The Broadcasting Act blunder series has highlighted Bill C-10’s many regulatory requirements for Internet services including registration, regulations, CRTC-imposed conditions, discoverability requirements, and (in an upcoming post) mandated payments. There is another requirement that may raise the ire of some foreign services and force them to consider blocking the Canadian market. The bill establishes significant confidential data disclosure requirements as a condition that may be imposed on Internet services both big and small around the world.
The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 15: Mandated Confidential Data Disclosures May Keep Companies Out of Canada
The Broadcasting Act blunder series has previously examined Bill C-10’s enormous cost to the foundational elements of Canadian broadcasting policy including the beginning of the end of Canadian ownership and control requirements and how it downgrades the role of Canadians in their own programming. There is another significant cost that comes from a bill that Andrew Coyne of the Globe and Mail describes as “one of the most radical expansions of state regulation in Canadian history.” At a time when the government has emphasized the importance of intellectual property, the bill opens the door to less Canadian control and ownership over its IP.
The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 13: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Targeting Individual Services
Several Broadcasting Act blunder posts have focused on the extensive regulatory requirements for Internet services in Bill C-10, including registration requirements, regulations, and conditions of operation all subject to penalties for failure to comply. While the CRTC will be tasked with establishing the specifics, the bill is notable in that it grants the Commission the power to target individual services or companies with unique or individualized requirements. In other words, rather than establishing a “level playing field” (itself a fiction), Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is opening the door to multiple fields with individual companies potentially each facing their own specific requirements and conditions to operate in Canada.
The Broadcasting Act blunder series with a continued examination of the “regulate everything ” approach in Bill C-10. A previous post focused on the regulation and registration requirements which make a mockery of the government’s claim that there are no licensing requirements for Internet services since the requirements are little different than what is often found in a licence. Indeed, Section 10(1)(i) gives the CRTC the power to establish regulations that could require all broadcasting undertakings – including online undertakings – to register with the Commission, pay registration fees, and face regulations on Canadian programming, advertising rules, and audit rules. Failure to comply with these regulations carries the possibility of stiff penalties.
The Broadcasting Act blunder series takes a day off to focus on my Globe and Mail op-ed this week on the decision in Bill C-10 to remove Canadian ownership and control requirements from the Broadcasting Act. The op-ed notes that while Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has told the House of Commons that the bill seeks to safeguard cultural sovereignty, the reality is that it represents a surrender of Canadian ownership and control over the broadcasting system.