What is the new section 4.2 amendment senators made to the Liberals’ online streaming bill, C-11?

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As the Senate of Canada explains, “Bill C-11 would give the CRTC new powers, including the ability to impose financial penalties against people and businesses that violate certain provisions of the Broadcasting Act or its regulations.”

In recent days, the Senate committee on transport and communication narrowed down the definition of “program,” which now would exclude amateur content. By doing so, the CRTC could only regulate professionally produced videos, music, and songs, as per the new meaning of “program.”

Senator Paula Simons stated the bill’s “language is so confusing.”

“We worked very hard to craft an amendment that would please both sides,” she said. 

Justin Trudeau’s heritage minister, Pablo Rodriguez, originally stated the intention of the government was never  to regulate user-generated content. Through the amendment, this alleged intention would be respected. 

The original wording of Section 4.2 of Bill C-11 had it so that programs could be regulated by the CRTC if they were to generate revenue directly or indirectly. 

“​​The amendment is scoped so it only includes exactly the people that the government says it wishes to include, the large music producers, the Warner Brothers, the Sony,” also specified Senator Simons. “It absolutely does not include social media.”

Michael Geist, common law professor at the University of Ottawa and also the university’s Canada research chair on internet law, reportedly said that now, “the big question is whether the government will accept the amendment or not.”

“If not, it will send a clear message that regulating user content is its actual intent, ” Geist added. 

YouTube is one of the platforms coming out strongly against Bill C-11. 

Multiple users are seeing ads about Bill C-11 when navigating through the platform, as well as Instagram and Facebook. These social media companies are opposed to this piece of legislation, and YouTube often tells users that to “keep Youtube [theirs],” they should sign their petition opposing the bill. 

With the new amendment, Youtube and TikTok reportedly said they are studying its implication within Bill C-11. 

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