Post Tagged with: "netflix"

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The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 8: The Unnecessary Discoverability Requirements

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has cited the need to improve the “discoverability” of Canadian content as a critical reason to support Bill C-10, his Broadcasting Act reform bill. Speaking of his daughter’s use of digital services, Guilbeault told the House of Commons that the bill “will allow her not only to take advantage of an international offering, but also to discover Canadian content.” While few would oppose ensuring that Canadian content is easy to find and well marketed, the Broadcasting Act blunder series continues today with a look at the evidence on the issue of discoverability, finding there is little to support claims that regulatory intervention for streaming services is needed.

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November 30, 2020 3 comments News
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The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 3: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t.

The Broadcasting Act Blunder series continues this week with posts focused on the uncertainty fuelled by a bill that was months in the making, yet leaves numerous issues unanswered (prior posts in the Broadcasting Act Blunder series include Day 1: Why there is no Canadian Content Crisis, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”).   Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault tried assure the House of Commons last week that the bill features several “guardrails” against over-broad regulation. In particular, he stated:

entities would need to reach a significant economic threshold before any regulation could be imposed. This keeps the nature of the Internet as it is. It simply asks companies that generate large revenues in Canada to contribute in a fair manner.

With all due respect, this is simply false. There is no specific economic threshold established by the bill. The starting point is that all Internet streaming services carried on in whole or in part within Canada are subject to Canadian regulation. In other words, if you have Canadian subscribers, the law applies regardless of where the service is located.

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November 23, 2020 3 comments News
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The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”

A central part of Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s argument for Bill C-10, his Internet regulation bill that reforms the Broadcasting Act, is that it levels the playing field between traditional and online broadcasters. Guilbeault has tweeted images showing a scale that are designed to suggest that conventional broadcasters such as Bell and Rogers face an unfair disadvantage by facing regulations and mandated payment requirements that do not apply to Internet streaming services. These claims are regularly repeated in the House of Commons with Guilbeault stating this week that “the purpose of the bill is to level the playing field” and “this bill will level the playing field between traditional Canadian broadcasters and online broadcasters.” Those claims continued during debate on Thursday, when MPs repeatedly referenced levelling the playing field as the goal of the bill.

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November 20, 2020 5 comments News
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The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 69: Bram Abramson on the Government’s Plan to Regulate Internet Streaming Services

Last week, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault introduced Bill C-10, legislation that would significantly reform Canada’s Broadcasting Act. A foundational part of what he has called a “get money from web giants” legislative strategy, the bill grants new powers to the CRTC to regulate online streaming services. Bram Abramson is one of Canada’s leading communications law lawyers and managing director of a new digital risk and rights strategy firm called 32M. Bram acted as an outside consultant on telecom regulation for the recent Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review panel – often called the Yale Report –  but he joins the podcast to talk about the past, present and future of broadcast regulation, in particular what Bill C-10 could mean for the regulation of online streaming services.

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November 9, 2020 2 comments Podcasts
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The Government’s Internet Regulation Bill: Why Bill C-10 Will Mean a CRTC-Approved Netflix Service, Reduced Consumer Choice, and Less Investment in Canadian Culture

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault tabled his “get money from web giants” Internet regulation bill this morning. As expected, Bill C-10 hands massive new powers to Canada’s telecom and broadcast regulator (the CRTC) to regulate online streaming services, opening the door to mandated Cancon payments, discoverability requirements, and confidential information disclosures all backed by new fining powers. Given that many of the details will be sorted out by the CRTC, the specifics will take years to unfold. In the short term, the bill creates considerable marketplace uncertainty that could lead to reduced spending on Canadian film and television production and delayed entry into Canada of new services. Once the policies are in place, the end result will be CRTC-approved versions of Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime in which the regulator decides how these services promote Canadian content to their subscribers.

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November 3, 2020 25 comments News