ontario news watch

Government policy tells CRTC to exclude social media users from online streaming bill

OTTAWA — The federal government is telling Canada’s broadcasting regulator to exclude individual social media creators in the regulations to implement the government’s new online streaming law.

The bill is meant to force platforms such as Netflix, YouTube and TikTok to contribute and promote Canadian content.

It passed in April but the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission must now develop regulations to implement the bill’s intentions.

The government’s directive to the CRTC on those regulations today says the commission should prioritize parts of the bill dealing with redefining Canadian content, advancing Indigenous storytelling and achieving better representation from Black and LGBTQ communities.

The directive also instructs the CRTC to ensure the regulations do not apply to social media users whose business model is their own content, even if they use commercial songs in their videos. 

A senior government official with the Canadian Heritage Department says the law will apply only to commercial broadcasters that stream content online, with the key being they also broadcast that content — such as a sports games or shows — on TV, radio, or other streaming services.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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