Media Beat, Nov. 30, 2023: Canada's $100 Million News Deal with Google

The government has reached a deal to avert a Google news ban in Canada.

Media Beat

Media Beat

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Google’s $100M online news deal with Ottawa

That’s the word on the deal that Google has reached with the federal government in its dispute over the Online News Act. It’s a settlement that Alpha wasn’t willing to agree on, thus keeping Canadian news off Facebook and Instagram and giving Google the exclusive in sharing homegrown news links and short paragraphs.

According to the CBC, which broke the story midday Wednesday, Google agreed on a regulatory framework earlier in the week, the terms of which have not yet been disclosed.

The deal allows Google to negotiate with a single group representing all media, limiting its arbitration risk.


AI, the law and websites that routinely plagiarize content

Ethan Cox, co-founder of Montreal-based Ricochet Media, suggests he has successfully blown the whistle on a Canadian website that allegedly posted “dozens of articles” from media outlets that included The Guardian, Associated Press, CBC, CTV, CityNews, The Globe and Mail and Ricochet. Gallingly, all news materials are alleged to have been attributed to an AI-generated journalist named "Jesse Cox." Ricochet’s own Cox went on the warpath and got some satisfaction, but takedowns and legal ambiguities associated with AI make the process exhaustively time-consuming and expensive. – Read further here.

Sports Illustrated published articles by fake, AI-generated writers

Fake writers, fake profiles, dubious headshots and a calamity of ethical concerns now face the publication and its publishing arm, and cast a shadow on a mag that was once at the top of its game. – Maggie Harrison, Futurism

AI and journalism: What's next?

Consultant and AI news researcher David Caswell provides a background to the new newsroom tool – how to deploy it, control it, developing a proprietary news gathering gauntlet. It’s a brave new world and it comes with its challenges. As Caswell says early in the feature, a strategy for news in the age of AI will necessarily be centred on differentiation and competitive advantage, offering exclusive news products that remain uniquely valuable to audiences even as the information ecosystem changes.” – Reuters Institute


Regenerative data threatens to become the canary in the AI coal mine

Some top guns in the publishing field including Barry Diller are brewing up a potential legal storm over the use of copyrighted materials used to train AI models, and in particular are paying keen interest to a Delaware lawsuit over an artificial intelligence company’s copying of legal texts from legal research services company Westlaw. The underlying thrust of the potential legal fracas is that tech companies need to recompense publishers for their language model inputs, and they think restitution should be in the billions of dollars across the industry. – Ben Smith,

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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