Washington – In response to Canada’s new law requiring online platforms to pay when sharing links to send traffic to news sites, the two U.S. companies targeted by this legislation have now both announced their intention to stop sharing Canadian news on their services in the market when the law takes effect.
The law introduces an obligation for selected online platforms to negotiate payment to Canadian media companies for the display of news content that media companies themselves post on platforms or choose to make available for indexing, including hyperlinks or snippets.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has released a White Paper detailing how the Online News Act would conflict with Canada’s international trade commitments to the United States under the U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:
“This is an outcome no one wants. This development shows that everyone loses if the Canadian market is not open for digital business. Online platforms cannot serve their customers, users and researchers lose useful tools to find and share information, and smaller news businesses lose the discoverability internet platforms offer and revenue from referral traffic.
“The Online News Act leaves much uncertainty around how Canada will interpret the law. Given this uncertainty, and significant risks relating to compliance, it is understandable why companies would leave the market.”
For additional background information, please see CCIA Vice President, Digital Trade Jonathan McHale’s blog post on the issues raised by these link taxes.