Canada Is Imposing A New Link Tax On Search Results Across Google Search

Canada has decided to take a leaf out of Australian’s legal book and is now imposing a link tax on Google Search results; a move that the company is admittedly not pleased about.

So, before we get down to discussing Google’s reaction towards this decision, let’s take a look back at what got us here. A link tax is Canada’s way of saying that the tech giant has to start paying publishers from the country for each one of their content pieces that pops up in search results. Naturally a multi-billionaire company like Google, which could thrive just as well by being a multi-millionaire company, wants absolutely nothing to do with this. The company’s reaction mirrors the one that it showed when Australia started similar proceedings back in 2021. The Australian government took a look at the online landscape, and saw just how much social media platforms and tech companies were making off of the hard work of authors and journalists without showing them even a penny for their efforts. Their response was to make sure that any such error or oversight was rectified in full. The government forced Google and Meta (then Facebook) to start forking over what these writers and publishers were rightfully owed. Journalism’s not exactly the most consistently thriving field as it is, there’s no need to steal any more profits from their end.

Google’s reaction to the Australian government was relatively milder than that of Facebook, with Mark Zuckerberg actively threatening to cut the entire country off of all of his platforms. Australia decided that three social media platforms were not worth the price of keeping its workers out of a decent payday, and held to its values. Spokespeople from Google, in the meantime, were simply disapproving of the motion and brought up just how valuable the exposure that journals got off of search results is. Yes, you read correctly: one of the biggest companies in the world, bar none, wanted journals to keep publishing content accessible by Google Search in exchange for exposure instead of paying them. This is the equivalent of a seventy-year-old grandad telling his grandkid to start showing up more and more in an unpaid internship because that’s how people get hired, apparently.

Google’s taking a relatively new approach with the Canada link tax story, even if its sentiments are exactly the same. The company states that due to news being a poorly defined term, many individuals undeserving of money based on the content that they made would have to be paid as well. Because, of course, throwing out such a resolution would be so much better than amending it, right?

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