Post Tagged with: "crtc"

Claude_Moore_Colonial_Farm_P1010580_(506805279) tofer618 from Brooklyn, NY, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Limiting Public Participation: Why No One Should Be Surprised at the CRTC’s Internet Services Registration Requirement Ruling

The CRTC’s decision to require registration for a wide range of Internet sites and services that meet a $10 million revenue threshold, including podcasters, adult sites, and news sites, appears to have taken many Canadians by surprise. For anyone who closely followed Bill C-11, this was entirely expected given that the bill adopts an approach in which all audio and video content anywhere in the world is subject to Canada’s Broadcasting Act. I listed many of the sites that are now caught by the regulations back in 2021 based on an internal Heritage memo that identified many that no one would reasonably describe as web giants. In other words, this isn’t an outlier. Rather, it is how the government crafted the law with a “regulate everything” default and the expectation that the CRTC would establish some exemptions. But even if most Canadians were only vaguely aware of the exceptionally broad scope of Bill C-11, they might still have missed the regulatory process that led the CRTC to establish the $10 million threshold and acknowledge that this is the first step in a bigger regulatory plan. That is because the Commission intentionally limited public participation and rejected efforts to extend the timeline for submissions on the grounds that the issue was “industry focused and relatively narrow in scope.” 

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October 4, 2023 23 comments News
Podcasts by Mingo Hagen CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/4fxWtr

What the CRTC’s New Registration Requirements Mean for Regulating Everything from Online News Services to Podcast Providers

The CRTC last week released the first two of what is likely to become at least a dozen decisions involving the Online Streaming Act (aka Bill C-11). The decision, which attracted considerable commentary over the weekend, involves mandatory registration rules for audio and visual services that include far more than the large streaming services. The Commission says the registrations would give it “de minimis information about online undertakings and their activities in Canada, which would give the Commission an initial understanding of the Canadian online broadcasting landscape and would allow it to communicate with online undertakings.” By contrast, the inclusion of registration requirements for a wide range of undertakings, including some podcast services, online news sites, adult content sites, and social media left some characterizing it as a podcast registry or part of “one of the world’s most repressive online censorship schemes.” So what’s the reality? As is often the case, it is not as bad as critics would suggest, but not nearly as benign as the CRTC would have you believe. 

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October 2, 2023 65 comments News
The CRTC listened intently to the CFRO presentation. by Robin Puga https://flic.kr/p/8XhHm1 (CC0 1.0)

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 179: Peter Menzies on Why the CRTC Feels Broken Right Now

Last week, the CRTC issued the first two of what are likely to be at least a dozen decisions involving the Online Streaming Act. Those decisions are already sparking controversy, but as the Commission focuses on Bill C-11 and perhaps soon Bill C-18, there is mounting concern that its other responsibilities are falling by the wayside that its independence from the government is starting to show cracks. Peter Menzies is a former Vice-Chair of the CRTC and frequently commentator on broadcast, telecom and Internet regulatory issues. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the current state of the Commission, which has never seemed more important but also seemed more out of touch and incapable of meeting its duties.

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October 2, 2023 6 comments Podcasts
Urgent by Judith E. Bell https://flic.kr/p/o1mt5Q (CC BY-SA 2.0)

What Urgency?: CRTC Says It Will Take Years For Bill C-18 Media Bargaining to Begin

The Bill C-18 legislative process was marked by repeated warnings from the government that this was an urgent issue that justified its repeated efforts to cut off debate in order to fast track the bill into law before the summer break. In fact, in a late change, the bill was amended to provide that it would take effect with 180 days of royal assent, rather than the previously envisioned staged approach that would have resulted in a gradual development of regulations and implementation. That change has had enormous implications as the law can now take effect at any time but no later than December 19, 2023, which in turn led Meta to move to comply with the law immediately by blocking news links in Canada.

Notwithstanding the government’s plans, the CRTC apparently has other ideas.

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August 25, 2023 9 comments News
office-team-regulation-consultation-unity-agreement by PXFuel, https://www.pxfuel.com/en/free-photo-xabnf

The Bill C-18 Regulation Fake-Out: Setting the Record Straight on When Bill C-18 Takes Effect and the Regulation Making Process

The rhetoric around Bill C-18 has escalated in recent days in light of the awful wildfires in NWT and British Columbia. In my view, the issues associated with these tragic events have little to do with Meta blocking news links and the attempt to bring it into the conversation is a transparent attempt to score political points (the connectivity issues with some NWT communities completely taken offline for days is somehow never mentioned). The reality is that Meta was asked about just this scenario at committee and it made it clear that it would not block any non-news outlet links. That is precisely what has been happening and the government’s legislative choices should be the starting point for understanding why compliance with the law involves blocking a very broad range of news links that extend beyond even those sources that are defined as “eligible news outlets”. 

The government and supporters of Bill C-18 talking points now emphasize two things in relation to Meta blocking news links: the law has yet to take effect and there is room to address their concerns in the regulation-making process. Both of these claims are incredibly deceptive, relying on the assumption that most won’t bother to read the actual legislation. If they did, they would see that (1) the law has received royal assent and can take effect anytime and (2) the regulation making process addresses only a small subset of Bill C-18 issues with most of the core issues finalized. In other words, the time to shape the law and address many of the key concerns was before the government repeatedly cut off debate in order to ensure it that received royal assent before the summer break.

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August 21, 2023 25 comments News