California Fire Volunteer
June 1, 2023
Contact: Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838
SACRAMENTO — On Thursday, the California State Assembly passed the California Journalism Preservation Act (the “CJPA”), legislation that creates a convoluted and messy negotiating mechanism that would allow publishers to extract payments from Big Tech companies, including search engines that feature content linking to their stories.
The CJPA is a giveaway to the bill’s most vocal proponents: large corporate media outlets, including those that have stopped investing in local news and are responsible for mass layoffs in local newsrooms. The bill is modeled in many respects after failed federal legislation, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which faced strong opposition from civil- and digital-rights groups, small publishers and community advocates. The CJPA differs from the federal legislation in its more explicit creation of a link tax, where payment is based on the number of online impressions driven by URLs featured on social networks and search engines.