In a move reflecting the global trend of holding tech giants accountable for news content, the Canadian regulatory authority responsible for implementing the country’s Online News Act has announced plans to establish a negotiation framework between news organizations and internet behemoths. The process is set to begin in the upcoming autumn, with the goal of initiating compulsory bargaining by early 2025.
Although Canada’s Online News Act was passed into law in June, it has not yet been enforced. Notably, industry leaders such as Alphabet’s Google and Meta’s Facebook have raised concerns about the practicality of the law for their respective businesses. As a result, Meta has already ceased the sharing of news content on its platforms, and Google intends to exclude news from its search results in Canada prior to the law’s activation.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), assigned with finalizing the regulatory framework, will take on the role of overseeing negotiations between Canadian news publishers and online platforms. As part of their process, the CRTC will conduct a public consultation during the autumn season, as outlined in their official statement. The recruitment of impartial arbitrators is slated for the following year.
Anticipating a significant development, the CRTC plans to release the framework and a code of conduct for the Online News Act in the summer of 2024. This sets the stage for the initiation of mandatory bargaining, contingent upon the establishment of qualified news organizations and arbitrators by the beginning of 2025.