Ottawa Pushes to Regulate Online Content


Ottawa Pushes to Regulate Online Content. In November, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault presented Bill C-10. The stated goal was to modernize the Broadcasting Act. It is to Canadians are rapidly consuming music, movies, TV shows, videos, and podcasts online or through smartphone apps.

The government’s goal is to promote Canadian content. So that Digital entertainment platforms that benefit from increased internet traffic contribute to the growth, distribution of Canadian content.
Canadian distributors of broadcast content pay a portion of their revenue into the Canada Media Fund. It is an agency that finances Canadian programming. CRTC- regulated broadcasters also have to broadcast a minimum amount of Canadian content on radio and TV.

If the officials pass Bill C-10, online streaming platforms operating in Canada (Netflix, Spotify, Crave, and Amazon Prime) will also be subject to similar regulations if CRTC decides so.

Such regulations could require them to pay into funds that support Canadian musicians, writers, and artists. They could also compel them to make Canadian content more visible on their platforms.

Push to Regulate Online Content

Bill C-10, in its original form, excluded user-generated material uploaded on social media pages from the CRTC’s authority. That meant that professionally produced shows and songs would be subject to CRTC regulation. While, music videos on Youtube, Facebook updates, and podcasts on Apple Podcasts would be exempt since individual users upload the content.

Guilbeault told MPs, “Our approach is balanced, and we have made the choice to exclude a number of areas from the new regime. User-generated content will not be regulated.”

According to critics, these amendments could grant the CRTC authority over the content that millions of Canadians upload every day to sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa professor and the Canada Research Chair in internet law, said: “The kind of speech that many Canadians engage in on these platforms is just basic, fundamental freedom of expression that does not require, and should not be subject to, any sort of regulation or regulatory oversight by a broadcast regulator,”

However, the federal government claims Bill C-10 will not moderate content posted by individuals users.