Canada Passes Controversial Online Streaming Bill C-11

Bill C-11 gives the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Canada’s broadcast regulator, broad powers over digital media companies, including the ability to impose financial penalties for violations of the act – but exactly how or even if the CRTC would make use of them cannot be determined through an analysis of the bill alone.”One of the most contentious points of debate is whether C-11 would apply to user-generated content, such as podcasts and online videos. The government has insisted that the legislation is not intended to regulate independent content creators.””One of the Senate’s amendments would have added protections for some types of user-generated content like comedy acts and instructional videos. The House rejected that amendment, arguing that it could create loopholes for streaming giants.””Without the legislative clarity they asked for, digital-first creators are now left to simply hope that the government keeps its promise not to regulate user-generated content,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.”The government says the legislation is necessary to impose the same regulations and requirements in place for traditional broadcasters on online media platforms.””It also requires the platforms to promote Canadian content. Specifically, the bill says “online undertakings shall clearly promote and recommend Canadian programming, in both official languages as well as in Indigenous languages.””Google, YouTube’s parent company, launched a public campaign against the legislation, saying it would negatively affect users’ experience on the platform.””The bill’s broad language means it’s unclear what it will do in practice — an aspect of the legislation the Senate has acknowledged.”

CBA Article /Archive
Bill in the Senate

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