Later today, the House of Commons will vote to approve Bill C-18, the Online News Act, sending it to the Senate just prior to breaking for the holidays. While Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and media lobbyists will no doubt celebrate the milestone, it should not go unremarked that the legislative process for this bill has been an utter embarrassment with an already bad bill made far worse. The government cut off debate at second reading, actively excluded dozens of potential witnesses, expanded the bill to hundreds of broadcasters that may not even produce news, denigrated online news services as “not real news”, and shrugged off violations of international copyright law. All the while, it acknowledged that mandated payments for links are the foundation of the bill with officials stating that individual Facebook posts accompanied by a link to a news story would be caught by the law. As for the purported financial benefits, the government’s own estimates are less than half those of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who also concluded that more than 75% of the revenues will go to broadcasters such as Bell, Rogers, and the CBC. The end result is a bill that will undermine competition and pose a threat to freedom of expression, while potentially leading Facebook to block news sharing in Canada and Google to cancel dozens of existing agreements with Canadian news outlets.
Archive for December 14th, 2022
Episode 168: Privacy Commissioner of Canada Philippe Dufresne on How to Fix Bill C-27
May 29, 2023
May 15, 2023
May 1, 2023
Episode 164: Teresa Scassa on the Latest Canadian Court Ruling on Facebook and What It Might Mean for Privacy Reform
April 24, 2023
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- Meta to Test Blocking News Sharing on Facebook and Instagram in Canada in Response to Bill C-18’s Mandated Payments for Links
- Globe Publisher Calls Bill C-18 a “Threat to the Independence of Media” As Government Senate Representative Smears Bill Critics
- Extend the Deadline: My Submission to the CRTC on its Deeply Flawed Bill C-11 Consultations
- The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 168: Privacy Commissioner of Canada Philippe Dufresne on How to Fix Bill C-27
- CRTC Chair Vicky Eatrides Faces Her First Big Test: Is the Commission Serious About Public Participation on Bill C-11?
Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era (University of Ottawa Press, 2015)
The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law (University of Ottawa Press, 2013)
From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda (Irwin Law, 2010)
In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law (Irwin Law, 2005) .