Some of the changes to Canada’s Broadcasting Act outlined in a new online streaming bill, known as Bill C-11, are unnecessary, says one University of Guelph-Humber researcher.
Jerry Chomyn is a communications professor and the former head of the media studies program at U of GH. He researches broadcasting, communication, CRTC policy and media.
“Bill C-11 is a clumsy, naïve attempt to update a 20th-century act to deal with 21st-century media realities,” says Chomyn.
The streaming bill, which is still working its way through Parliament, will update Canada’s current broadcasting laws. If updated, streaming and social media platforms would be required to promote and financially contribute to Canadian TV shows, movies and music.
Chomyn explains that although anyone can be a potential influencer on social media and streaming platforms, content is still distributed mainly by large American technology giants. If content creators are to be treated as broadcasters, technology companies will become responsible for their content and subject to regulatory oversight of content distribution and creation.
“Some of these giants are yet to make a profit,” says Chomyn. “The new law would add to the cost of doing business.”
He adds that while the original broadcasting act served as a “nation-builder,” the new streaming bill will only confuse, complicate and frustrate the current media model.
Chomyn is available for interviews.