Google is preparing to exclude Canadian news sites from its search engines, starting in December. Despite ongoing discussions with the government, the web giant told reporters last week that it’s impossible to comply with the law. Google says it will follow Meta’s lead and start blocking links to Canadian news by Dec. 19, when Bill C-18 comes into force. The legislation would require Google to pay an estimated $172 million per year to prop up the media sector, equivalent to about four per cent of company revenues in Canada. Canadian Heritage Min. Pascale St-Onge said she is still confident an agreement can be reached with Google before that date.
FYI Music News is joining forces with Billboard under a new partnership. After 15 years, the music industry publication backed by Slaight Music CEO Gary Slaight and edited by The Record founder and editor David Farrell, is transitioning to new ownership under the Billboard Canada brand. Richard Trapunski, a former editor at NOW Magazine, will lead the Canadian Billboard editorial team, while Mo Ghoneim, the founder of digital not-for-profit Arts Help, will serve as president. FYI music content and its archive will continue to be available with the new platform promising to offer a broader spectrum of music news and features.
Bell Media says it’s in the process of digitizing thousands of videotapes in the MuchMusic archive. Among the footage being preserved are artist interviews and the annual “Snow Job” events, among other specials. Bell told The Canadian Press that the digitization project is about 70% complete. It’s expected the digital archive will become a resource for filmmakers, with much of the footage unavailable last year when filmmaker Sean Menard was putting together his documentary 299 Queen Street West exploring the channel’s legacy, which undertakes a cross-country tour later this month.