The California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA, AB 886) passed out of the California State Assembly Thursday, June 1, in a floor vote of 46-6. The bill, which was introduced by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) in March, would require Big Tech platforms such as Facebook and Google to pay news publishers a “journalism usage fee” to use the content of eligible digital journalism providers, as defined in the bill. Currently, creators of journalistic and creative content are not adequately compensated for the use of their work that takes a tremendous investment to produce.
The CJPA would also promote the hiring of more journalists, requiring news publishers to invest 70 percent of the profits from the usage fee into journalism jobs. The bill is expected to advance to the California Senate next month, and then head to Governor Newsom to become law.
News/Media Alliance President and CEO Danielle Coffey stated, “We applaud the California Assembly for taking decisive and direct action to save journalism through passing the California Journalism & Preservation Act (CJPA). We are extremely encouraged to see this progress at the state level, which shows that Americans understand the importance and value of journalism to keeping their communities safe and informed and holding those in power to account. We look forward to the CJPA moving on to the Senate and working with policymakers there to pass the CJPA and restore fairness and balance to the marketplace.”
The News/Media Alliance has been vocally advocating for such legislation at the federal level since 2018. The Journalism Competition & Preservation Act (JCPA), which was reintroduced in the 117th Congress (S. 673 and H.R. 1735), passed through Senate Judiciary Committee markup in September and nearly passed into law in December before the Congress ended. Senate Antitrust Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Senator John N. Kennedy (R-Louisiana) reintroduced the JCPA, which has strong bipartisan support, in the Senate (S. 1094) on March 31.
Coffey added, “We are encouraged by the support we’ve had for the addressing the severe marketplace imbalance between tech platforms and news/magazine publishers and look forward to legislation moving through both California legislature and Congress. Between similar laws being passed around the world, and the positive movement in the U.S. at the state and federal level, I believe we are at a turning point, and we are seeing more and more support for getting this legislation passed country wide.”
For more information on the federal JCPA, visit www.JCPABill.com.
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