The first post in my series on Bill C-11 focused on the risks associated with regulating user content. But it isn’t just ordinary users posting on services such as TikTok or Youtube that could find their content subject to regulation. The bill is ostensibly designed to support Canadian creators, yet many fear it will do the opposite. For the independent production sector, there was a late change to the bill as part of the government’s rush to pass it without committee debate that could undermine an essential policy that supports the film and television sector. And for digital creators, there are justifiable fears the bill will result in less revenue, less global exposure, and lost opportunities for one of Canada’s fastest growing cultural sectors.
Post Tagged with: "discoverability"
The Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications resumes its hearings into Bill C-11 this week with plans for four sessions that will hear from a wide range of witnesses. Given the shortcomings of the House committee hearings – numerous important stakeholders were not given the opportunity to appear – the Senate review this fall provides a critical opportunity to re-examine the bill and to address some of its obvious flaws. With that in mind, this post is the first of a series that highlights some of Bill C-11’s major risks and concerns.
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:
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.
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):