Delay in Online Streaming Act Consultations Raises Concerns

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has fallen behind on the consultations for the Online Streaming Act, formerly known as Bill C-11. This delay has left stakeholders in the dark about the next steps in the implementation of this significant piece of legislation.

After it was passed, the bill amended the Broadcasting Act to account for the increased prominence of internet video and digital media, giving CRTC the regulatory scope over the internet. It got its royal assent in April 2023. 

The regulator initially announced a three-week public proceeding for the ongoing consultation, scheduled for November 20, 2023, with participation expected from 129 intervenors representing diverse interests.

The next round of public consultations on the Online Streaming Act was set to take place in the “Winter 2023-2024” period. However, we are now in the Spring of 2024, and there is no sign of these consultations occurring.

The consultation period was expected to be given ample time as the much-criticized bill’s scope has left many Canadians befuddled. For example, content creators earning less than $10 million annually who host content on their websites will remain unaffected but social media platforms hosting such creators’ content will be required to register with the CRTC, including individual podcast creators who meet the specified earnings threshold.

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