Canada’s shakedown of Big Tech
MacDonald-Laurier Institute: 'This is a framework so flawed — so entirely without rational merit — that it could drive news organizations to externally post — Ka-ching! — as much as they can while incenting the subjects of this holdup — the web giants — to restrict the number of news links permitted. In other words, once the dust settles, citizens may very well get less access to news via social media — if they get any at all. Given the international implications, this pay-just-because-we-say-so concept sets a precedent social media companies are unlikely to concede without a fight. Which I’m sure is also not what publishers who need money now and not five years from now had in mind.
'At least those publishers who are comfortable taking money or legislative favours from government. Not all are, and C-18 of course punishes them but that, too, is for another day. Bill C-18’s backers insist its goal is the preservation of a free and independent press. It’s difficult to see that outcome coming from legislation that could make Canada’s news industry permanently dependent not on readers but upon the ongoing prosperity of American multinationals in dominant market positions. Oh, and making sure they are looked upon kindly by the CRTC’s nine cabinet appointees — Canada’s newest, biggest and baddest news business regulators.'