Today's discussion:

The government surrenders to reality with rewritten Online News Act—and pleases no one

Media executives who once campaigned for the Online News Act with sugar-plum visions of Big Tech cash dancing in their heads were left to deal with some pretty serious lumps of coal, only securing $100 million from Google. But with the shakedown of Meta and Google not going as planned, the government is now eyeing other lucrative targets in Spotify, Disney+, and Netflix.

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The Hub Staff

“The Act was rooted in the make-believe premise that “web giants” were profiting from “stealing” news. Legislation was designed on that basis to force Big Tech to “negotiate” commercial deals and share those profits with all news organizations.

In the end, as Michael Geist has detailed, that charade of “compensation” was dropped as the government, desperately afraid Google would follow Meta’s lead, posted regulations that essentially rewrote the Act to suit the search engine and, as an aside, puzzle lawyers.”

What are your thoughts on the point that Peter Menzies makes on this change in language and what was changed about the Act to reflect something Google would agree to?

19th December 2023 at 7:47 am
RJKWells

First there was the fallacy that Canada could somehow confront the existential threat of climate change by banning plastic straws and bags and handing billions of our money over to battery makers.

Then there was the charade of summoning food company executives before a parliamentary committee for a public spanking to explain themselves and demand changes to the high prices on grocery shelves that Ottawa caused. Did anyone seriously believe that the price of turkey would magically come down in time for Thanksgiving?

And now it’s the humiliation of dismounting their high horse after the debacle of trying to squeeze “web giants” in generously funding the media, only to end up with a paltry sum from one, which, to them, amounts to a rounding error.

Despite the failure of its ‘101 Dalmatians’ approach in trying to save all the puppies, the Liberals naively roll along in the belief there isn’t any problem in the market that can be solved through their unique brand government meddling. What’s more surprising is the willingness of many across the country to go along with that and ask them for more.

19th December 2023 at 9:27 am
Paul H.

As you say, “it’s the willingness of many across the country to go along”. Pollsters tell us that Canadians want change but they forget that many Canadians are tied down by the Liberal’s social strings. I worry these same Canadians will renege at the last minute when they step into the polling booth.

19th December 2023 at 4:35 pm
RJKWells

I believe we’re about to enter the same point we found ourselves in during the 1990’s when foreign lenders signaled ‘no more’ or ‘pay more if you want more,’ forcing the Chrétien Government into some rather stringent belt tightening measures.

Liberals may try to keep the population tied down to the social strings (hooks) they laid out for them to swallow, but the free ride will soon be over. My hope is that the backlash directed at the Harris Government when enacting their much needed austerity measures won’t be heaped on a future Poilievre Government by the media and bureaucratic elites as they begin cleaning the mess that the NDP/Liberal Coalition has left them.

19th December 2023 at 6:04 pm
Paul H

I hope you are right.

19th December 2023 at 6:31 pm
Bruce Westmoreland

Exactly! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

19th December 2023 at 10:53 am
Kim

I see two problems. Left leaning governments have never seen a tax they don’t like. Our mews media has caused its own demise with a combination of outright lies and slanted journalism.

19th December 2023 at 8:59 am
Peter Byrne

Hopefully ‘mews’ is not a typo but an intended descriptive. It fits perfectly!

19th December 2023 at 1:18 pm
Peter Byrne

None of this should come as a surprise. Every fascist government in history has used this same strategy: Control the Media, Control the Message, Take away their Guns, Increase gov’t Welfare programs to de-incentivize productivity and self-reliance. Karl Marx would be proud.

19th December 2023 at 1:17 pm
Lynne Tuff

What is with this dictatorship we find ourselves in today. This liberal government is pushing their power to the umpth degree,We brought this on ourselves by not holding the government to account and demanding they have the vote of our MP’s and the Senate before they can meddle with our freedoms.
The PM in Canada holds far too much power, we have to have the right to impeach.

19th December 2023 at 7:33 pm