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Sen. Paul Sponsors Tech Pay for (News) Play Bill

The News Media Alliance said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has joined the congressional effort--pushed by the alliance--to give news outlets the ability to negotiate collectively with Facebook and Google over the use of news content on their platforms. 

Paul has announced his co-sponsorship of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA).  

The alliance has been trying to get Congress to give news publishers a limited safe antitrust harbor so they can get tech platforms, Facebook and Google most notably, to pay for use of their content given that they "take most of the advertising revenue sold against that content," adding that "[a]dvertising revenue that previously went to the news publishers and allowed them to reinvest in quality journalism is now going to the platforms." 

 Related: News Media Alliance Slams Google Copyright Campaign 

JCPA, bipartisan versions of which have been introduced in both the House and Senate, would create a four-year safe harbor during which publications could negotiate with tech platforms without risking a fine for antitrust violations. 

"[T]he support of Senator Paul is more important than ever to ensuring the future of news," said alliance president David Chavern. "We are grateful for his commitment to quality journalism." 

Back in March, the European Union adopted a new Copyright Directive that gives news outlets and other content producer more muscle in enforcing their rights over the content they create. U.S. news outlets would like similar muscle here at home. 

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.