The federal government’s controversial Bill C-10, an amendment proposed to the Broadcasting Act, has come under fire for its plans to regulate essentially any video uploaded to the internet.
Now, according to Michael Geist, an internal government memo obtained under the Access to Information Act, reveals the Liberal government’s plans stretch beyond what many could have imagined for CRTC regulation.
The internal memo sent to Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and signed by former Heritage Deputy Minister Hélène Laurendeau, according to Geist, reveals “the department has for months envisioned a far broader regulatory reach.”
“The memo identifies a wide range of targets, including podcast apps such as Stitcher and Pocket Casts, audiobook services such as Audible, home workout apps, adult websites, sports streaming services such as MLB.TV and DAZN, niche video services such as Britbox, and even news sites such as the BBC and CPAC,” explains Geist.
CRTC regulation over these sites means they would have to contribute to Canadian content for film, TV and music production. Just how does that apply to…pornography sites?
Reporter Anja Karadeglija first shared news of the document last weekend, but Geist has more specifics on what the CRTC wants to regulate in Bill C-10.
For video streaming apps the government wants to regulate, the following were mentioned in the memo, which includes Apple TV+, Netflix and Disney+ for example:
- Amazon Prime
- Apple TV+
- Club Illico
- CBC Gem/ICI Tou.TV
- CBS All Access
- Facebook Watch
- Licensed/original content on Snapchat
- YouTube Originals
Traditional broadcaster streaming apps weren’t omitted, as they were detailed as well, along with sports streaming apps:
- Illico TV
- Bell Fibe TV App
- Shaw BlueCurve
- Rogers AnyplaceTV
- Cogeco TiVO
- Some broadcaster websites (Global, BBC, TVO, CPAC)
- Sportsnet Now
- TSN/RDS Direct
- TVA Sports Direct
Streaming music services such as Apple Music and Spotify were also listed for CRTC regulation:
- Apple Music
- Amazon Music
- Google Play Music
- QUB Radio/Musique
- YouTube Music
- CBC/RAdio Canada Music and Podcasts
- Pocket Casts
Other potential “transactional services” mentioned in the memo include “transactional services” such as Google Play, YouTube, Cineplex, Apple TV and PlayStation. Geist points out that despite the government saying video games are excluded, there is specific mention of the Sony PlayStation for regulation.
It’s unclear how far the federal government wants to go for CRTC regulation of the internet, but from what’s listed above, it doesn’t seem to bode well for companies involved and Canadians.