Sydney, Australia, Dec 5 (EFE).- The New Zealand government is set to propose a law requiring large technological platforms like Google and Meta (Facebook) to pay media companies for publishing and sharing their news, like they do in Australia and Canada.
“It’s not fair that the big digital platforms like Google and Meta get to host and share local news for free. It costs to produce the news and it’s only fair they pay,” Broadcasting Minister Willie Jackson said in a statement overnight.
Jackson confirmed that if the law were to come into effect, it would bring in about NZ$30 million ($19.3 million) to the local market.
With the proposal, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government also wants to address the imbalance in negotiation power in order to voluntarily come to an agreement regarding payment for news content that favors tech giants and big media companies.
“While some deals have been reached voluntarily, small regional, rural, Maori and Pacific and ethnic media outlets are likely to miss out, so this is about ensuring everyone gets a fair go,” Jackson added.
Moreover, the project is also considering allowing local media outlets, including small regional and community newspapers to form collectives without needing the Commerce Commission’s approval to negotiate huge deals with big online platforms.
This way, digital platforms will have a period of three to six months to enter into voluntary negotiations before the law is imposed.
According to Jackson, the blow to media revenue – due to increased advertising investments in online platforms – affects the quality of local content, the capacity to produce news, and job security of the journalists.
Hence, he underlined that those who benefit from the content should pay for it.
New Zealand’s draft proposal is inspired by similar laws in Australia and Canada, as well as initiatives in this direction taken in the United Kingdom and the European Union.
In March last year, Australia introduced a law requiring big online platforms such as Google and Facebook to strike a deal with local outlets, a move seen as a success by the country’s government. EFE