Injustice or Financial Prudence? Google's Decision to Remove Canadian News Publishers from its Search EngineGoogle Removes Canadian News Publishers from Its Search Engine in Response to Government Mandate In response to a law passed by the Canadian government requiring digital platforms to pay local news outlets, Alphabet, Google's parent company, has announced that it will remove links to news from Canadian publishers on its search engine. The law, known as the Online News Act, has raised concerns for Google as it creates uncertainty and potential financial liability for facilitating access to news from Canadian publishers. Kent Walker, the president of global affairs at Google, stated that the removal of links will occur once the law takes effect. This move by Google follows a similar decision by Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, to end the availability of news on its platforms for all users in Canada. Both tech giants argue that the law unfairly requires them to pay for content without economic benefits, while the Canadian government believes it will bring much-needed revenue to a struggling media sector. Additionally, Alphabet will be terminating its negotiated agreements with 150 news publications in the country. Google's action in removing news from its platform in response to government regulations is not unprecedented. In 2014, the company shut down Google News in Spain due to a law that required payment from news aggregators to publishers. However, the service returned in Spain in 2022 after an updated copyright law was passed. This latest development has sparked criticism from News Media Canada, an organization representing around 500 news outlets in the country. They argue that it is important for stakeholders to engage in the regulatory process to ensure fair and balanced regulation, rather than withholding access to news for Canadian users.
The Battle Over Payment for News: Google's Removal of Canadian Publishers and Similar Actions by Meta Platforms Inc.Google's decision to remove links to news from Canadian publishers on its search engine is a response to the Canadian government's Online News Act. The law mandates that digital platforms pay local news outlets for their content. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, expressed concerns about the law, stating that it creates uncertainty for their products and exposes them to potential financial liability. Kent Walker, the president of global affairs at Google, emphasized that the removal of links will occur when the law takes effect. This action from Google follows a similar move by Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, which announced the end of news availability on its platforms for all users in Canada. Both tech giants argue that the law unfairly obligates them to pay for content without economic benefits. However, the Canadian government believes that this legislation will provide much-needed revenue to a struggling media sector that has faced the closure of 450 outlets between 2008 and 2021. It is worth noting that this is not the first time Alphabet has removed news from its platform in response to government regulations. In 2014, Google shut down Google News in Spain after the country passed a law requiring news aggregators to compensate publishers. The service became available again in Spain in 2022 following an updated copyright law that allowed media outlets to negotiate with
Summing it upIn conclusion, Google's decision to remove Canadian news publishers from its search engine in response to the government mandate highlights the ongoing tension between digital platforms and news outlets. The Online News Act, which requires payment for content, has raised concerns for Google and Meta Platforms Inc., leading them to argue against the law's fairness. However, the Canadian government believes that this legislation will support the struggling media sector by generating revenue. This is not the first time that Google, under Alphabet, has taken such action in response to government regulations. In the past, Google shut down Google News in Spain due to a similar law, but reinstated it after an updated copyright law facilitated negotiations with media outlets. These recent developments have sparked criticism from News Media Canada, who advocate for stakeholders to engage in the regulatory process to ensure balanced and fair regulations. The removal of news links from Google's platform may have significant implications for the Canadian media landscape. However, it remains to be seen how this decision will affect Canadians' access to news and the media industry's ability to reach its audience. As this issue unfolds, it is crucial for all stakeholders to seek common ground and actively participate in shaping regulations that foster a strong, independent, and sustainable media ecosystem in Canada.
Originally Published at: https://fortune.com/2023/06/29/google-remove-canada-news-payment-law/ Business Topic: Business