Canada has passed a new law to keep online streaming platforms in check. The law was passed on Thursday local time. According to this law, streaming companies like Netflix and Spotify will be required to spend 30% of their revenue on the promotion and distribution of Canadian content.
The law has granted powers to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Authority in Canada to regulate digital media companies. If the law is violated, digital media companies can also be fined. However, the Canadian government has stated that the purpose of the law is not to control independent content producers.Reported by the BBC
The law specifically states that all these online platforms will be required to prominently promote and recommend Canadian programming in both official languages and Indigenous languages
The Canadian government states that the existing broadcasters will also be bound by this law when they engage in broadcasting through online mediums. Broadcasters will be required to spend at least 30% of their revenue to support Canadian content.
In a recent government press release, it has been mentioned that online streaming platforms have a significant impact on user habits and culture, to the extent of influencing values. Therefore, this is the reason behind the update of our system.
Critics have indeed expressed concerns about the potential infringement on freedom of expression by this law. Companies affected by the law have also voiced their criticism. Online video-sharing platform TikTok, for example, believes that the law may have an impact on its users. However, the Canadian government has previously stated that the law will not affect users’ freedoms.
Google and YouTube have initiated campaigns against this law. They also argue that it will have a significant impact on users in a detrimental manner.
The C-11 bill, also known as the House of Commons’ Copyright Modernization Act, was introduced in February 2022. It sparked extensive debates and discussions. Almost a year later, the bill was reintroduced to the House of Commons after undergoing significant amendments. After prolonged debates, the law was passed on Thursday local time.
The bill has faced the most controversy regarding its application to user-generated content on online platforms, such as podcasts and online videos. However, the government has emphasized that the intention of the law is not to control independent content producers.