Google’s Open Call under the Online News Act

March 11, 2024
|Industry News,Latest News

Google has initiated an open call to news organizations that wish to receive compensation under the Online News ActYou have until April 30, 2024 to participate.

In December 2023, the Department of Canadian Heritage announced an agreement under which Google would contribute $100 million to Canadian news organizations. Google has now published an open call for news organizations seeking to receive compensation.

When responding to the open call, interested news businesses will have to attest to their eligibility based on the criteria in Section 27 of the Act (eligibility of news businesses), and they will have to attest that the news outlets for which they wish to receive compensation meet the criteria described in Section 31(2) of the Act (news outlets).

The Section on the eligibility of news businesses lays out the following criteria (please refer to the Act for the authoritative version):

  • If the news business is a qualified Canadian journalism organization as defined in the Income Tax Act, or is a campus station, community station, or native station as defined in the Broadcasting Act, OR
  • If the news business employs two or more journalists in Canada, operates in Canada, produces news of general interest (i.e. not industry-specific news), is either a member of a recognized journalistic association or follows its own code of ethics and standards of professional conduct, OR
  • If the news business operates an Indigenous news outlet.

The Section on news outlets describes the eligibility for news outlets (please refer to the Act for the authoritative version). News businesses operate news outlets. A news outlet can participate in the bargaining process if the outlet is operated exclusively for the purpose of producing news content consisting primarily of original news content that meets each of the following requirements:

  • It is produced primarily for the Canadian news marketplace;
  • It is focused on matters of general interest and reports of current events, including coverage of democratic institutions and processes;
  • It is not focused on a particular topic such as industry-specific news, sports, recreation, arts, lifestyle or entertainment; and
  • It is not intended to promote the interests, or report on the activities, of an organization, an association or its members.

If you think that you meet the criteria listed above, we encourage you to submit an application through the Google website.

Please note that the Government will not be issuing any funding through the Act. Instead, benefits will flow from large platforms to news businesses or groups of news businesses directly.

How to participate

To participate in the open call, you must file an attestation with Google that your news organization:

  • meets the eligibility criteria under section 27 of the Online News Act,
  • operates a news outlet that meets the criteria set out in subsections 31(2) or 31(2.1) of the Act, and
  • creates news content that is made available by Google.

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