The new online streaming act (bill c-11) got royal assent to become a law in Canada on April 27.
This new law will promote Canadian influencers and artists across different platforms.
New Bill C-11 will empower Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will now be regulating a new broadcast category known as “online undertakings,” stipulating in the Broadcasting Act certain standards for platforms that disseminate programs online, including social media businesses.
The Online News Act of Canada, which passed the senate on June 22, establishes guidelines that mandate companies like Meta and Google to make business agreements and compensate news groups for their material.
“Fundamentally flawed legislation that ignores the realities of how our platforms work,” is how Meta has described the law.
On June 22, Meta announced that all Canadian users would no longer be able to access news on Facebook and Instagram until the bill becomes law.
The Online Streaming Act mandates that streaming providers such as YouTube, Netflix, Crave, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, etc to promote content created by Canadian artists, influencers, and content creators.
It is similar to “buying local” with CRTC directing online streaming providers to “promote local” in streaming feeds.
While this could be a good news for Canadian content creators, it is considered as a drawback for creators working non-Canadian content.
This new law will contribute to the wide distribution of Canadian stories and music on streaming services.
Furthermore, it will support the development of next generations of Canadian artists and content creators.
For example, YouTube customizes your home feed based on your preferences and interests as well as recent search, but new bill will force them to promote the content created by Canadian creators regarding the same preferences and interests, rather than from around the world.
YouTube and TikTok also started campaigns to block this bill, but it is now passed.
According to the Online Streaming Act, streaming companies must provide flexible and equitable contributions to the development, production, and dissemination of Canadian stories.
The bill will provide greater chances for Canadians to identify with what they hear and see thanks to a fresh framework that will result in an updated definition of Canadian Content that more accurately captures the variety of Canadian culture.
Now that the digital era has arrived, Canadian innovators, producers, and the cultural sector may expect a fair chance at success.
After receiving the royal assent, the government will now need to give instructions to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which will be in charge of carrying out the Online Streaming Act.
Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez who brought this bill in first place said, “With this legislation, we are ensuring that Canada’s incredible talent has a bigger and brighter stage online. They tell our stories, they make our voices heard, they contribute to our economy, and they make our culture what it is: strong, diverse and unique,”
Why this new online streaming Law?
The bill would give the CRTC more authority, including the ability to levy financial penalties on corporations that breach portions of the Act.
The broadcasting, audiovisual, and music industries supported around 111,000 employment in 2021 and added nearly $14 billion to Canada’s GDP.
This new online stream law will directly increase the contribution of Canadian broadcasting and content creators which in turn will also boost their annual revenue.
For instance, a Canadian YouTuber currently earning $1,000 will see boost in their revenue for the same content because YouTube will now have to place their content prior to outside of Canada creator for the same topic.
Additionally, Canadian creator also have a better understanding of in-Canada scenario reflecting the correct image as compared to foreign creator creating videos just based on hearsay from different sources.
As a result, more revenue for Canadian content creators and more tax revenue for the government, given that influencer and creator market is expanding exponentially including the OTT (Over-the-top) media platform.
Criticism of Bill-C11
Critics of Bill-C11 says that government will now decide what the Canadians see in their feed rather than independent function of these online platforms.
Furthermore, Canadian YouTuber are looking to see the language of final law and regulated created by CRTC.
Famous Canadian YouTuber, JJ McCullough in an interview in the past said that he cannot take it for granted if his content “seems Canadian” then it will be “deemed Canadian” by CRTC regulations.
He further added, that even Canadian content creators will have to follow the CRTC guidelines to ensure that their content is actually passes “Canadian” regulation.
JJ says it will be important to see what CRTC set out guidelines to qualify for Canadian. For e.g., video director is Canadian or script writer is Canadian or it contains touch of Canadian culture (like recipe videos containing maple syrup).
What is Bill C-11 Canada?
Bill C-11 will empower Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will now be regulating a new broadcast category known as “online undertakings,” stipulating in the Broadcasting Act certain standards for platforms that disseminate programs online, including social media businesses.
It seems similar to “buying local” for Canadians, with CRTC directing online streaming providers such as YouTube, Netflix, Crave, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, etc to “promote local content” in streaming feeds.
Learn more here
Did Bill C-11 get passed?
Yes, Bill C-11 received royal assent on April 27, 2023 at 6:55 p.m. EST (Toronto time).