement.

“There is a set of objective criteria that have been removed from political decision-making to determine eligible media outlets. Free and independent media outlets are essential to democracy,” he said.

When bill C-18 was announced, the federal government stated that the law would ensure that Canadians had access to quality, fact-based news in times of increasing disinformation and public distrust. I did.

The Canadian Radio-television Commission, a broadcast regulator, is given the task of qualifying as a news organization.

To qualify, the bill would allow newsgroups to be designated as a Canadian journalism organization under the Income Tax Act, or create news content primarily on general concerns and run two or more journalists in Canada. And states that they need to be hired.




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