New Zealand is planning a law that would force Google and Meta to pay news publishers for content

New Zealand is planning a law that would force Google and Meta to pay news publishers for content

New Zealand intends to require big tech companies like Google and Meta to pay local media companies for the content they use and share on their platforms.

Willie Jackson, New Zealand’s broadcast minister, announced on Sunday that legislation was being drafted that would build on similar legislation in Australia, as well as pending legislation in Canada and measures in the UK and the European Union.

“It is not fair that large digital platforms like Google and Meta can host and share local news for free. It costs them to produce news and they only pay fairness,” Jackson said in a statement.

Jackson noted that the New Zealand media, especially small and medium-sized newspapers, are struggling to survive as traditional advertising moves online. “So it’s important that those who benefit from news content pay for it,” he said.

In the United States, for example, estimated earnings for newspaper publishers fell 52% between 2002 and 2020, according to census data.

Jackson said the New Zealand bill is designed to act as a “buoy” to encourage big tech companies to enter into voluntary compensation agreements with the publishers themselves. But if agreements cannot be reached, “legislation defines negotiation and compulsory negotiation processes.”

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He responded immediately when asked for comment on Sunday.

In 2021, Google and Facebook separately agreed to pay local news publishers in Australia after that country passed a law in 2020 mandating compensation in order to create a “sustainable media landscape”.

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