Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) along with Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and other co-sponsors reintroduced the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.”
The JCPA creates an exemption to antitrust law, which normally prohibits industry collusion on pricing and other business terms. It would allow news organizations to band together into “joint negotiating entities” to negotiate for payment from dominant digital platforms for “accessing” their content, building up the power of dominant media organizations while also limiting the ability of internet users to share links and discuss the news. Public Knowledge continues to oppose the JCPA for jeopardizing both local journalism and the open internet.
The following can be attributed to Lisa Macpherson, Senior Policy Analyst at Public Knowledge:
“Public Knowledge, along with public interest organizations from across the political spectrum, have opposed the JCPA for over three years. We recognize the crisis in local news and advocate for policy solutions to address it. But the use of an elaborate antitrust exemption like that in the JCPA will only serve to compound the biggest challenges in our news and information landscape: consolidation of power, distance and disengagement of news conglomerate owners from the communities they serve, and the rampant spread of misinformation on the internet.
“JCPA supporters now point to AI as a new justification for their failed bill from the last Congress. The advent of generative AI models like Bing Chat and Google’s Bard may require a policy response to meet new challenges in that landscape. But hastily changing copyright law to benefit cartels of major news publishers – to address purely speculative harms – would be unwise.
“The JCPA expands the rights of content owners beyond the traditional bounds of copyright law in ways that would prove detrimental to the public interest. We urge Congress to again reject this misguided proposal and instead focus on policies that support independent journalism and foster a diverse and competitive media landscape.”
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