The idea of copyright has been around for over 300 years, ever since the early 18th century. What helps the idea of copyright attract this much attention is the abstract peripheries between plagiarizing and benefiting from someone’s work. Although the topic of plagiarism has always been a controversial one, Google’s actions regarding the topic of digital copyright sparked the revival of the issue.
During the last weeks of November, Google and the Canadian Government collaboratively announced their deal on Google’s approach to the Canadian Online News Act, Bill C-18. The Onlne News Act is a global trend, where it was passed in June by the Canadian Government, and the Act is pending to be practiced by December 19, 2023 the latest. However, the provisions of this Act concern Google, which is mainly dedicated to sharing the annual advertising revenue made by big internet companies with local news publishers. Concerning the Google News Showcase Program, the representatives of Google have been negotiating with Canadian officials, aiming to amend Bill C-18. Furthermore, Google highlights how in 2022 alone, Canadian news publishers made over 250 million worth of CAD from the referral traffic on their content. Regardless of how Google is willing the amend the issue at hand, their official response to Bill C-18 was that it is not possible to practice such an act that breaks the functioning of web and search engines, as it may lead to “untenable product and financial uncertainty”. Google’s point dwells on the previous failed attempts during the practicing of the Online News Act, as well as how this Act may damage the news’ availability in the applied country.
Canadian heritage minister Pascale St-Onge speaks with reporters in the House of Commons on 29 November 2023, in Ottawa, Ontario
When it comes to the topic of digital copyright, Google maintains a conventional manner. Before Canada, Google also had conversations with countries such as Germany, France, Denmark, Hungary, and the Netherlands, aiming to establish a fairground. Where in some cases, the agreements were fruitful and the Online News Act was never reinforced. Similar to the case with Canada, the company aims to meet the officials on a common ground. Altogether, as a result of its negotiations with Canadian officials, Google agreed to fund 100 million Canadian dollars to news publishers, where these funds may be distributed with the help of a single collective. However, the company still believes that Bill C-18 will be a hindrance to Canadians’ access to credible information, and is not willing to back up from its stance on the issue at hand.
The updates in Canada regarding the Online News Act triggered similar concerns to rise in Türkiye. Not only in Türkiye but on a global scale, working as an influencer to maintain a steady income is an increasing trend, as it doesn’t require any prior experience of any kind. Therefore, the abundance of individuals dwelling on their digital content simultaneously elevated the topic of digital copyright, the right to use in the digital age. More specifically, the Turkish media, specifically journalists and news publishers, were highly in favor of this act being put into practice in Türkiye as well. As the public view was inclined in favor of such an Act’s application, The Digital Network Commission of the Turkish Grand General Assembly initiated efforts to satisfy this urge.
Following the agreement between Google and the Canadian Government, the President of the Digital Network Commission Yayman stated how the Commission is aware of public opinion and willing to adapt copyright policies to digital environments.
Furthermore, President Yayman added how the Commission already initiated its negotiations with representatives from many social media networks, primarily TikTok and Google. Seeing the necessary steps gradually being taken in Türkiye, with the continuity of constructive approaches, securing content creators’ rights in a digital world is not far from being achieved.
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