Bill C-11 may have receded into the background of CRTC consultations and government policy directions, but Canadians concerned with user content, video game and algorithmic regulation would do well to pay attention. Lobby groups that fought for the inclusion of user content regulation in the bill have now turned their attention to the regulatory process and are seeking to undo government assurances that each of those issues – user content, algorithms and even video games – would fall outside of the scope of the regulatory implementation of the bill. In fact, if the groups get their way, Canadians would face unprecedented regulations with the CRTC empowered to create a host of new obligations that could even include requirements for Youtubers and TikTokers to register with the Commission. With a new Heritage Minister in place, the submissions raise serious concerns about whether the government will maintain its commitments regarding scoping out users, video games, and algorithms.
The most troubling publicly available document comes from a coalition that calls itself ACCORD, representing songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The group has posted its submission to the government’s consultation on the draft policy direction to the CRTC on Bill C-11. All submissions are not yet posted, but I should note that I also submitted a brief document, calling on the government to fully honour its commitment to exclude user content and algorithms from regulation and to establish limits on discoverability regulation.