Senate Passes Liberal Online Streaming Law

The liberal government’s Bill C-11 would bring large-scale streaming platforms under the regulatory authority of the Canadian Radio and Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). passed the Senate.

Bill C-11, also known as the Online Streaming Act, amends the Broadcast Act to require CRTC authorities to require online platforms such as Netflix and Spotify to contribute to Canada’s content regulations.

The law received 12 amendments from the Senate and is now back in the House. for review Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has said he hopes the bill will be passed in less than a week.

Rodriguez also said on Feb. 2 that the federal government would reject some of the Senate’s amendments. He didn’t specify which one.

“We’ll see if the bill comes back,” Rodriguez said at the Canadian Media Producers Association’s 2023 conference. Prime time meeting in Ottawa.

“Some amendments have no impact on the bill, some may have some impact, and some we don’t accept.”

Senate amendments to Bill C-11 would protect user-generated content on platforms like YouTube from the CRTC’s regulatory authority, and would bar the CBC from broadcasting or publishing sponsored content. there is.

Another amendment would require companies to verify the age of users before allowing access to sexually explicit content.

Some senators previously tried to pass an amendment exempting online content creators and programmers making less than $150 million a year from CRTC regulation, but it was defeated 10-4 in November 2022. .

New Brunswick Senator David Adams Richards said earlier this week that he is concerned that C-11 will bring a culture of censorship to Canada.

this law intention Become 1 of scapegoat all Them Who conduct No fit into the what our Officials think Canada should do it BecomeRichards said to the Senate during the bill’s third reading on Jan. 31.

“I don’t know who can tell me what Canadian content is and what isn’t, but I know that the Minister for Cultural Heritage cannot tell me,” he added.

Canadian content

The U.S. government is concerned that Bill C-11 could discriminate against U.S. businesses because it prioritizes online discoverability of content monetized by Canadian producers for domestic audiences. is expressed.

“We…have concerns that it could impact digital streaming services and discriminate against U.S. businesses,” the U.S. Embassy told the Canadian Press on Jan. 11.

Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Mary Ng, heard similar concerns about the bill from U.S. Trade Representative Catherine Tai at a November 2022 meeting.

Ng said on Dec. 15, 2022, that the federal government is trying to resolve US concerns.

Representatives of America’s largest streaming companies previously told the Senate Communications Committee that Bill C-11 would introduce the voices of all artists in the country, not just content monetized by Canadian producers. It said it needed to provide a more “flexible” definition of Canadian content. .

Rodriguez claims the law will allow Canadian artists and content creators to reach domestic audiences by providing a “level playing field” with American producers and creators. .

Canadian Press contributed to this report.