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Yale ISP Talk poster, https://twitter.com/yaleisp/status/1592643606392643584

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 147: Canada’s Battle over Internet Streamers – A Cancon Story of Freedom of Expression, Algorithms and Cultural Policy

The end for Bill C-11 at the Senate is drawing near as this week, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez is scheduled to make a long awaited appearance followed by clause-by-clause review of the bill. The Senate hearings have been a model for legislative review. They have heard from a myriad of witness, read countless briefs, and immersed themselves in a hard piece of legislation. Regardless of their views, they know the issues around content regulation in the bill are real. The big remaining questions are whether those hearings result in legislative amendments and, if they do, whether the government will accept them.

While the Senate was continuing its hearings last week, I was delighted to travel to Yale University to deliver a talk on the bill and the controversies it has sparked. This week’s Law Bytes podcast is an audio version of that talk, which traces the development of Canadian broadcast policy as applied to the Internet and recounts how a relatively uncontroversial bill when first introduced sparked a firestorm that is still raging.

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November 21, 2022 3 comments Podcasts
CRTC at Senate TRMC Committee, November 16, 2022, https://senparlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20221116/-1/11512

Oops, He Did It Again: CRTC Chair Ian Scott Tries to Walk Back Bill C-11 Comments, But Officials Confirm Power to Regulate User Content is in the Bill

CRTC Chair Ian Scott returned to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications last night, presumably hoping that his fourth House and Senate committee appearance involving Bill C-11 might allow him to say what the government clearly would like, namely that the bill will not lead to the regulation of user content. Yet Scott has failed each time, because the bill plainly does contain that power. In this instance, Scott embarrassed himself, the CRTC, and the entire legislative process as he demonstrably failed to defend the independence of the CRTC and zig-zagged between actively promoting the bill, claiming that was not his role, and even bizarrely offering to draft potential amendments.

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November 17, 2022 14 comments News
Meet Ian, The reproduction is a copy of the version available at https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/acrtc/organ.htm#presidentBio. The reproduction is not  an official version of the materials reproduced, nor has it been made, in affiliation with or with the endorsement of the CRTC.

In His Own Words: CRTC Chair Ian Scott on Bill C-11

As noted in yesterday’s post on CRTC Chair Ian Scott’s upcoming Bill C-11 appearance before the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications, sources indicate that Scott requested the re-appearance in order to “clarify” his earlier remarks. Since those remarks were themselves a clarification of an earlier clarification, there is seemingly no end to Scott’s willingness to try to downplay the regulating of user content provisions that are plainly included in the bill. While the appearance itself raises concerns about government interference at the Commission, it is worth revisiting again what Scott has told both House and Senate committees with regard to Bill C-11.

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November 16, 2022 6 comments News
Ian Scott Before Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, May 31, 2022, https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20220531/-1/37205

Clarifying the Clarification of the Clarification: Why Yet Another Upcoming “Clarification” from CRTC Chair Ian Scott Demonstrates the Risks of Bill C-11 and Government Interference

CRTC Chair Ian Scott returns to the Standing Senate Committee on Transportation and Communications tomorrow for yet another appearance on Bill C-11. According to multiple sources, the appearance came at the Scott’s request, who is seeking yet another chance to “clarify” his earlier remarks. I’m hardly one to criticize multiple committee appearances, but the continued effort to clarify earlier comments smacks of political involvement. Indeed, when combined with the controversial Section 7(7) of the bill, it suggests that the government envisions a permanent erosion of the independence of the broadcast regulator in Canada.

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November 15, 2022 4 comments News
Facebook (LCD monitor) by Mr Seb (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/9rr3JG

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 146: Axel Bruns on What the Australian Experience Teaches About the Prospect of Facebook Blocking News Sharing in Response to Bill C-18

As Bill C-18 heads to clause-by-clause review later this week, the prospect that Facebook could block news sharing on its platform in Canada in response has attracted the ire of politicians and concerns from media outlets that rely on social media as part of their business model. But is this a bluff or, having just laid off 11,000 employees, an accurate reflection of where the company stands on the value of news on its platform given current economic realities?

Axel Bruns is a Professor of Communication and Media Studies at QUT Digital Media Research CentreQueensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, who has written about the Australian News Media Bargaining Code and the effects of the Facebook news sharing blocking in 2021. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the Australian experience in an effort to answer the question of whether Facebook is bluffing or if news sharing on the platform in Canada is placed at risk should Bill C-18 become law.

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November 14, 2022 5 comments Podcasts