Canadian lawmakers have passed the Online News Act, which would require tech companies like Google and Meta (formerly Facebook) to pay news publishers for content. In response, both Google and Meta have announced plans to block news for Canadian users. They argue that the legislation is unworkable and have concerns about forced payment for links and unlimited financial liability. The situation mirrors a similar regulatory saga that took place in Australia, where negotiations eventually led to commercial agreements between tech companies and news producers. However, experts caution that the outcomes in Australia and Canada may differ due to factors such as geography, financial situations of tech companies, and the decision-making process involved.

The dispute highlights the challenge governments face in regulating powerful tech companies and leveling the playing field. The Canadian government believes the law addresses the power of big tech, while the companies believe they should not have to pay for news. Both sides have much at stake, with Meta wanting to set a precedent for regulations it will tolerate and Google facing a difficult choice of agreeing to flawed legislation or decreasing the value of its own service. The government has expressed willingness to support news producers, but the standoff between the companies and the government is expected to continue, potentially impacting the global discussion on making tech companies pay for news.

Summary from an article by Holly McKenzie-Sutter, BNN Bloomberg CTV News. Published Monday, July 3, 2023 8:00AM EDT. Last Updated Monday, July 3, 2023 8:00AM EDT.

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