New Zealand working on legislation to make big tech pay for news
New Zealand’s government proposed new legislation Sunday that would require major tech companies to pay for local news content that they share on their platforms.
In a news release, New Zealand’s broadcasting and media minister, Willie Jackson, said the proposed legislation will be based on similar laws implemented in Canada and Australia and will be designed to act as an incentive for digital platforms to reach voluntary deals with local news outlets.
“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,” Jackson said in a statement.
“New Zealand news media, particularly small regional and community newspapers, are struggling to remain financially viable as more advertising moves online. So it is critical that those benefiting from their news content actually pay for it,” Jackson added.
Jackson said lagging income at media companies has led to a significant decline in the number of journalists at news outlets and reduced production of local news content.
“The legislation will be designed as a backstop to encourage companies to reach high quality voluntary agreements in the first instance. If companies like Google and Meta do good deals then they can avoid the new law being utilised,” Jackson said.
The legislation comes amid global concern that major tech platforms are eating up advertising profits that once supported traditional media outlets. Companies such as Alphabet and Meta have lobbied hard against similar legislation in other countries.
The tech companies argue that media outlets benefit greatly by having their content shared on their platforms, which results in more website traffic.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Meta’s regional policy director, Mia Garlick, said that the company is “concerned about the unintended impacts future legislation will have on innovation in both the media and broader tech sector.”
The Hill has reached out to Google and Meta for comment.