Bay Area Rep. Bill Aims to Get Big Tech to Issue News Payouts – Orange County Register

Newsrooms across the country withered while producing stories at great cost Enriching Big Tech Companies That Don’t Pay to share them on the platform.

Despite bipartisan support, attempts to get these companies to share advertising dollars with news publishers have been sporadic in Congress.

A Bay Area California legislator is now pushing a state-specific bill that uses a different approach to achieve the same goal.

read more: Law Forces Big Tech to Pay Publishers for Online News ‘Blown Up’ by Censorship Reform

“California has lost more than 100 newspapers in the last decade,” said Congressman Buffy Wicks, a Democrat from Oakland who plans to introduce California’s Protect Journalism Act next week. . “Our constitution-makers understood the importance of press freedom. It’s relevant to me from a point of view.”

According to the California News Publishers Association, which sponsored Congressional Bill 886 and belongs to the Southern California News Group, 52% of Californians get their news from Facebook and 49% from Google. These two Silicon Valley companies (divisions of Meta Platforms and Alphabet Inc. respectively) eat up his 60% of all digital ad spend thanks to their ability to collect consumer data.

According to Mr. Wicks’ bill, newspaper advertising has fallen 66% over the past decade, and newsroom staff has fallen 44%.

Here’s her bill Similar Journalism Competition and Preservation Act in Congress collapsed in Decembera bill introduced by Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy.

Related: Facebook threatens to remove all news content if law forced to pay local media is passed

federal bill It would have waived its antitrust regulations so that news media could participate in negotiating revenue-sharing agreements with platform content providers such as Facebook and Google. Similar laws have been introduced abroad in Spain and Australia and are known as “link taxes”.

But the bipartisan support, a rarity in today’s moment of political division, wasn’t enough to overcome concerns beyond just Google. and facebookbut from groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Cato Institute.

Critics argued federal bill would stifle competition while boosting legacy media companies From smaller, more innovative news outletsThe ACLU argued that technology companies could be forced to share content on their sites that violates standards.

The California bill takes a different approach. Because states cannot provide exemptions from federal antitrust laws, AB 886 allows “journalism royalties” to be paid directly to publishers based on the amount of advertising revenue a platform receives for displaying the content of its publications. We oblige tech platforms to indemnify.

CNPA General Counsel Brittney Barsotti said: “This ensures that all publishers producing news content in California, regardless of size, are fairly compensated when their content is used by big tech. Guaranteed.

The proposed bill would “allow print, broadcast, or digital news companies to ensure fair compensation for journalism, directing the flow of subscription fees and advertising dollars to the small, ethnically owned It will help us get back to our publishers,” said Barsotti.

“We need to figure out through the policy process” what the formula for compensating the news media will look like, Wicks said.

Wicks also addresses another argument against federal bill: Owners of large news organizations can boost their profits without spending more money on their newsrooms. Her bill requires the news publisher to spend 70% of her earnings under its provisions on journalists and news production.

The measure would apply to online platforms with at least 50 million monthly active users in the United States or a net annual sales or market capitalization greater than $550 billion. These platforms are prohibited from retaliating against publishers seeking compensation under the Act by suppressing or refusing to provide links to news content.

Daniel Coffey, executive vice president and general counsel for the News Media Alliance, which represents 2,000 news outlets around the world, said similar legislation has already paid off overseas, with newsrooms increasing by 30 percent in some cases. I said yes.

“It absolutely worked,” said Coffey. “The newsroom is healthier in these areas.”

It’s unclear whether the state bill will be sufficient to overcome expected opposition. Facebook and Google did not respond to requests for comment.

But Wicks said that while California is home to the tech industry and “a big part of our economy,” it has led the way to success with important regulations that the industry strongly opposes, especially around privacy. said.

“Politically,” Wicks said, “I think we have a chance.” Bay Area Rep. Bill Aims to Get Big Tech to Issue News Payouts – Orange County Register

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