Senate takes step toward exempting news media from antitrust law
But the “most alarming” aspect of the legislation, according to R Street Institute fellow Josh Withrow, is the potential for Congress to create an implicit “link tax” — a payment the government would force tech platforms to make to publishers for sharing their content.
“The clever thing about the bill is that it never mentions this link taxes, copyright, or any specific means of revenue sharing at all. However, in practice, we know that’s what the companies are after because they’ve been shaking down Big Tech for similar results abroad, most successfully in Australia,” Withrow told TheBlaze via email.
“The antitrust exemption in the bill specifically allows the news publishers to ‘withhold’ their content from Google and Facebook, and in practice the only way that’s enforceable is if they claim an expanded ‘ancillary copyright’ that would include ownership of the links and snippets that the companies show in their ‘news’ sections,” he explained.