Must-Reads On The Journalism Competition And Preservation Act (JCPA)
With rumors of a lame-duck attempt to re-up JCPA, it is important to remember:
— As with other proposed antitrust legislation, JCPA threatens platforms’ ability to moderate harmful and dangerous online content.
— The bill creates the type of antitrust exemption that has historically harmed competition and consumers.
— JCPA forces private actors to carry the speech of others, raising significant constitutional concerns.
— Overhauling regulation to protect competitors instead of competition would harm online innovation and consumers’ access to information.
1) JCPA Markup Raises Same Content Moderation Concerns As AICOA — On September 8, the JCPA was held over amid concerns over the bill’s impact on content moderation. Experts from Free Press, TechFreedom, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance have all noted the contradictory views and goals of Democratic and Republican lawmakers with respect to the antitrust bills’ impact on content moderation.
2) Broad, Bipartisan Coalition Warns Congress Antitrust Exemptions, Like In JCPA, Have Historically Harmed Competition And Consumers — Concerned organizations wrote a letter to Congress expressing their concerns with the proposed JCPA, stating that antitrust exemptions, as JCPA proposes, have historically “harmed competition and consumers, entrenched existing power structures and increased codependence between industry incumbents.”
3) So-called Regulatory “Solutions” Would Harm The Market And Consumers’ Access to Information — It’s important to understand that the news industry already enjoys dynamic competition and that the proposed regulatory “solutions” would harm the market.
4) Jcpa Mandates “Carriage Of What The Government Thinks Is “News” And “Continues To Be Unprecedented Government Overreach” — CCIA President Matt Schruers states that “inserting federal regulators into private sector business negotiations, mandating carriage of what the government thinks is ‘news,’ and promoting cartels is an irresponsible way to encourage an independent and robust news media.”
5) JCPA Forces Private Actors to Carry the Speech of Others, Raising Significant Constitutional Concerns – The bill “sets a legal and political precedent that some uses of content that were once free of charge now require payment,” explains a bipartisan coalition of legal experts, public interest, consumer advocacy and civil society groups in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Requiring payment for using facts flies in the face of Supreme Court precedent, based on the First Amendment, that no one may own facts.” The bill “forces platforms to negotiate for payments and to carry the content of any digital journalism provider that qualifies to be part of a joint negotiation,” the coalition letter further warns. They explain that: “This form of government mandate for covered platforms to carry and pay is also a violation of First Amendment protections.”
6) Now Is Not The Time To “Hobble Our Private Sector Innovators By Passing Anti-Innovation Legislation” — Former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and U.S. Senator Scott Brown and former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien warn that “America must maintain its edge in the technology sector. As we have seen in Ukraine, U.S. tech leadership has real world national security consequences for the U.S. and its allies. But we cannot take our status for granted. Today, five of the top 20 global technology firms are based in China.”
7) JCPA “Could Make It More Difficult And Costly For Platforms To Provide Access And Allow Users To Share This Sort Of Information From Small, Local News Sources” — Consumers could face more costs in additional paywalls “as online platforms will have to pay for sharing news,” warns NetChoice’s Jennifer Huddleston.