WHEREAS, the media industry is fundamental to social development, democracy and the common good, and during the Covid-19 pandemic the need to stimulate, promote and guarantee its economic sustainability has been universally acknowledged
WHEREAS, the media outlets' sustainability crisis has been ongoing and deepening for more than two decades due to the decline in advertising revenues - which was absorbed by the technological intermediaries that concentrate more than 80% of global digital advertising- the atomization of audiences and the disruption brought about by new technologies – resulting in the closure of vital media outlets operating at the local community level
WHEREAS, the efforts to balance this asymmetry -to prevent certain players from benefiting at the expense of the work of others- have been underway for several years. That in addressing it, European countries and the European Union itself were pioneers – In 2018, Parliament approved a Directive requiring platforms to compensate for the use of the "intellectual rights" of news media. That then, several countries began to pass laws to regulate that Directive. That, nevertheless, the attempts to enforce this right were met with delaying tactics and disparities in bargaining power between the parties – which delayed the agreements and reduced the level of proportionality regarding the value generated by the media
WHEREAS, after two years of investigations on the dominant position of global technology companies in the communications market, on February 25, Australia passed a law called the Media and Digital Platforms Negotiation Code, which establishes mandatory arbitration mechanisms - for individuals or groups - between digital platforms and news media, to ensure that platforms share with news media the benefits originating from the use of web content
WHEREAS, the Canadian government is preparing a bill along the lines of the Australian law, and several European media associations (European Magazine Media Association EMMA; European Newspaper Publisher's Association, ENPA; European Publisher's Council, EPC, and News Media Europe, NME) have asked the European Union to introduce a similar arbitration mechanism in its future legislation on digital services; and that in the United States, Media Alliance seeks authorization from the US Congress to negotiate directly with platforms on behalf of nearly 2,000 media outlets
WHEREAS, the initiatives of companies such as Google and Facebook to compensate the media for content licensing are valuable
WHEREAS, these initiatives do not constitute the comprehensive, adequate and definitive solution required by the news media industry to compensate distortions and restore balance to the ecosystem - based on the understanding that compensation should not be a voluntary or unilateral action, but rather the exercising of a universal, pre-existing and proportional right of publishers and owners of monetized content
WHEREAS, Article 12 of the Salta Declaration on Principles of Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age states: "Players in the digital ecosystem should achieve an appropriate balance between freedom of expression, copyright and intellectual property, as well as regarding the benefits that may be generated by content in said ecosystem. They should also avoid abusive practices that may affect competition, innovation and the free flow of information."
THE IAPA MID-YEAR MEETING RESOLVES
To urge governments to quickly address the vital issue of the value of journalistic content used on digital platforms - ensuring conditions for fair and reasonable remuneration by the latter.
To call on all players in the digital ecosystem -governments, organizations, media outlets and digital platforms- to seek an appropriate legal and economic balance between freedom of expression, copyright and antitrust - and with regard to the benefits that may be generated by content in the digital ecosystem.
To promote a healthy and balanced digital ecosystem, in which the opacity of algorithms does not end up deciding what information is relevant for a person or a society - and where disinformation can be combated with professional and quality journalism.