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Canada to follow Australia's lead in taxing Facebook for news links, gov't says they won't be intimidated by Facebook's threats

 

Pay up, Zuck: Canada allies with Australia in ‘battle’ against Facebook over news content

Quote

Following Australia’s lead, Canada has announced that it aims to force Facebook to pay for news content. Ottawa said it would not be intimidated if the tech giant seeks retribution.


Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said on Thursday that he would begin drafting legislation that could resemble Australia’s bid to make Facebook and other companies pay a licensing fee to feature domestically created content on their platforms.

“Canada is at the forefront of this battle... we are really among the first group of countries around the world that are doing this,” the minister told reporters. 

Quote

The minister predicted that soon more than a dozen countries could adopt rules requiring the Silicon Valley behemoth to pay for news content.

...

Guilbeault said that Facebook would be unable to take similar actions if more countries followed suit, describing the company’s approach to the issue as “totally unsustainable.”

 

As has been previously reported, Australia planned to implement a link tax to create revenue for its domestic news outlets whenever someone accessed an article of theirs through search engines and social media sites.

 

In reaction, Google and Facebook threatened to withdraw their services from Australia. Google backed-down after Microsoft made clear it was ready and eager to step-in and fill the search-engine void that would be left by Google. But I guess Microsoft didn't also have a Facebook replacement on-hand, and so Facebook didn't also back down.

 

In response to Australia moving ahead with drafting legislation to tax media-sharing sites, Facebook has blocked the sharing of any links from Australia.

 

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But this post claims it goes even further, saying that people from Australia can no longer share any news-related links, period. I wonder if that claim is accurate, or if she meant that they just can't share Australian news links / news links created by Australians even when they're hosted on a platform that is based outside of Australia.

 

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Canada's government had previously announced its intention to tax media links and that it was monitoring developments in France and Australia regarding securing compensation for domestic news outlets from media-sharing sites.

 

 

I think this is a mixed bag of negatives and positives. Taking revenue, and therefore power, away from tech giants who honestly don't deserve nearly what they've gained through their shady, exploitative, and manipulative business models is a good thing. But Australian and Canadian content disappearing from media sites is a bad thing. But then, if enough countries do this, so that media-sharing sites have no alternative but to allow their content, then that's a good thing. And if Facebook doesn't yield and it results in other platforms permanently taking-away Facebook's market share, I think that's also a good thing.

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I still don't really get it. Why should google pay news sites to have their links come up in the search results? Google is the reason for the majority of their traffic to begin with. Could google not just blacklist news sites so they don't come up? Can someone explain to me why this would make any sense? Sounds to me like the news sites "biting the hand that's feeing them".

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Sounds pretty stupid to me, not being allowed to post a link of something, there don't seem to be any good intentions behind it, mostly greed, just a way for news outlets to squeeze some money out of companies. Also who's to say that people can't circumvent this by using different URLs that take you to a website that then takes you to a news website.

I don't think google should have backed down, if anything they should have stepped up. I mean after all they can just black list those websites and then have other, smaller news outlets gain popularity and replace them.

 

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7 minutes ago, Stahlmann said:

I still don't really get it. Why should google pay news sites to have their links come up in the search results? Google is the reason for the majority of their traffic to begin with. Could google not just blacklist news sites so they don't come up? Can someone explain to me why this would make any sense? Sounds to me like the news sites "biting the hand that's feeing them".

Google can do that, and Google threatened to do that. In response, Microsoft said they support Australia's demand for compensation and said they would be happy to fill the space left by Google. After that, Google backed-down on its threat.

 

Microsoft says it would never ‘threaten to leave’ Australia after Google said it could withdraw search engine

 

Microsoft also wants the US to adopt the same link-tax plan as Australia.

 

Microsoft tells Biden administration to adopt Australia’s pay-for-news plan

Microsoft’s Endorsement of Australia’s Proposal on Technology and the News

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7 minutes ago, Delicieuxz said:

Google can do that, and Google threatened to do that. In response, Microsoft said they support Australia's demand for compensation and said they would be happy to fill the space left by Google. After that, Google backed-down on its threat.

 

Microsoft says it would never ‘threaten to leave’ Australia after Google said it could withdraw search engine

 

Microsoft also wants the US to adopt the same link-tax plan as Australia.

 

Microsoft tells Biden administration to adopt Australia’s pay-for-news plan

That part i understood, but i can't wrap around on how this makes any sense. Why would Microsoft be willing to take this over and just pay the news outlets? Logic tells me it should be the other way around. Outlets paying google or bing to bring them up more frequently. Yes, i know these tech giants have enough money but it just doesn't make sense that anyone would "tax" someone who brings more traffic to your site.

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Its ok they can stop all service to Australia and Canada and everybody wins

 

No I dont think news companies are right to demand payment from the hands that feed them in the first place

 

No I dont like Facebook. No one should use Facebook

 

And Microshit just wants the more successful search engines/services to take a hit so that they can push their own shitty search engine and services

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8 minutes ago, Stahlmann said:

That part i understood, but i can't wrap around on how this makes any sense. Why would Microsoft be willing to take this over and just pay the news outlets? Logic tells me it should be the other way around. Outlets paying google or bing to bring them up more frequently. Yes, i know these tech giants have enough money but it just doesn't make sense that anyone would "tax" someone who brings more traffic to your site.

Microsoft might be on-board because the move harms their competitors and stands to gain Microsoft a larger market share if platforms opt to block Australian or other countries' content.

 

As the Register article notes:

Quote

But Google has fired back with a statement asserting that Microsoft’s motives are impure. “Of course they'd be eager to impose an unworkable levy on a rival and increase their market share,” wrote Kent Walker, Google’s chief legal officer.

 

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Facebook get revenue from advertising on its platform, and are 'robbing' the media of revenue if people get their news via Facebook, but the media have to put their news there to get coverage. If all news sources worldwide decided to stop publishing on FB, it would lose a huge chunk of advertising revenue. This is just the culmination of a 20 year decline in news revenue as more people go online.

 

Now if the media don't get paid, they die as an industry. And then it comes down to the media companies that can survive (i.e. the ones backed by big money ... or the ones paid for by moguls or political groups). Look at it this way.

 

That's how I see it, anyway. If some reduce the argument of 'impartial media' down to simple capitalism in a world where everyone wants their news for free...it won't end well. In addition, FB has had a past record of not controlling blatant misinformation, posing as real news.

 

If the result of this are news services that get their revenue based on quality of content and output, rather than quantity of ads or relationships with political parties or groups, it can't be bad. It might result in a few less tabloids and a few more boring news sites, but if accurate, it's a better situation.

 

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The way FB censoring is going it will just drive people to other platforms... 

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In my country there is a similar law,

but it only applies to news websites (such as Google News,MSN News,etc) that copy paste-parts of articles or whole articles (Which brings them revenue while the news outlet doesn't get a dime for it's own work)

 

But the law in Australia is at larger scale,and applies to more types of websites.

 

Google blocked Google News in my country due to the law.

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Oh for the love of...
 

I was hoping my country would be smarter than that... But apparently, we're not.

If you put your links on facebook, willingly, don't expect to be paid for putting them there as well. That's just not how it works. If their entire article can be summarized by the title of the link so people don't bother clicking on it to view their ads, that's on them.

Facebook can and should, just get rid of all news at this point. THEY don't need news link to survive. It IS sustainable even without the news.

These politicians need to see reality in the face, the ones who won't survive this are the medias, because they never adapted to the "new way of providing information" that is the Internet. Not Facebook.

 

I swear, the medias are in bed with the gov for them to even think a "link tax" is appropriate. Just like how we've been keeping newspaper on life support for years now and paying ridiculous amount of money to news orgs. ... And for what? Outdated news? Tons of paper wasted because not everyone recycles the damn thing?

 

Edit

Oh and, another source 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-next-country-facebook-news-1.5919665

Quote

Last year, Canadian media organizations warned of a potential market failure without government action. They said the Australian approach would permit publishers to recover $620 million a year. Without action, they warned, Canada would lose 700 print journalism jobs out of 3,100 total.

OF COURSE IT WAS ABOUT FUCKING NEWSPAPERS.

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2 hours ago, TetraSky said:

Canada would lose 700 print journalism jobs out of 3,100 total

Good. Journalism died the moment they pushed their focus toward rage bait

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6 hours ago, Stahlmann said:

I still don't really get it. Why should google pay news sites to have their links come up in the search results? Google is the reason for the majority of their traffic to begin with. Could google not just blacklist news sites so they don't come up? Can someone explain to me why this would make any sense? Sounds to me like the news sites "biting the hand that's feeing them".

They could easily just remove websites from their crawler. Then it just wouldn't come up when people are searching for something that said webpage or news site posted.

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It's a sad state when so many people get their news from Facebook that this has to happen.

6 hours ago, camieabz said:

 

 

Now if the media don't get paid, they die as an industry. And then it comes down to the media companies that can survive (i.e. the ones backed by big money ... or the ones paid for by moguls or political groups). Look at it this way.

 

Hopefully people won't turn to Karen from Facebook for their news!

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50 minutes ago, RorzNZ said:

It's a sad state when so many people get their news from Facebook that this has to happen.

Hopefully people won't turn to Karen from Facebook for their news!

We wouldn't really be in this situation if the major media players didn't decide that "Narrative" trumps "News Information" a rather long time ago. Once it became "all of the information that we want you to believe", it was writing on the wall for the industry. It doesn't help it basically has always been propped up by other ventures. Newspapers were, for the most part, classified listings with some current events & news getting in the way. That's what paid the bills, not the advertising space or the coverage. It was the classified ads. Craigslist basically ended a 250+ year old industry in a matter of months in the late 90s.

 

Once you lose institutional authenticity, people fall back to the "trusted sources" approach, which is people they know. That's why Facebook got so big. It's also why we're talking about "link taxes", as the Headline is the major news content. The Media companies actually aren't wrong about what's going on, as the link to the sources is the primary information point & thus that which is of the most value.

 

I'm fully onboard with letting it all burn and watching the bonfire. So I think this is great.

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I couldn't be any more indifferent on this topic.

 

On the one hand I don't think Facebook should have to pay for simply linking to public URLs, on the other hand its Facebook and if this hurts the platform in any way I'm happy so........

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7 hours ago, huilun02 said:

Its ok they can stop all service to Australia and Canada and everybody wins

 

No I dont think news companies are right to demand payment from the hands that feed them in the first place

 

No I dont like Facebook. No one should use Facebook

 

And Microshit just wants the more successful search engines/services to take a hit so that they can push their own shitty search engine and services

Somebody has to be the search engine. And Microsoft wants to be the one with that search engine.

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7 hours ago, camieabz said:

If the result of this are news services that get their revenue based on quality of content and output, rather than quantity of ads or relationships with political parties or groups, it can't be bad. It might result in a few less tabloids and a few more boring news sites, but if accurate, it's a better situation.

That's not whats happening. They are literally demanding these companies pay them money for linking to them to drive traffic to their sites. They want money for doing nothing. It would be like me charging google maps to provide directions to my business.

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Find it more concerning people using Facebook as a news source lol.

Don’t use Facebook don’t use google. duck duck go here.

 

 Understand why they are trying to charge but thinking of the implications after it’s passed what else will be impacted by this. I agree for a period of time someone’s news article that’s being recycled by these tycoons should be charged maybe for the first 24 hours. But you want that linking to be free after that so you can search it. Permanent charging sounds outrageous. Search engines would be dead.

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2 hours ago, Lurick said:

They want money for doing nothing. 

actually Google is the one doing 'nothing' except putting a link up... the actual work is done at where they link to (news sites) 

 

 

1 hour ago, Maticks said:

duck duck go here.

it's good for 5 minutes then it stops finding relevant stuff. better off with Bing or yahoo imo! 

 

 

 

I'm actually one of those people who thinks that anonymity is overrated. Some people confuse privacy and anonymity and think they go hand in hand, and that protecting privacy means that you need to protect anonymity. I think that's wrong. Anonymity is important if you're a whistle-blower, but if you cannot prove your identity, your crazy rant on some social-media platform shouldn't be visible, and you shouldn't be able to share it or like it.

 

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6 minutes ago, Mark Kaine said:

actually Google is the one doing 'nothing' except putting a link up... the actual work is done at where they link to (news sites)

You mean like aggregating information, indexing it, and returning those links to people so traffic to the destination site which displays ads can generate revenue based on the display of such ads?

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Makes no sense. 

Facebook and Google push a lot of traffic to all these outlets, and the outlets know this. The fact they want to double dip means that their outfits aren't profitable enough, and that engagement isn't as high as they want it.

While I don't really utilize Facebook for news, I do use Google News; what it has over singular outlets is that its algorithm knows my preferences and I get varied stories from a lot more sites than I'd ever have as top-of-mind or interest to singularly peruse. 

If Canada is short-sighted enough to actually make this a reality, I'll probably have to go back to RSS feeds for aggregation.

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6 hours ago, Lurick said:

That's not whats happening. They are literally demanding these companies pay them money for linking to them to drive traffic to their sites. They want money for doing nothing. It would be like me charging google maps to provide directions to my business.

Well the one hope I have if journalism is no longer so desperate for cash that they are willing to do ANYTHING, which they do now, that they can return to delivering on quality journalism. Not that I think this will change that, but better funding would help.

 

On the other hand I don't think news sources should be or have to be primarily focused on profit making and profitability because that does nothing but create an environment where facts no longer matter and opinions and public support are king, that ain't news.

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What happens when news organizations continue to raise rates each year? This is what happens between the content providers (Networks) and the Cable Co's. You see that customers get the screwgie each year with rate increases. You cant blame the cable co because the networks want more money. Literally back in the day Fox and Cablevision I believe it was were working out a new contract. Fox wanted DOUBLE what they were getting for each sub. 

 

So either services like Google and Facebook will have to charge users, OR tell the news agencies to screw off. Seeing how Google search is like the most popular in the world and Facebook is one of the largest social networks, I have a feeling if both were to remove links and stopped showing content from these companies, the news companies would be hurting. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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If you link to an article without paying those who did the work, you should be taxed to ensure that the money does go to them. Otherwise, we're just letting FOX, CNN, Facebook, and Twitter drain the coffers of independent journalists. Give credit to the studio that put their money into investigating stories and events. 

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