Home Online Work How the Online News Act will work and media organizations get paid

How the Online News Act will work and media organizations get paid

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Companies that already have a commercial deal in place with the digital platforms will apply to the CRTC asking to be exempted from mandatory negotiation

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Once the Liberal government’s new Online News Act becomes law, cabinet will issue governor-in-council regulations that outline the criteria for which organizations will be covered under the new legislation.

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Big tech platforms that meet the criteria will then have to notify the CRTC, who will publish a list of designated digital platforms. Google and Meta, Facebook’s parent company, are certain to be on that list. On the other side, news outlets will apply for eligibility.

Companies that have a commercial deal in place — both Google and Meta have agreements with a number of Canadian publishers — will apply to the CRTC asking to be exempted from mandatory negotiation. If the deals meet the criteria set out by the government (such as whether they provide fair compensation), the CRTC will deem them exempt.

But if they don’t meet the criteria, or if there is no deal in place, the two sides will go into mandatory negotiation with an independent arbiter they both agree on (not the CRTC). If they can’t reach a deal, the negotiations will move to final offer arbitration, in which each party submits their offer and the arbiter picks one.

If the parties are all able to reach commercial deals that meet the exemption criteria, there’s a chance the arbitration mechanism won’t be used. That’s what happened in Australia, where the News Media Bargaining Code hasn’t had to kick in yet.



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