Post Tagged with: "discoverability"

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

CRTC Chair Ian Scott Confirms It Yet Again: Bill C-11 Includes Regulatory Power On User Content

The Online Streaming Act hearings at the Canadian Heritage committee continued yesterday with testimony from several notable witnesses, including CRTC Chair Ian Scott. Scott had appeared before the committee several weeks earlier, confirming that Bill C-11 contains a provision that captures user content regulation, acknowledging that “as constructed, there is a provision that would allow us to do it as required.” That statement would not ordinarily be controversial since the inclusion of user content has been readily apparent since the bill was introduced. I’ve argued that Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has engaged in systematic gaslighting with his insistence that user content is not in the bill. My post on the issue walks through the proposed legislation, noting the “CRTC is empowered to create regulations applicable to user content uploaded to social media services as programs” and focusing specifically on the discoverability rules and their implications.

Scott’s appearance was presumably designed to walk back or soften his earlier statement on user content regulation in the bill. And while he was at pains to suggest that the CRTC faced strict limits in its regulatory power, he once again acknowledged the reality:

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June 1, 2022 5 comments News
TikTok by Solen Feyissa (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2jsaQgK

Bill C-11’s Foundational Faults, Part Four: Why the Discoverability Rules Will Harm Canadian Creators and Risk Millions in Revenues

My post on why Bill C-11’s discoverability rules are a flawed solution in search of a problem demonstrated that there is little incentive for Internet platforms to make it difficult for Canadians to find Canadian content. Indeed, experience with both Netflix and Youtube suggest that there is every reason to ensure the availability of such content and to recommend it where users show an interest. Yet proponents of discoverability regulations may still argue that even if they are unlikely to accomplish much, what is the harm in trying? The simple answer is that the regulated discoverability requirements are likely to harm Canadian creators, resulting in lost audiences and potentially millions in lost revenues.

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March 11, 2022 11 comments News
Youtube screen shot

Bill C-11’s Foundational Faults, Part Three: Why the Discoverability Rules Are a Flawed Solution in Search of a Problem

My prior posts on the foundational faults in Bill C-11 focused on the virtually limitless reach of the CRTC’s jurisdictional power over audio-visual services and the risks of treating all audio-visual content as a “program” subject to potential regulation. This post – the first of two on the subject – explains why the discoverability rules that purport to better promote Canadian content are a flawed solution in search of problem that will actually make things worse for Canadian creators.

The discoverability provision, which grants the CRTC the power to establish discoverability requirements as a condition on Internet services, states at Section 9.1(1):

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March 10, 2022 10 comments News
Out of Time [206/366] by Tim Sackton https://flic.kr/p/cEkpgG (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Guilbeault’s Gag Order, the Sequel: Time Running Out as Government Seeks to End Debate on Bill C-10 in the House of Commons

Fresh off imposing a five-hour gag order on committee debate on Bill C-10 and rushing through a secretive process in which dozens of amendments were passed without any debate, discussion or even disclosure of the amendments, the government is back for a gag order sequel. Yesterday, the Liberal government introduced another motion, this one designed to limit debate even further: one hour for debate at the report back stage and 75 minutes at third reading. In other words, less than 2 1/2 hours total for debate on the bill in the House of Commons. The motion was introduced before the updated Bill C-10 was even posted online, though it is now available.

The move led to hours of discussion on the motion last night, leading to a consistent drumbeat from Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs, who kept asking what was in the bill that presented a concern for a freedom of expression. Left unsaid, is that at least part of the answer is what is not the bill:

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June 15, 2021 7 comments News
apolitik_algorithm by ApolitikNow (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/q9JmSt

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 90: Fenwick McKelvey on Bill C-10, Discoverability and the Missing Representation of a New Generation of Canadian Creators

Weeks into a high profile debate over Bill C-10, the issue of discoverability of Canadian content has emerged as a policy tug of war between supporters that want the CRTC to intervene by mandating the discoverability of Canadian content on sites such as Youtube and Tiktok and critics that argue the approach would raise significant freedom of expression and net neutrality concerns.
But what exactly is “discoverability” and how would it impact both users and the thousands of Canadian creators that have already found success on digital platforms?

Fenwick McKelvey is a communications professor at Concordia University who has written more about the discoverability and algorithmic media  than anyone in Canada. He has regularly participated in CRTC hearings and was the co-author of a leading study on the issue commissioned by Canadian Heritage. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about discoverability, his frustrations with its implementation in Bill C-10, and the potential consequences for Canadian creators.

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May 31, 2021 3 comments Podcasts