Is the government trying to regulate the videos you post? What you should know about Bill C-10


OTTAWA – For the past few weeks, concerns have been growing over the suggestion that the federal government is leaving the door open to new laws, so that you may be subject to federal regulations for posting online.

As a series of changes to federal broadcasting law removing security for individuals’ content, the concern is that trendy dance clips or the latest funny dog ​​videos you upload to YouTube or Instagram may be controlled or monitored is.

The negotiations have been hinted at as part of the ongoing changes to Bill C-10, which are intended to impose regulations on social media companies and streaming giants, which are subject to traditional television and radio broadcasters.

Following continued criticism by the Internet and free speech experts, as well as some members of parliament, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbult is promising to re-enact the law.

Now he vows to make it “crystal clear” that the government plans to go after only tech giants and “professional” online audio or video such as television, movies, music or podcasts, rather than individual Canadians’ social media posts K.

So, how did we get here, and what happens now? Here you need to know.

How the bill was filed earlier

In November 2020, Bill C-10 was introduced in the Gilbelt by the House of Commons.

When it was first introduced, the bill’s focus was on bringing increasingly popular and profitable streaming giants such as Netflix, Crave, Spotify, and Amazon Prime Video under regulation by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) . Way for traditional broadcasters. As a result of these changes, the online platform will cost millions of dollars to support Canadian content and creators.

The main proposal in Bill C-10 is to create a new category of broadcasting, known as “online ventures”, the Broadcasting Act requires spelling to have certain requirements for platforms that publish programs online. , Which includes social media companies such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. .

Other adjustments to the Act aim to update Canada’s broadcasting system, taking into account Indigenous culture, access requirements, and the interests of racial communities.

This bill first proposes substantial amendments. Since the Broadcasting Act 1991. But it also amends a range of other laws, including the Canadian Elections Act, the Right to Information Act and the Copyright Act.

In mid-February, Bill C-10 was passed in the committee study phase, with mixed reactions among MPs.

What changes have been made?

Bill C-10 has since been before the House of Commons Canadian Heritage Committee, and for the past few months MPs have heard more than 70 witnesses and received nearly 50 written presentations from experts, stakeholders, and broadcast industry representatives, but Are expressing their views. Bill.

As is usual during committee studies, once the bill has been reacted, lawmakers call the legislation “clause-by-clause”. This essentially means that MPs and departmental experts go through each section of the proposed bill and amend the way the law is drafted. For Bill C-10, the process began in mid-April and has taken about 15 hours so far with several amendments made in six meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday to continue that work.

While many changes have been brought forward in the committee, the main changes to the bill that are at the center of the current controversy were presented on 23 April by Liberal MP Julie Dabrussin.

Dubrucine, who is also the parliamentary secretary of Guilbult, left Erase a part of the bill Which upheld a boycott within the Broadcasting Act for individual users of the social media platform.

Labeled “clause 4.1,” the now-axed sentences stated that the act would not apply to “programs” uploaded online by a user of online programs, meaning that user-generated content was outside the purview of the CRTC will be kept. Regulate.

“In other words, when you or I upload something to YouTube or any other shared service, we will not be considered broadcasters for the purposes of the act … CRTC cannot call us in front of them, and we are not subject to it What else could the CRTC hear, “Thomas Owen Ripley, director general of Canada’s Heritage Broadcasting, Copyright and Creative Marketplace Branch, told the committee at the time that the amendment was being deliberate.

Without this section, it is a matter of concern that content, or “programming” people upload to YouTube for example, may come under scrutiny by the CRTC, even if it is not an area where they have near the date Have reached

A Free SPEECH OVERREACH Is ​​your company?

Before removing this clause, the government hinted at clarifying its intentions, overthrowing sharp and damaging criticism as a possible charter of rights and freedoms.

Michael Gavitt, Ottawa law professor and Canada research president in Internet and e-commerce law, has called it A “dangerous” attack On free speech.

He and others have warned that if left unchecked, the law would make it possible for the CRTC to try to regulate the countless positions people perform every day if they are able to behave like “programs” Were.

While the CRTC does not currently have powers to regulate online content in the way that OpenMedia’s executive director Laura Tribe said the regulator should go down that route, it does not meet Canada’s same standards of content and profanity Can apply. Traditional television and radio are expected from broadcasters.

He said, “The power they are putting themselves into the bill is immense, and … no matter what their best intentions may be, you never know what will happen in any future government. Wala is and how they can use those powers ”in an interview with CTV News.

Geist said the still-evolving story speaks to a broader topic with the Liberal government in its hateful online speech and other plans to crack down on other harmful online content down the line.

“All of these types of provisions are like a general topic of government that is increasingly causing distrust on the Internet, and in a speech to millions of Canadians,” he said in a recent interview on iHeart Radio’s Evan Solomon Show.

Conservatives have so far been spearheading political resistance to Bill C-10, with many statements voicing their concerns about how, in their view, the bill is poorly drafted and gives the CRTC too much power to “regulate”. Social media users to do, censor and block “without effective legal protection or railing.”

“When we are at a place in Canadian history where we are using social media platforms as a public square, it is important to protect the voices of Canadians and how they express those voices in those places … When the government goes so far as to say what people are saying or posting, it has gone too far.

“We are talking about individuals who are posting videos of their children or their dogs or their cat on social media platforms.”

Who supports the bill?

While the legislation has been endorsed by the NDP so far, NDP MPs on Monday joined the government’s conservative call to issue an updated charter statement on the legislation.

The statement stated whether the bill as drafted complied with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. NDP MP and deputy heritage critic Heather McPherson called for a clause-by-clause review stay until the new charter statement is tabled, taking the Tory proposal a step further.

After much debate about how to proceed, the committee voted on the proposal until Friday’s meeting.

Stating that the bill was normally still willing to investigate its charter compliance, McPherson said in a joint statement with his colleague and fellow heritage critic Alexandre Bowleris that: “It is both possible to ensure That freedom of expression is protected. While creating a level playing field between web giants and Canadian companies. “

The pair of NDP MPs said, “It is imperative to understand the potential impact of this bill on regular Canadians and content creators before we get this right and before we move on.”

Others in the broadcasting industry have voiced support for Bill C-10 to put more onus on online platforms to support Canadian content and maintain responsibilities under traditional media sources under the Act.

In an interview with CTV, Canadian Broadcasting Executive Director Daniel Bernhard said, “These trillion-dollar companies like Facebook have been found to push 13-year-olds on Facebook and cigarette advertisements.” News.

Cow dung storage

After much criticism over his defense of the bill, Gilbialt released a statement on Monday Promising crystallization in the protection of legislation for user-generated content, ensuring that the CRTC will not regulate the social media posts of individual users.

“It’s not about the bill that Canadians do online. It’s not about the web giants who want to support Canadian stories and music,” he said in the House of Commons on Tuesday. “We will have the bill continue to improve and it can serve the creators of Canada.”

Still, the government defends the law as a whole, suggesting its critics “siding with web giants”.

Liberals have said that concerns about potential free speech violations were not realistic as they aimed to target “professional” content from social media and streaming companies when they “act like broadcasters”, as Dabrussin said on Monday Did during the committee meeting. However, the scope of what content the Liberals intend to target as “professional” audio and video posts is not clearly defined.

“We do not want to regulate your cat videos. CRTC does not want to regulate your cat videos, ”Dubrusin told reporters after the meeting.

Liberals have stated that they removed Section 4.1 because they had heard during committee testimony from witnesses who flagged that platforms such as YouTube could not be considered music streamers, even if they were one of the main locations. Canadians listen to music.

Gillibult has pointed to a separate clause in the Bill, Section 2.1, which remains intact and states that “a person who uses a social media service to upload programs for broadcast on the Internet” and who Is not a provider of, does not come under the purview of the ‘won’ act.

What will happen next?

All eyes will be on this new amendment made by the government. The next opportunity to submit this proposed proposal is at Friday’s committee meeting, but it may come down even further.

What they propose could ultimately explain what impact the C-10 will have on the online lives of Canadians.

Until the constitutionality of the law is passed at Friday’s meeting, should an opposition-backed motion to cease his study, it may still take weeks for the bill to end clause-by-clause. From there, the controversial bill would still be far from several legislative stages from becoming law.

Once the committee finishes its work and reports the bill to the House of Commons, all MPs will again have the opportunity to debate the law and propose additional amendments. It will then be voted into the House at the third reading, and transferred to the Senate for a second look.

‘John Venavalli-Rao, with a report from CTV National News.

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