CBC is reporting that "The social media giant Meta has confirmed that it will end access to news on its social media sites for all Canadian users before Bill C-18, the Online News Act, comes into force. The tech company made the announcement Thursday, the day after Parliament passed Bill C-18. The law will force tech giants like Meta and Google to pay news outlets for posting their journalism on their platforms."
"Meta said it will begin to block news for Canadian users over the next few months and the change will not be immediate.
'We have repeatedly shared that in order to comply with Bill C-18 … content from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will no longer be available to people accessing our platforms in Canada,' said Meta in a media statement."
Before we dive in to what Michael Geist has to say on the matter I just want to start with the basics. I realize there has been a lot of concern and controversy over the bill and the government always hides it's real agenda in the fine print which nobody reads. Let's start with the smoke and mirrors intent.
It would appear that the intent of the bill is to make Google pay local news outlets for using their news. That intent is entirely reasonable.
For example, the CBC article I quoted was reposted in it's entity on Bill Gates Microsoft News Network. That means they're supposed to pay the news outlet for doing that. Kinda makes sense. The fair use clause in copyright law means you are allowed to quote a news article without being charged with copyright violation. If I as a blogger were to reproduce an entire news article, that would be a violation of their copyright. If I quote an exert and link to the articel that would not.
Michael Geist is reporting that the emergence of generative artificial intelligence and its impact on the news business
already render the bill out of date. I have no idea what he's talking about but I do know that he is a smart guy. He's a lawyer and blogs about free speech.
Now there's a lot of talk about preserving Canadian content in the fine print of the bill. That could reduce or limit the news Canadians have access to which is obviously something Justin Trudeau desperately wants. He wants to ban Fox News which has already been hijacked by Blackrock and become as worthless as the other mainstream media outlets. The bottom line is that Justin Trudeau supports the partisan fake fact checkers and wants to control every possible news source you have access to. This is the text of the bill.
As Michael Geist pointed out, the Senate made two amendments which Justin Trudeau's house of cards has rejected.
Open Media is reporting that "The Online News Act, Bill C-18, is headed to Canada’s Senate— and without major cleanup, it could permanently compromise the independence and diversity of Canadian news.
But there’s still time to fix C-18 through amendments to the bill. If enough of us speak out, Senators will take action and fix this fundamentally flawed bill. Sign our petition right now to demand that the Senate fix Bill C-18 to support diverse and independent news!" (Justin Trudeau said no to the Senate's amendments)
The bottom line is that the freedom of the Press is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights. What it looks like Justin Trudeau is doing is demonetizing any news outlet he doesn't like. They're also going to down rank independent news from Google's search results which they are already doing. Google buries me. Tamara Lich already noticed Google is burying favorable news reports about her and promoting articles that trash her. That's what Google does.
Sue Gardner: Bill C-18 is Bad for Journalism and Bad for Canada
The Online News Act: A threat to Canadian News?