Will Canadian legislation differ from Australia’s news media bargaining code?

A new piece published by Press Gazette looks at possible similarities and differences that could come to bear in Canada’s forthcoming Online News Act and Australia’s media bargaining code.

While both pieces of legislation would compel Tech Giants like Google and Meta to agree licensing deals for the online content of broadcasters as well as written news publishers, Pablo Rodriguez, the minister of Canadian Heritage, has stressed some differences, too. These include:

● Canada’s government wants there to be “more transparency” around big tech-media deals than is the case in Australia

● Canada’s system will be overseen by a regulator that will have objective criteria to decide which companies should be affected by Online News Act rules

● Unlike in Australia, the Canadian government will not play a role in “designating” platforms that are subject to the rules

● As in Australia, news companies will be given collective bargaining rights to allow them to negotiate with Google and Meta in groups

● Google and Meta will be judged by their deals with Canadian news companies large and small – they must “contribute to the sustainability, the existence, of a free, independent press”.

Press Gazette previously reported that Canadian news publishers expected the law to result in the tech giants paying them up to $150-million per year. Updated analysis suggests that could be a low estimate.