CA poised to make social media subsidize local newspapers

This is turning into a disaster for Canada

The California Assembly passed the California Journalism Preservation Act [AB 866] by 55 to 6 on June 1st of last year. A hearing was scheduled in the California Senate for July. However, this was postponed until 2024 due to questions over how the bill would actually be implemented.

The bill would require social media companies to pay California media outlets a “journalism usage fee” for ads next to links for media outlets’ material.

The act states that it is to save California newspapers from dying out. It singles out the “Black Press” as being especially important and needing saving. The bill cites an alleged 66% in newspaper advertising revenue and a 44% decline in local newsroom staff in the past ten years.

However, a similar federal bill in Canada is becoming a potential disaster. Canada passed the Online News Act, or C-18, in June 2023. It took effect at the beginning of 2024. The bill allows Canadian media to demand a fee from social media companies as individuals or through collective bargaining.

META owns Facebook and Instagram and has already begun blocking links to Canadian media outletsGoogle is also threatening to block links to Canadian media outlets.

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