Google has joined other Silicon Valley tech giants in blocking access from its platform to Canadian news sites in response to a new law passed in Canada that requires large digital companies to pay for news content. The law is intended to support news producers in Canada, which have faced difficulties and the closure of numerous publications over the past decade.
Google has called the new law “unworkable” and expressed concern that structural problems with the legislation may not be resolved during its implementation. The company claims that the law will make it more difficult for Canadians to find news online and for journalists to reach their audience.
While users in Canada will still be able to access news sites by entering the web address directly into the browser or through apps, the blocking by Google and other technology companies will make it difficult to access news online.
Google had been negotiating with the government to find a solution, but the talks were unsuccessful, and the company decided to block Canadian news sites on its platforms. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, also announced last week that it would block Canadian news sites on its platforms.
The new Canadian law is based on Australia’s New Media Bargaining Code, which made Google and Meta pay for news content on their platforms.This law has been seen as a model for other countries in regulating the relationship between technology giants and the media. Agence France-Presse (AFP) signed an agreement with Google at the end of 2021 to pay royalties for news content sourced from the agency.