New Proposed California Law Moves Forward, Targeting Google and Facebook Payments to News Firms

New Proposed California Law Moves Forward, Targeting Google and Facebook Payments to News Firms

A new law making its way through the California Senate would require computer giants like Google and Facebook to pay news organizations for the stories that run on their platforms. This is a huge move that might change the way that digital corporations and the news industry interact.

The Journalism Preservation Act is a bold piece of legislation that will guarantee equitable pay to news organizations whose content attracts large amounts of traffic and money for these digital platforms.

The provisions of the bill

The Journalism Preservation Act suggests charging news organizations a “journalism usage fee” for the use of their stories and articles on major tech platforms.

This charge is meant to make up for the advertising money and engagement that news organizations bring in for the big internet companies through their content. The measure places a strong emphasis on maintaining high-caliber journalism, which has had significant financial difficulties in the digital era.

The measure stipulates that a collective bargaining process between the tech corporations and a consortium of news organizations would define the precise amount of the use fee and the means for its distribution. By working together, we hope to achieve a balance in talks and provide news organizations greater power over large internet companies.

Reasons for Sponsoring the Bill

The bill’s supporters contend that it is necessary to keep a strong and active press, which is vital to democracy because it informs the people and holds those in positions of authority accountable.

They draw attention to the financial difficulties that many news organizations, especially smaller, local ones, are facing as a result of the steep fall in advertising revenues brought about by the emergence of digital media.

New Proposed California Law Moves Forward, Targeting Google and Facebook Payments to News Firms

Image – AP News

“This legislation is about fairness and ensuring that those who produce the news are adequately compensated for their work,” said Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, the bill’s sponsor. It’s about maintaining journalism’s essential place in our society.”

Industry Reaction

Numerous news outlets and advocacy groups for journalism have expressed their strong support for the proposed legislation. They contend that tech companies have made significant financial gains from the dissemination and aggregation of news information, but have not done a good enough job of compensating the original authors.


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Nevertheless, leaders of the tech industry have also opposed the law. They argue that the bill might pose serious operational difficulties and have unforeseen repercussions, such as making news material on their platforms less accessible. Some contend that by expanding reading and driving traffic to news organizations’ websites, internet businesses already add value to the industry.

A Google representative stated, “While we support the goal of sustaining quality journalism, we believe that this bill, as currently drafted, could have adverse effects on the accessibility and distribution of news.”

Greater Consequences

Should the Journalism Preservation Act be approved, it might establish a standard for other nations and governments facing comparable problems. The law is modeled after Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code, which has facilitated the payment arrangements between digital giants like Google and Facebook and Australian news outlets.

The bill’s decision may have a significant impact on how media and the internet economy develop in the future. It brings up important issues regarding the proper distribution of income in an increasingly online society and the power dynamics between content producers and distributors in the digital era.

After clearing preliminary legislative obstacles, the Journalism Preservation Act will likely be discussed further in the upcoming months. Supporters and opponents of the law will surely continue to discuss and examine it as it moves forward.

Although the bill’s future is yet unknown, its advancement indicates that the necessity of addressing the news industry’s financial viability in the digital age is becoming increasingly apparent. It remains to be seen if this law will succeed or encounter major challenges, but it does represent an important discussion about the importance of journalism and the obligations of internet companies in the current media environment.

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