By: Cassie B.
(Natural News) After 10 months of debate, Canada’s Senate has passed controversial online streaming legislation that will force major Internet broadcasters like YouTube and Netflix to show viewers more Canadian content within the country.
The Online Transmission Law, or Bill C-11, was approved by the unelected upper house with 52 votes in favor, 16 against, and one abstention. It then received royal assent, meaning it will become law. It was a long road marked by years of debate and one of the most extensive studies in the history of the country’s upper house. The bill has faced significant pushback from internet users, content creators, and streaming platforms.
The legislation will put streaming platforms like YouTube, Disney Plus, Spotify and TikTok under the control of the country’s streaming regulator, the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), who will be tasked with ensuring they comply with requirements. of Canadian content that are already available to radio and television stations.
In its eagerness to guarantee online streaming services promote Canadian programmingthe bill states that “online companies will clearly promote and recommend Canadian programming, in both official languages and indigenous languages.”
CRTC will have the power to issue financial penalties for parties it determines are in violation of the law. Right now, broadcasters in Canada must spend 30 percent or more of their revenue to support Canadian content.
Bill will control the content that Canadians can watch online
The bill was proposed by the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and passed the lower house of Canada’s parliament in June before becoming law this month. The opposition Conservative Party of Canada has argued that the bill will destroy freedom of expression and choice online.
A conservative website said of the bill: “Under this archaic system of censorship, government gatekeepers will now have the power to control what videos, posts and other content Canadians can see online.”
YouTube has expressed strong reservations about how the bill will affect user-generated content. The new law will force YouTube to recommend Canadian content to users when they visit its home page instead of watching videos tailored to their particular interests. This could make it harder for people to find the type of content they want to see. Many worry that the new law could make it harder for creators on platforms like TikTok and YouTube to reach the masses.
It is not entirely clear how this account it will be followed in practice and its language is very broad, which has caused a lot of confusion and fear. Its interpretation and execution will ultimately correspond to the CRTC.
The bill says that Canadian broadcasting must “meet the needs and interests of all Canadians, including Canadians from racialized communities and Canadians of diverse ethnic origins, socioeconomic status, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.” and ages. ”
In addition, the bill gives the CRTC new powers, but it is not known how it will use them. However, the CRTC is required to hold public consultations on how its new powers will be used.
Streamers could also see similar regulations come into effect in Australia soon. The government there is about to implement content quotas in its five-year national cultural policy. The European Union already has a local content quota for streaming services of 30 percent.
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