Google says it will start blocking Canadian news stories in response to new law

Google and Meta announced they will block Canadian news articles in response to a new law that requires tech companies to pay publishers for content.

The new law: The Online News Act was passed last week in Canada, compelling tech companies to negotiate compensation deals with news organizations for distributing news.
* Once the law is in effect, Google and Meta have stated they will begin removing news articles by Canadian publishers from their services in the country.
* The law is expected to result in a cash injection of about $329 million into the Canadian news industry.

Tech and news dynamics: Google and Meta argue that they benefit news companies by driving web traffic to their sites.
* Google does not see news as essential to its services and along with Meta, decided it is easier to block links to news articles than to pay news organizations.
* However, critics argue that blocking news articles will impact civil society and public understanding, and have also questioned the transparency over who would receive the cash benefits from tech companies.

International precedents: A similar law has been implemented in Australia, leading to Meta blocking news articles for a week.
* After tense negotiations, Meta and Google struck deals with the Australian news publishers.
* A similar bill is also in progress in California, inducing similar threats of a blackout by the tech industry.

Public commentary: Many major publishers support the new law but there has been skepticism from outside media observers.
* Tech writer Casey Newton, said a tax on displaying links would “effectively break the internet” if applied to the rest of the web, while others fear that disinformation sites could potentially exploit the programs.

View original article on NPR

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