The new Canadian online streaming rules risk endangering the right to free expression for creators
Ottawa, Canada, October 10, 2023 – “CRTC is playing a dangerous game with the freedom of expression,” says an international association of journalists and media, Stop Media Ban, in response to Canada’s latest decision to regulate the creator’s industry. Earlier last week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced the Online Undertakings Registration Regulations on 29 September 2023 as a part of the Online Streaming Act that became effective on April 27, 2023, under which online streamers and podcasters will soon be required to register with Canada’s broadcasting regulator.
According to CRTC, the new regulations that came into force on September 29, 2023, 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 and provide it with basic information by no later than November 28, 2023.”
Ludmila Belcencova, President and spokesperson of Stop Media Ban, says that the rules to register with the government because creators want to engage in free expression might be a start of more severe limitations on free speech moving forward:
“Canada is a country of full democracy, and its people want to consume various content on different platforms. Having access to information is their fundamental human right. Stop Media Ban understands that the CRTC wants to show its commitment to transparency and dedication to serving the public interest of Canadians by making the list of all online services in Canada available to the public, yet it risks endangering the whole concept of free expression.”
“The CRTC order ostensibly aimed at supporting Canadian content raises serious concerns about its impact on the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression in the country. We are concerned that the Canadian government may use these regulations as a tool to dictate to broadcasters what content can be broadcast on their platforms. This would be an inappropriate step by the government in its relationship with the media that operate in Canada and seek to make content available to Canadians,” added Belcencova.
“It is our firm belief that media freedom is an integral part of the normal functioning of a democratic society. Any measures that could potentially infringe upon these freedoms should be cautiously approached, and their implications should be carefully considered,” concluded Belcencova.
About Stop Media Ban
Stop Media Ban is an association of journalists and media workers whose rights to free expression have been threatened, and independent journalists united to create a movement to stop media repressions in Moldova and beyond.
To contact us, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org