Post Tagged with: "user content"

YT Music app icon on smartphone screen by Ivan Radic https://flic.kr/p/2m1K5Zz (CC BY 2.0)

Scoping User Content Out of Bill C-11: Senate Committee Makes Much-Needed Change, But Will the Government Accept It?

The widespread concern over Bill C-11 has largely focused on the potential CRTC regulation of user content. Despite repeated assurances from the government that “users are out, platforms are in”, the reality is that the bill kept the door open to regulating such content. The language in the bill is clear: Section 4.2 grants the CRTC the power to establish regulations on programs (which includes audio and audiovisual content by users). The provision identifies three considerations for the Commission, most notably if the program “directly or indirectly generates revenues.” The revenue generation provision is what led many digital creators to argue they were caught by the bill and for TikTok to conclude that any video with music would also fall within the ambit of the legislation.

The Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications, which has conducted months of hearings on Bill C-11, was clearly convinced that the user content issue needed to be addressed. Last night (hours after the ill-advised addition of age verification to the bill), it agreed on an amendment that, with two key caveats, goes a long way to scoping out user content regulation.

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December 7, 2022 7 comments News
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
Danger by Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/7Gcasi

Bill C-11 Enters a Danger Zone: Government Shifts from Ignoring Witnesses on User Content Regulation to Dismissing Criticisms as “Misinformation”

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage heard from a total of 48 witnesses as individuals or representing organizations during its study of Bill C-11 (excluding the CRTC and government officials). Of those 48, at least 16 either raised concerns about the regulation of user content in the bill or disputed government claims about its effect. Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs proposed and voted for amendments in Bill C-11 raised by a single witness or organization, but somehow the testimony of one-third of the witnesses, which included creators, consumer groups, independent experts, Internet platforms, and industry associations. was ignored.

The government’s decision to ignore the overwhelming majority of testimony on the issue of regulating user content damages the credibility of the committee Bill C-11 review and makes the forthcoming Senate study on the bill even more essential. But the government went beyond just ignoring witness testimony yesterday in the House of Commons. It now claims those views constitute “misinformation.” Tim Louis, a Liberal MP who is on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and sat through hours of testimony, said this in the House of Commons yesterday:

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June 18, 2022 15 comments News
Pablo Rodriguez at Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, June 6, 2022, https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20220606/-1/37277

Why Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s Bill C-11 Content Regulation Denials Ring Hollow

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage yesterday, using the opportunity to defend Bill C-11 with assurances that concerns about the inclusion of user content within the bill were “unfounded.” As this post unpacks, the denials of content regulation ring hollow as his defence falls apart on close examination of the bill. Numerous witnesses, including digital creators, Internet platforms, and industry associations, have all expressed concerns about the issue. Rather than respond to them, Rodriguez and the government implausibly deny that the issue exists at all.

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June 7, 2022 7 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

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