This story was reported by the CBC and talks about how we can save Canadian journalism and to help the industry succeed in the face of the growing duopoly in digital advertising that is emerging with Google and Facebook. The federal government has hired Public Policy Forum a think tank to support Canadian Journalism that will save jobs hopefully and make the industry sustainable. The final report will be released on January 26, but the CBC was able to access some of the preliminary findings that has a theme of protectionism.
Here are some of the ideas being floated around by the think tank.
1. Tax Changes to make ads on Google and Facebook non-tax deductible as per Section 19 of the Income Tax Act, which prevented companies from deducting advertising expenses as a business cost unless it was in a Canadian publication. This is about time this was done!!!!
2. Better Copyright protections that provide Canadian content creators a 24 hour exclusivity of their content or file sharing restrictions that has been instituted in the music and movie industry. Web scrapers of content beware the feee ride is over.
3. Fees imposed on Facebook and Google and other foreign news aggregators to support Canadian content, a model that has been used in the television industry. Europe has taken the lead on this concept with Google provding digital innovation grants.
4. Payment system for the news industry from content distributors as they are currently getting all their content for free, which is not sustainable as we all know. Free is not good as there is no money to pay writers is this model.
This type of thinking is long over due for the Canadian Media Industry and it looks like the Department of Heritage is on the ball to help protect the media industry during this period of digital disruption. Hopefully this will lead to action, not just talk. I have been an outspoken critic of the ad tech industry and revealed my thoughts in this blog posting in June 2015 - "Why the Digital Content System is Broken. How Can We Fix It?" that was banned on Google Search for a brief moment. (That’s right Google is not neutral for search results). The whole CBC story is availble at this link.
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