Bill C-11 won’t impact user-generated content, Heritage Minister says

Many have questioned what the bill will mean for freedom of speech

Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez says Bill C-11 is a necessity for Canadians.

He made the comments during a discussion on the final day of the Canadian Media Producers Association’s Prime Time conference, a report from Cartt states.

“Things have changed, and we know we need these streamers to contribute to our culture, to our system, to how we tell our own stories,” he said.

Also known as the Online Streaming Act, the bill aims to regulate online streaming services under the same rules as Canadian broadcasters. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will serve as the governing body.

Rodriguez said he believes the CRTC has the experience to handle the bill once approved, but the government will be providing more resources, so the commission will have “everything they need to do the job once C-11 is adopted.

A similar act, Bill C-10, was introduced before the 2021 federal election but died at the bench. Rodriguez said the government addressed the criticisms it received in Bill C-10 when working on the new bill.

“I think we brought the necessary changes to the bill to reassure them and to make sure that platforms are in and users are out. So that means if you and I decide to sing a song together and to post it well, even if it’s beautiful, it’s not going to be regulated,” he said.

He said creators making money off their content wouldn’t be “impacted by this bill,” a concern voiced by critics of the bill.

At a panel hosted the day before Rodriguez spoke, Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, said the bill could potentially threaten creativity in Canada.

Kyncl raised concerns the new rules would impact Canadian content viewed by a worldwide audience. “Anything through the bill that would negatively impact that is simply going to hurt the creative community in Canada. And that’s not the intent of the government,” he said.

While not answering Kyncl’s comments directly, Rodriguez said the bill wouldn’t regulate user-generated content.

Image credit: CPAC (screenshot)

Source: Cartt.ca