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Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, California Legislative Women’s Caucus. (Photo: womenscaucus.legislature.ca.gov/video)

AB 886: Journalism Preservation Act

If passed, companies such as Google and Facebook would pay fee to media companies for using content

By Chris Micheli, March 27, 2023 4:02 pm

Assembly Bill 886, authored by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) would add Title 21 (commencing with Section 3273.60) to Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code in order to enact the “California Journalism Preservation Act.”

Section 1 of the bill would name the act as specified. Section 2 of the bill would set forth six legislative findings and declarations, including that journalism plays an essential role in California and in local communities, and the ability of local news organizations to continue to provide the public with critical information about their communities and enabling publishers to receive fair market value for their content that is used by others will preserve and ensure the sustainability of local and diverse news outlets.

In addition, over the past 10 years, newspaper advertising has decreased 66 percent, and newsroom staff have declined 44 percent. Quality local journalism is key to sustaining civic society, strengthening communal ties, and providing information at a deeper level that national outlets cannot match.

Section 3 would add Title 21, which would be titled “Journalism Usage Fees.” First, this section would define the terms “access,” “advertising revenue,” “allocation share,” “covered platform,” “eligible broadcaster,” “eligible digital journalism provider,” “eligible publisher,” “network station,” “news journalist,” “notifying eligible digital journalism provider,” “online platform,” and “qualifying publication.” 

The bill would require an eligible digital journalism provider that submits a notice to a covered platform to receive journalism usage fee payments from that covered platform beginning not more than ____ days following the submission of that notice. The notice must meet three criteria. A covered platform that receives a notice would be able to make a challenge on two grounds.

For each month, a covered platform would be required to track and record, for each eligible digital journalism provider that submits a notice, the total number of the covered platform’s internet websites that link to, display, or present that eligible digital journalism provider’s content, or portions thereof, and that the covered platform has displayed or presented to California residents. Thereafter, a covered platform would be required to use the data collected in order to calculate the allocation share for each notifying eligible digital journalism provider.

And, within ____ days of the close of each month, a covered platform would be required to remit a journalism usage fee payment to each notifying eligible digital journalism provider that is equal to ____ percent of the covered platform’s advertising revenue generated during that month multiplied by the eligible digital journalism provider’s allocation share for that month.

A covered platform would be prohibited from retaliating against an eligible digital journalism provider for asserting its rights under this new law by refusing to index content or changing the ranking, identification, modification, branding, or placement of the content of the eligible digital journalism provider on the covered platform. If retaliation were to occur, a civil action could be pursued.

Finally, an eligible digital journalism provider would be required to spend at least 70% of funds received pursuant to this new law on news journalists employed by the eligible digital journalism provider and maintaining or enhancing the production and distribution of news or information that concerns local, regional, national, or international matters of public interest.

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2 thoughts on “AB 886: Journalism Preservation Act

  1. Oh look, it’s creepy Democrat Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks with her soulless dead eyes from the dystopian City of Oakland who supports infanticide. Now she’s pushing bill AB 886 that would have big tech companies pay a fee to news outlets for using or posting articles and other local news content? Who could be possibly giving her payoffs to author this legislation? Hmmm, maybe it’s media organizations such as the California News Publishers Association (CNPA) and the News/Media Alliance (NMA) that quickly backed AB 886? Or as Showandtell mentioned, maybe it’s also leftist Democrat propaganda outlets like the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, etc.??

  2. What’s the definition of an eligible digital journalism provider? No doubt under Buffy Wicks’ legislation it would be only leftist propaganda outlets that are controlled by Democrats? This bill doesn’t pass the smell test? Speaking of smelly, Buffy Wicks looks rough like a meth addict…or maybe she’s not getting enough adrenochrome?

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