Bill C-11: Minister Rodriguez and CRTC discuss next steps

Canada’s Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has said that now that Bill C-11 is passed, his future policy direction for the regulators charged with implementing the new rules will be dictated by the controversial online streaming law. It promises to “further clarify” that it “is only about the platform”. .”

“This is about the platform, never about the user…it’s not about what you or I post online. Even if what you post online is super cool and super fun, we I’m not interested,’ said the minister, in an interview with Vassy Kapelos airing on CTV’s Question Period on Sunday.

Bill C-11 received the King’s assent on Thursday, paving the way for the first substantive reforms to the Broadcasting Act since 1991. But first, the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) must create a matching regulatory framework that will determine how the new rules will be enforced.

As part of this process, Rodriguez will issue policy directives informing the work of the CRTC. A first draft will be published in the Canada Gazette for the public, artists, digital creators and businesses to read and provide feedback, according to the government. That draft will be updated and republished in consideration of what they have heard.

Bill C-11 notes that increasingly popular and profitable social media platforms and streaming services such as Netflix, Crave, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and YouTube are meeting Canadian content requirements and requirements on par with traditional broadcasters. The purpose is to ensure compliance with regulations. The policy change comes with the need for these platforms to invest millions of dollars in Canadian content and creators.

The NDP and Bloc Quebecois, and much of the ‘CanCon’ music, film and television industry backed Bill C-11, but critics, including the Conservatives, warned the Liberal Party’s proposal could have ramifications. is emitting This is due to regulations requiring platforms to promote Canadian content.

The potential impact on user-generated online content remained a key issue through extensive congressional scrutiny of last year’s bill until the final vote. Before the Senate approved Bill C-11, some senators tried to include amendments that they believed would bring some certainty to the bill’s scope related to user content, but the government rejected them. Did.

In an interview, Rodriguez accused the Conservative Party of spreading “disinformation” and trying to “stall” the bill. He reiterated that regulating what Canadians post online “is definitely not the intent of the bill, nor is it the effect of the bill.”

“I will be very clear. I will send the direction of the policy to the CRTC soon. There will be more clarity on that policy,” he said. “It’s just about the platform and their own obligations.”

CRTC promises not to regulate creators

In addition to the policy directives, the CRTC-led public consultation will also inform how these new online streaming rules and their enforcement will work in practice.

Late Thursday, issuing the first assurances of the regulator’s plan to move toward this process, CRTC chairman Vicky Eatrides said the CRTC will develop a regulatory framework that ensures all players contribute equally. and vowed that the CRTC “has no intention of regulating creators.” User Generated Content and of that content. “

“Broadcasting systems will ensure that online streaming services make a meaningful contribution to Canadian and Indigenous content. ,” said Eatrides.

The CRTC chair said that now that Bill C-11 is passed, regulators can begin “building the broadcast system of the future.”

“We will share our detailed plans and begin our first public consultations soon. Read the CRTC chairman’s statement and invite both traditional broadcasters and streaming services to provide feedback.

To mark the passage of the bill on Thursday, officials for and against broadcasting law changes have indicated plans to participate in upcoming regulatory talks, saying the law with royal assent is not the end of the story. It pointed out.

Groups representing digital creators say they will push for specific user content protections, while supporters of the bill say the regulatory framework created will create a two-tier system of traditional broadcasters and foreign streaming giants. It states that it is seeking a guarantee that it will not infiltrate held to different standards.

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