Canada’s News Media Lobby Is Promoting Its Ill-Advised Digital Link Licensing Plan on Facebook

Michael Geist:

Last week, News Media Canada, the lobby group representing the major Canadian news media publishers, released a report calling for the creation of a government digital media regulatory agency that would have the power to establish mandated payments for linking to news articles on social media site, establish what content is prioritized on those sites, and potentially issue fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars. As I noted in my review of the report, it inaccurately describes the proposed Australian approach upon which it is modelled, avoids acknowledging that payments would be for links, and would open the door to hundreds of millions on tariff retaliation by the US under the USMCA.

Like the linking schemes in Australia and France, this appears to be terribly ill-advised. I might understand rules structured for special formats like AMP, or perhaps compensation for answers scraped by features like Google’s snippets. But just linking — the practice of encouraging someone to visit the source? Ridiculous.