Réseau.Presse hopes for adoption of Australian-style bill regulating tech giants
Article published on 8 February 2022
last modification on 7 February 2022
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Réseau.Presse, better know as l’Association de la presse francophone (APF), representing French-Canadian news media outside of Québec is satisfied with the recent statement made by the Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, on the Government of Canada’s intent to adopt new legislation, similar to Australia, aimed at restricting tech giants in the country.

Réseau.Presse thanked minister Rodriguez for recognizing the urgency of the situation and for making the bill a priority. If brought into law, it would impose restrictions on what big tech companies would be able to use in terms of content coming from Canadian media.

’’We have never had anything concrete. But now, Minister Rodriguez’ office is working on the bill, which is modeled from a similar bill adopted by the Australian government. It is a model based on royalties, taxation and impositions on web giants,’’ says Linda Lauzon, Director of Réseau.Presse. ’’So Canada will use this formula, but will have to adapt it to our reality. The royalties collected by the Government of Canada, would then go to create a fund which our Canadian media could apply to, in order to compensate for the loss of income through advertising and the reuse of content.’’

Despite everything, Lauzon says the reality is much different for smaller media companies, like regional papers and community radio stations, so they would need to keep a closer eye on them.

’’We have so much diversity in Canada, just like in Australia. The sad truth is that in Australia, small newspapers are not that interesting for web giants. […] They don’t attract enough people, enough metadata, for companies like the Google and Facebook for example,’’ she says. ’’What happened in Australia is that the model was separated in to two parts. On the one hand, there’s the model for the bigger newspapers, and on the other there was the smaller media. I use the same as in Australia, meaning an envelope has been set aside to meet the specific needs of small media.’’

The full (French-language) interview with the Director of Réseau.Presse Linda Lauzon, is available here.

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