Bill C–11 Becomes Law

Richard Raycraft, CBC News:

After years of debate, the Senate gave its final approval Thursday to Bill C-11, also known as the Online Streaming Act. It received royal assent shortly after.

The bill makes changes to Canada’s Broadcasting Act. The legislation requires streaming services, such as Netflix and Spotify, to pay to support Canadian media content like music and TV shows.

It also requires the platforms to promote Canadian content. Specifically, the bill says “online undertakings shall clearly promote and recommend Canadian programming, in both official languages as well as in Indigenous languages.”

As promising as the bill sounds on first pass for the Canadian arts industry, Ramneet Bhullar explained last year its faulty premise and the risk of its more overly-intrusive regulations.

Michael Geist:

The lengths the government was willing to go to avoid compromise still astonishes me. Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who has largely avoided publicly addressing the bill ever since he was surprised by tough questions on it from Vassy Kapelos at the Prime Time Conference, spent months denying what was evident to anyone who took the time to read it (including the former chair of the CRTC, independent Senators, experts, and digital creators), namely that user content is subject to potential regulation in Bill C-11. There was no bottom to these false denials: indigenous creators were disrespected, opponents investigated, critics ignored, and debate repeatedly cut off with time allocation motions.

A list of truly unforced blunders, in pursuit of a law which is so over-broad as to be worrisome. Its effects will be watched closely.