The bill to amend the Broadcasting Act, the Online Streaming Act, was tabled today in the House of Commons.
This bill represents an important step forward in making streaming platforms contribute to our culture, as well as showcasing it. It applies equitable rules to these platforms. It is also extremely clear in terms of what it includes: only platforms streaming commercial content will be included. Not their users.
S.A.C. is a member of the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expression (CDCE) that has issued the following news release:
The CDCE applauds the introduction of a bold and necessary Bill to ensure that online streamers contribute to cultural ecosystems
Montreal, February 2, 2022 – Today Minister Rodriguez tabled a Bill to amend the Broadcasting Act that will finally extend regulatory obligations for the funding and promotion of national cultural expressions to online streamers. The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) would like to thank the Minister for keeping his word by introducing this important Bill in the first 100 days of his mandate and calls on all parties to support this revision, which is essential for our cultural sovereignty.
“The inclusion of large online streamers in the legislation will provide cultural ecosystems with new resources to support and enhance a diversity of cultural expression in Canada. This is an affirmative action that the cultural sector has been calling for many years to ensure a future for local cultural creation and production,” said Hélène Messier, CDCE Co-chair.
The pandemic has considerably accelerated the transition to streaming to the benefit of foreign platforms that have no obligation to showcase local cultural expressions. The impacts have been accumulating for years and the alarming findings are multiplying, between the anemic audience shares on online platforms for local music artists and the growing preference for subscribing to foreign audiovisual platforms where national productions are almost non-existent. This has a downward effect on creators’ revenues and the resources available for Canadian content production.
At a recent international conference, experts from various countries explained that they are facing the same challenges: showcasing and discoverability of local works, respect for cultural rights and copyright, support for independent production, access to content in a variety of languages, migration of viewing to social media, etc.
Canada now has the opportunity to renew a tradition of remarkable commitment to culture on a global scale and to be a true leader by adopting legislation that will be really forward-thinking and will cover all broadcasting activities on online platforms.
“We are confident about the process that starts today. This second attempt must be the right one and we are ready to work with all stakeholders to modernize the Broadcasting Act, which has remained unchanged for 30 years,” said Bill Skolnik, CDEC co-chair. The CDCE actively participated in the consultations last year and many of its proposals made their way into the latest version of the Bill: Canadian character of the broadcasting system, original French-language content, broadcasting activities on social media, etc.
The CDEC will further analyze the Bill in the coming weeks in order to propose improvements, if necessary.
Watch this video: A CTV News piece on SOCAN’s response to the tabling of the Online Streaming Act
For more information
Bill Skolnik, CDCE Co-Chair
Nathalie Guay, Executive Director