Legislation to support fair deals for online news content heads to Parliament.
The Government is introducing a scheme to support New Zealand media companies in their bid to get fair deals from big online tech companies when their news content is shared online.
“After announcing the Government’s intention to legislate in December last year, I am pleased to introduce the Fair Digital News Media Bargaining Bill, which is a key part of our commitment to support a free and independent news media ecosystem in Aotearoa,” said Minister for Broadcasting and Media Willie Jackson.
“The Bill is a way to support fairness and ensure that all our news organisations, no matter their size, are receiving fair payment for their work.
“This Bill will ensure that New Zealand news companies are supported to negotiate with global tech companies on an equal footing to secure a critical new revenue stream,” said Willie Jackson.
“We want to see fair deals and compensation to support New Zealand media companies to be self-sustaining in a digital future.”
“The future of the local newspaper is under threat, with New Zealand news companies now predominantly online and operating in an industry controlled by global companies with unprecedented market power. It is increasingly difficult for news media companies to enter fair commercial discussions with these platforms,” said Willie Jackson “
Online companies such as Google and Meta make money through advertising and other services, but do not pay news creators for the use of their content online. Attempts by news media companies to bargain for the value of their news content are often unsuccessful.”
The Bill encourages voluntary commercial agreements between New Zealand news media organisations and online platforms, which are often large multinational companies.
Where voluntary agreements cannot be reached, the Bill provides a backstop to support a fair bargaining process that will result in commercial arrangements between companies.
“While some deals have been reached, regional, rural, Māori, Pacific and other small publications and media companies are likely to miss out. This legislation is about supporting the local newspaper and the local radio station by making the big players negotiate fair deals for the content they produce”
“The Bill has been designed to encourage deals for all the media players in Aotearoa and ensure that online platforms who use news content on their sites come to the bargaining table, no matter how small the news organisation. These big companies make millions in profit from New Zealand audiences, so it’s time they came to the bargaining table with New Zealand companies and paid their fair share.”