Social media, streaming services must register with the CRTC by November

Article content

OTTAWA — All online services with audio or video content — including social media — that meet a revenue threshold in Canada will have to register with the federal broadcast and telecom regulator by Nov. 28.

The CRTC said in a decision Friday afternoon that its new regulations mean “various online undertakings that broadcast audio or audio-visual content that is intended to inform, enlighten or entertain must be registered with the Commission.”

Article content

“Such services include streaming services, social media services, subscription television services that are available online,” the CRTC said. It also includes radio stations that live-stream online and podcast services. Video game and audiobook services are exempt, as are those platforms that have “less than $10 million in annual broadcasting revenues in Canada.”

The decision is part of the CRTC’s implementation of the Online Streaming Act, which requires streamers like Netflix to contribute to the Canadian content system. As Bill C-11, it drew controversy over putting user-generated content under the CRTC’s regulatory authority.

After the bill became law, the Liberal government said it would direct the CRTC not to regulate content made by social media creators, and content that is only available on social media platforms.

The CRTC noted in a press release that social media users themselves do not have the register with the regulator.

Online news sites and adult content sites that fit the criteria will have register. However, the CRTC noted there is “little likelihood that regulation governing Canadian content levels or promotion of content would be necessary in furtherance of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act” when it comes to online pornography. But the regulator said it could look at ways to ensure children are protected.

Article content

The platforms will have to give the CRTC their name, address and contact information, the location where they’re incorporated and where their head office is, and “the broadcasting services offered by the online undertaking.”

“The Commission’s objectives in regard to collecting the information…include being able to contact those undertakings that have registered, keeping track of online undertakings operating in Canada, and gathering basic but essential information to better understand the Canadian online broadcasting landscape more generally,” the CRTC said.

The regulator said it’s “clear at this point that social media platforms play a large and increasingly dominant role in terms of the Canadian online broadcasting advertising market. This alone would seem to point towards a need to register such services to enable the Commission to gather further information and monitor their impact, where necessary.”

Related Stories

Our website is the place for the latest breaking news, exclusive scoops, longreads and provocative commentary. Please bookmark and sign up for our politics newsletter, First Reading, here.

Share this article in your social network