Daily Management Review

Possible News Licensing Deals In Canada Being Contemplated By Facebook


Possible News Licensing Deals In Canada Being Contemplated By Facebook
Following the tussle with the Australian government over payment of fees to local news outlets and publishers for news content on its platform, the social media giant Facebook Inc. has been reported to be exploring the possibilities of striking licensing agreements with Canadian media outlets in the coming year while also contemplating making more investments in local journalism initiatives, according to reports quoting information from sources with knowledge of the matter.
This thinking with the social media giant comes at a time when reports about the Canadian government preparing to bring in legislation along the lines of the new content law passed in Australia in the coming months. The new law passed in Australia essentially large forces technology firm companies such as Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay local media and publishers money for using their news content on their online platforms.
However, the situation it faces in Australia is viewed to be unique according to Facebook, said reports quoting sources.  
“You’re looking at a country that is by and large dominated by one large media conglomerate that has a very heavy influence on government and government policies,” a source was quoted in a report as saying. The source also pointed out that most countries do not have that.
For example, two thirds of Australia’s major city newspapers is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Reports suggests that the issue of striking licensing agreement is being discussed at the higher levels of Facebook and it was reported that the format of the licensing being thought of could be similar to those that Facebook struck for using of stories and reels of Instagram on its platform.
The reports however did not specify the Canadian publishers Facebook would consider for having licensing agreements with or the budget that the company has in mind.
Facebook’s decision to blackout content from all news sites in Australia for several days was criticised last week by Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, in charge of crafting legislation, and said that such action by Facebook will not stop Canada from enacting similar legislation.
Facebook will raise its funding of news publishers in Canada to $1 billion over three years, the company has announced recently.
Facebook has also been recently severely condemned by Canada’s news media industry and the industry has urged the government to bring in more regulations to reign in tech companies so that the country’s news media industry is able to recover the financial losses that it has had to face in the time period when both Facebook and Google had steadily increased their share of the global online advertisement revenue.