Miami (June 30, 2023) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) considered inappropriate and disproportionate the reaction of the Google and Meta platforms to cease their news services in Canada. The decision of both companies was in response to the approval of a law that obliges them to negotiate with the media to pay for the use of the news content they generate and distribute.
The president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, expressed: "We expect a prompt reconsideration by the digital platforms. The measure affects not only the media but also freedom of expression and the right of Canadians to access reliable information."
Jornet, the Argentine newspaper La Voz del Interior editor, said that the IAPA has consistently supported legislation favoring intellectual property rights. "For platforms to pay a fair and reasonable price to the media for the content they create is one of the best ways to support local journalism in our countries."
"The response to a legislation that raises the search for agreements should be dialogue, not an information blackout that dumps the consequences on the community," said Jornet.
In reaction to the approval of the C-18 in Canada, similar to another approved in Australia in 2021, Google said it would stop offering links to news in Canada. Google would also cancel all agreements with local media. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, had warned that it would permanently stop news content in Canada.
The "Online News Act" law was approved on June 22, 2023. It establishes collective and voluntary negotiations between media managers and digital platforms so that they pay for news content.
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.