February 28, 2021
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CANADALAND
#361 Will Government Media Rules Strangle Canadaland?
In Australia, the news disappeared from Facebook. And Jesse got very worried about the future.
Jesse Brown
Host & Publisher
Jeremy Kessler
Producer
Andréa Schmidt
Managing Editor, Podcasts

In February, as the Australian government prepared to introduce a link tax, Facebook blocked all news from its Australian platform. The new legislation, lobbied for by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and other big media organizations, would have forced Facebook and Google to pay them each time their content is shared online. Facebook’s strong-arm tactic forced the government to amend the legislation, potentially exempting Facebook altogether if it cuts its own deals with news organizations. In return, Facebook reversed the news ban. Everyone seems happy now…except for smaller independent publishers who are still not sure exactly how they fit into this picture.

The Canadian government is also talking about imposing a link tax, as well as other plans to regulate online media that go well beyond Australia’s contentious legislation.

To understand what the future may have in store, Jesse talks to Susannah George. She’s the founder and CEO of Urban List, a lifestyle site and Australia’s biggest independent digital media company.

And he speaks with Michael Geist, Internet law professor at the University of Ottawa, about the Canadian policy measures up for discussion and what they might mean for us.

This episode was brought to you by Kilne, Freshbooks and Article.

Additional music by Audio Network.

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