Canada Enhances Regulation for Streaming and Podcasts, Focusing on Cultural Contributions
Recently, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has introduced new regulations to foster substantial contributions to Canadian and Indigenous content by streaming services operating in the country. The regulatory initiative requires content providers generating over $10 million annually to complete a registration form, providing details about their operations by November 28.
Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC, emphasized the need for a dynamic broadcasting system that adapts to evolving circumstances. “We are creating a new broadcasting system that can evolve with changing times. Wide participation and accurate public records are crucial for this transformation,” stated Eatrides on the official CRTC website.
While the CRTC frames these measures as bolstering cultural contributions, some critics view it differently. Elon Musk, CEO of X (formerly Twitter), expressed concerns about the potential impact on free speech, stating, “Trudeau is trying to stop Canadians from speaking their minds. It is a shame,” in a post on X.
These sentiments echo the criticism from journalist and columnist Glenn Greenwald, who highlighted what he perceives as online censorship. Greenwald shared a CRTC news release on social media, stating, “The Canadian government, which has one of the strictest online censorship plans in the world, says that all ‘online streaming services that offer podcasts’ must officially register with the government so that it can keep an eye on them.”
The Online Streaming Act, formerly Bill C-11, was enacted in April. It granted the CRTC expanded powers, including the authority to fine individuals and companies violating the Broadcasting Act or its regulations. This move aligns with global trends, as demonstrated by Meta’s response in August, removing news articles from Facebook and Instagram in Canada to comply with a new law requiring internet giants to compensate writers for shared news content.
In light of these developments, Google intends to join a legal challenge against the new law unless “serious structural issues” are addressed promptly. Despite the criticism, proponents argue that these regulatory efforts are essential for safeguarding cultural diversity and ensuring that streaming services play a meaningful role in supporting Canadian and Indigenous content.