Canada's contentious streaming bill has just become law

Canada’s contentious streaming bill has just become law

Bill C-11, introduced in Canada, requires streaming companies such as Netflix and Spotify to pay for local Canadian series, music, and other content. The Senate recently approved the bill, which imposes the same content laws on streamers as it does on traditional broadcasters. The new rules give the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) broad authority over streaming companies, which may face fines or other penalties if they do not comply with the new laws.

While the government has stated that the bill only applies to businesses and not to individual content creators on YouTube or other platforms, critics have argued that it could lead to over-regulation of the internet. The Conservative opposition in Canada, for example, has called the bill a “archaic system of censorship,” claiming that government gatekeepers will now have the power to control which videos, posts, and other online content Canadians can see.

Furthermore, the bill has been chastised for its breadth and lack of clarity in some cases. Many other countries, however, have already enacted local content rules for streaming companies, such as the EU’s requirement for member nations to have at least 30% locally produced content, and Australia’s recent announcement of content quotas to be placed on Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, and other international streamers by July 2024.

Schitt’s Creek, Letterkenny, and M’entends-tu are among the notable Canadian series, as are numerous US and international shows shot in cities such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

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