Archive for March, 2022

Coteau tweet, https://twitter.com/coteau/status/1508910388045361152

Why Has the Government’s Defence of Bill C-11 Been So Cartoonishly Misleading?

Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act that serves as the government’s follow-up to Bill C-10, was the subject of debate in the House of Commons yesterday as the legislation slowly makes it way through the legislative process. There are still committee hearings to come, but it is readily apparent that many of the concerns that hamstrung Bill C-10 have returned: virtually limitless jurisdictional, overbroad scope, and harmful discoverability provisions. Further, this bill has attracted mounting criticism from Canadian digital-first creators, who note that one of Canada’s biggest cultural exports could be hurt by the bill leading to millions in lost revenues.

While none of these concerns should come as a surprise, what is surprising is how ill-prepared the government appears to be address the criticisms. Indeed, the communications strategy seems based primarily on presuming that Canadians won’t bother to read the legislation and will therefore take misleading assurances at face value. Consider the latest attempt to assuage concerns: a cartoon of Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez providing an assurance that the bill’s changes won’t affect individual Canadians since “the changes only apply to companies.” That cartoon sparked an instant mashup that pointed to the direct effects on digital first creators. Further, the changes don’t apply only to companies. Bill C-11 treats all audio-visual content as programs subject to potential regulation. With exceptions that could easily capture TikTok or YouTube videos, the bill is about far more than just large companies.

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March 30, 2022 23 comments News
Darcy Michael website, http://www.darcymichael.com

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 123: Darcy Michael on Why Bill C-11 Hurts Canada’s Digital First Creators

Since the introduction of Bill C-11, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has insisted that he heard the concerns about regulating user generated content and he “fixed it.” Yet the reality is that anyone that takes the time to the read the bill knows that simply isn’t the case. The concerns with the government’s approach have started to attract the attention of Canadian digital-first creators, who fear the plans could lead to lost revenues and reduced promotion worldwide of what has become one of Canada’s most successful cultural exports.

Darcy Michael is a B.C.-based comedian with millions of TikTok subscribers and a globally successful podcast. Last week, he appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to warn about the risks of Bill C-11 and to call for reform. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to tell his story of success online and his fears about what the bill would mean for Canadian digital-first creators.

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March 28, 2022 0 comments Podcasts
Anti-Putin/ Russia protest by Can Pac Swire (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2n5PaWZ

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 122: Monica Song on Banning Russia Today From the Canadian Television System

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked international condemnation and a race to levy sanctions and undo longstanding connections to the country. Responses have included demands that Russia Today, a television network backed by the Russian government, be removed from cable and satellite systems. Companies such as Bell, Rogers, Telus and Shaw have dropped the service, but the desire for a longer-term regulatory solution has brought the issue to the CRTC. Working with a strict two week deadline, last week the CRTC ruled that RT and RT France can no longer be distributed by Canadian television service providers. Monica Song is a partner with the law firm Dentons and one of Canada’s leading telecom and broadcast lawyers. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to unpack the case before the Commission and assess the broader implications around due process and content regulation.

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March 21, 2022 3 comments Podcasts
Gotta Love Trump https://invictus-tv.com/gotta-love-trump

Bill C-11’s Foundational Faults, Part Five: How is “Gotta Love Trump” Cancon But Amazon’s Toronto Maple Leafs Series Isn’t?

My series on Bill C-11’s foundational faults has covered jurisdictional over-reach, the implications of treating all audio-visual content as a “program” subject to CRTC regulation, as well as the flaws and harms of the discoverability provisions. While the faults thus far focus on provisions contained in the bill, this post examines a critical aspect of broadcast and cultural policy that the government has failed to address. The bill purports to support “Canadian stories” but the current system often means that certified Cancon has little to do with Canada and fails to meet those objectives. Case in point: the certification of Gotta Love Trump, a film primarily comprised of pro-Trump clips that include Trump’s photographer, a former Apprentice contestant, Roger Stone, Candace Owens, and a cast of others with scarcely anything resembling Canadian content.

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March 16, 2022 10 comments News
Please! by Josh Hallett https://flic.kr/p/yALRk (CC BY 2.0)

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 121: The Law Is No Longer Fit For Purpose – My Appearance Before the ETHI Committee on Canadian Privacy and Mobility Data

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics spent much of February conducting a study on the collection and use of mobility data by the Government of Canada. The study stems from reports that the Public Health Agency of Canada worked with Telus and BlueDot, an AI firm, to identify COVID-19 trends based on mobility data with questions about whether there was appropriate disclosures, transparency and consent from the millions of Canadians whose data may have been collected. I appeared before the committee toward the end of the study, emphasizing that while the activities were arguably legal, something still does not sit right with many Canadians. This week’s Law Bytes podcast goes inside the hearing room for my appearance, where I made the case that Canada’s outdated privacy laws are no longer fit for purpose.

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March 14, 2022 3 comments Podcasts