Canada on Thursday vowed to pressure Facebook to pay for news articles as the government seeks allies in the media showdown with tech companies and pledges it won't yield if Facebook blocks the country's news as it did in Australia, Reuters said on Friday.
Steven Guilbeault, Canadian Heritage Minister, has strongly criticized the social media company's move to restrict the sharing of news through its platform in Australia after the country decided that digital platforms are required to pay media companies.
Guilbeault said he is proposing to launch a "Made in Canada" plan by summer that includes compensation for news and other content. "News is not free and has never been," the official said earlier this month.
Another option for Canada is to follow the example of France, which makes it compulsory for large tech companies to discuss with publishers seeking payment for use of news content.
"We could actually see a coalition, a united front against this monopoly, which could be very powerful," MSN News quoted University of Toronto professor Megan Boler, who specializes in social media, as saying in a phone interview.
Australia has been leading a worldwide push for the regulation of tech platforms and the events in the country have been closely monitored by officials in Ottawa.
Canadian media groups warned in 2020 of a potential market breakdown without immediate action from the government. They said Australia's latest move would enable publishers to retrieve C$620 million per year.
The media organizations warned that without proper action, Canada would lose 700 print journalism jobs.
Meanwhile, a new poll said that more than 80% of Canadians believe it is time for the government to take action and force social media companies Facebook and Google to pay Canadian news publishers for their content.
The survey, conducted by Leger Opinion for News Media Canada, also said that 70% of Canadians now believe the two tech companies have become too powerful, according to BusinessWire report on Thursday.