Google threatens to cut off news after California proposes paying media outlets

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Google says it will commencement removing links to California news websites successful a “short word trial for a mini percent of California users.” The move is successful consequence to nan pending California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), which would require Google to salary a interest for linking Californians to news articles.

“If passed, CJPA whitethorn consequence successful important changes to nan services we tin connection Californians and nan postulation we tin supply to California publishers,” Jaffer Zaidi, Google VP of world news partnerships, wrote successful a blog post announcing nan decision. “The testing process involves removing links to California news websites, perchance covered by CJPA, to measurement nan effect of nan authorities connected our merchandise experience.”

Zaidi adds that Google will besides region “further investments successful nan California news ecosystem,” referring to initiatives for illustration Google News Showcase, merchandise and licensing programs for news organizations, and nan Google News Initiative.

The conflict centers connected Google’s effect connected journalism. As it stands, Google (as good arsenic Meta) receives a overmuch larger trim of online advertizing than publishers. An Electronic Frontier Foundation report notes that half of each advertisement dollar gets eaten up by fees, while subscriptions are taxable to app shop taxes.

Supporters reason nan California measure gives publishers leverage to make profit sharing much equitable. Google alleges that it already drives postulation to publishers and that this benignant of authorities favors media conglomerates astatine nan consequence of further hollowing retired section papers.

Complicating matters, it’s difficult to put a number connected really overmuch money Google makes from news. Technically, it doesn’t big ads connected Google News, but media companies reason that linking retired to news contented benefits nan level much broadly. A 2023 study estimates that Google would beryllium US publishers astir $10 to 12 cardinal annually should nan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act — a nationalist measure — travel into effect.

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This is not nan first clip that Google has opposed attempts from legislators to unit it to salary media outlets for news. In 2014, it pulled retired of Spain aft a akin measurement was passed but yet returned after an eight-year absence successful 2022. The institution besides threatened to propulsion retired of Australia entirely backmost successful 2020 erstwhile nan state introduced the News Media Bargaining Code. Ultimately, Google caved and trim a woody pinch respective Australian publishers — and Australia’s occurrence led different countries for illustration nan US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand to prosecute akin legislation.

Source Technology