Front Burner

Will Canada make web giants pay for news?

A Liberal bill would make some online platforms pay news outlets for posting their content – but will it help or hurt our ability to get news?
A bearded man in a suit stands and speaks.
Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez stands during question period on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Bill C-18 would require big digital platforms like Facebook and Google to pay Canadian media outlets for posting or linking to their news content. 

According to Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, the measures would fairly compensate Canadian media, keeping journalism healthy and strengthening democracy. According to critics, the bill would line the pockets of big broadcasters and threaten freedom of expression online. 

And as for platforms like Facebook – its parent company Meta has threatened to remove news content in Canada altogether. 

Today on Front Burner, a conversation with University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist about why he believes this bill could harm both the internet and the media for Canadians.

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