[Ad] Trigger the CBC: Join the Broadcasters Circle today
BILL C-18: Mainstream media could see colossal payday

Keean Bexte

April 7, 2022

Bill C-18, the Online News Act, could see mainstream news organizations, including the CBC, receiving tens of millions of dollars from social media giants simply for having links shared on their platforms.

If passed, Bill C-18 will enable the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to force social media companies, such as Meta (Facebook), Google, and possibly Twitter, to pay Canadian news outlets for ad revenues generated by their content being shared and viewed.

And to say Bill C-18 is broad in what qualifies as being deserving of compensation is an understatement. Social media companies could be forced to pay up when an individual merely clicks a news link on their site.

“Because there’s a value to that. If you click on the link and go to the news, there’s a value to that,” says Liberal Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who proposed the legislation.

Of course, this in itself brings up many concerns about Internet regulation and censorship. When Australia proposed similar legislation last year, Facebook decided to cut their losses and blocked Australians from sharing or viewing news content.

After all, if a private individual posts a news link and another private individual clicks it, how is Facebook, not the private individual, responsible for paying a portion of what revenue was generated? Facebook — which is not run by heroes by any means — merely provided the platform; they didn’t post the link.

Additionally, as University of Ottawa Law Professor Michael Geist explains, if passed, the Bill will grant “exceptional new powers to the CRTC,” including which news organizations qualify as “eligible news businesses” deemed worthy of receiving funding from content shared on social media that generates revenue for the companies.

“On top of that, the CRTC will also create a code of conduct, implement the code, and wield penalty powers for failure to comply. Far from a hands-off approach, the CRTC will instantly become the most powerful market regulator of the news sector in Canada,” Geist writes.

The Bill’s stated purpose is supposedly to “regulate digital news intermediaries with a view to enhancing fairness in the Canadian digital news marketplace and contributing to its sustainability, including the sustainability of independent local news businesses.”

However, the Bill has anti-competition written all over it.

As noted by Blacklock’s Reporter, the CBC — which the Bill mentions by name — will “be the largest beneficiary” of the Bill, as the federally-funded news outlet receives the most traffic on social media out of all news organizations, thanks in large part to their receiving over $1 billion in federal funding. That’s a big budget for running ads and paying to boost your content. As it stands, they could receive over $54 million per year based on their in-house digital advertising revenue estimates.

The CBC is, of course, openly giddy about the prospect of receiving more money and that independent media will have to work that much harder.

“This legislation is an important step in ensuring fair compensation for news content produced by CBC/Radio-Canada and supported by Canadians,” said CBC spokesperson Leon Mar.

Share this story

Help Keep your News Free

Share this story

It's crucial we stay in touch

Big Tech wants to censor us, that’s why you need to stay in touch.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE...

Trending News

According to a new Angus Reid poll, only 8% of Canadians strongly approve of Justin Trudeau, while 41% strongly disapprove of him as Prime Minister.

Keean Bexte

June 27, 2022

Trending News

Moments after the American Supreme Court overturned Roe. V. Wade (effectively making abortion a State issue), Canadian Liberals jumped at the opportunity to exploit it for their own political gain. 

Mike Campbell

June 24, 2022

Trending News

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam is raking in the big bucks after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau awarded her with a 22% pay raise this week.

TCS Wire

June 23, 2022

Trending News

While Canadians struggle to pay their bills and feed their families due to out-of-control inflation, Trudeau announced in Rwanda that he would spend $250 million in taxpayer money to address global food security, primarily in African countries.

Keean Bexte

June 23, 2022

Trending News

According to the latest CMHC report, Canada is on track to be 3.5 million housing units short by 2030 and will need to more than double the house-building rate to keep up with demand.

TCS Wire

June 23, 2022

Trending News

While politicians and public figures continue to praise the COVID vaccine (after catching COVID), only 8% of the COVID deaths in Canada between May 22 and June 5 were among unvaccinated individuals — a disproportionately low figure.

Mike Campbell

June 22, 2022

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.