Google Opposes California Legislation Requiring Compensation For Newsrooms

Totalitarian oligarchs at Google recently blocked local news outlets in California and warned against passing legislation requiring companies like itself to pay publishers for their online content.

Politico pointed out that Google’s latest action is similar to a political strategy previously used by the tech industry to oppose similar bills in countries like Canada and Australia, where tech companies are forced to pay news agencies for the articles they display on online platforms.

The individual who oversees Google’s global news partnerships, Jaffer Zaidi, said in a blog post that California’s bill could “result in significant changes to the services we can offer Californians and the traffic we can provide to California publishers.”
“We have long said that this is the wrong approach to supporting journalism,” Zaidi declared.

The New American noted that there is an ongoing debate over the journalism industry’s future in the digital era in Sacramento, California. The state has proposed legislation to force tech companies to compensate newsrooms.

Supporters of the bill claim that companies like Google and Meta have contributed to the decline of revenues by monopolizing digital advertising. They argue that news outlets should be compensated for content that users access for free on online platforms.

Tech giants disagree with such an argument, claiming that laws like the one being considered in California could reduce the flow of information, according to the New American.

The president of News/Media Alliance, Danielle Coffey, has spoken out against Google’s actions, labeling them as “undemocratic.”

“We will not allow California newsrooms to be censored, silenced and threatened,” Coffey said in a statement. “The need for the California Journalism Preservation Act could not be more clear — Google is not above the law.”

In 2023, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks advanced the bill through the California Senate Judiciary Committee after it received bipartisan approval in the Assembly. For the legislation to become law, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) must approve it.

The New American indicated that Wicks’ influence in the political world could provide momentum in the bill’s passage, given that her elevation to the chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee in November 2023 tasked her with overseeing key bills.