JCPA is bad for journalism and the open internet

Posted September 22, 2022 at 8:09 PM

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to move the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act out of committee despite its many flaws. Fight for the Future will fight any floor vote on this bill tooth and nail.

The following statement can be attributed to Lia Holland (they/she), Campaigns & Communications Direction at Fight for the Future:

“JCPA is a gift to hedge funds and disinformation peddlers while doing little to help actual local and independent journalists. The bill breaks the open internet by forcing companies to pay for something that has always been free: linking to other sites and writing short descriptions of the content, which is protected by fair use. Worse, the bill breaks content moderation by forcing companies to carry hate speech and disinformation by bad actors demanding mandatory arbitration under the bill’s terms. The bill also rewards corporations like Gannett, who have enriched themselves while laying off journalists and failing to pay a living wage, instead of holding them to account. This is why unions like The NewsGuild have no confidence in the JCPA benefitting the journalists it claims to be written for.

JCPA threatens to create a hydra with Big Tech, hedge funds, and media conglomerates all working together to protect profits from surveillance ad networks while journalists continue to suffer. This is the opposite of a functional democracy, where we rely on quality journalism to hold the powerful accountable for their actions.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard all of these concerns expressed by members and still voted to move this bill to the floor without even a hearing. Those on Judiciary who voted to move this bill forward should be ashamed of themselves. We will fight tooth and nail to prevent this ill-conceived bill from passing the Senate.”