Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, is now law in Canada, updating the country’s broadcasting regulations for the first time since 1991. The act requires streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, and YouTube to promote and financially contribute to Canadian content. The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will likely update the definition of “Canadian content” in response to the bill. The main opposition to the bill came from the Conservatives, YouTube, and Canadian digital-first creators, who argued that the legislation’s ambiguous language could lead to government censorship and the regulation of amateur videos.
Most Canadians will not experience significant changes, but may notice more Canadian productions on streaming platforms. YouTube is expected to be the only social media platform affected by the bill. The impact of the bill on creators and artists in Canada remains unclear, with some artists’ groups arguing that the legislation does not go far enough in forcing American giants to support Canadian content. Others fear potential overreach and negative effects on creators on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. The CRTC’s decisions on implementing the act will be closely watched in the coming years.
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