Myths and Facts about Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act
A lot of information and opinions have been published about Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act. Some people have raised concerns and we would like to address what we are hearing. The changes resulting from this Bill are now captured under the modernized Broadcasting Act.
On this page
- digital creators and their content;
- social media users and their content;
- content you consume online;
- prices of online streaming services; and
- online video games.
In a nutshell
Subject to the Broadcasting Act
Broadcasters such as:
- Television service providers
- Programming service providers (such as television channels and radio stations)
- Online streaming services
Not subject to the Broadcasting Act
- Users of social media
Myth: The CRTC will regulate content and digital creators
Fact: We will only regulate broadcasters, including providers of both traditional broadcasting services and online streaming services.
Content and digital creators will not be regulated, just as creators, artists and producers are not regulated today. A person who creates audio or video content or creates a podcast, is not a broadcaster under the modernized Broadcasting Act.
By content and digital creators, we mean:
- influencers or individuals making content on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram for other users to enjoy;
- podcasters making content that is carried on audio streaming platforms like CBC Listen or Spotify; and
- producers making content that is sold to an online streaming service like Netflix.
Myth: The CRTC will regulate social media users and user content
Fact: We will only regulate broadcasters, broadcasting services and online streaming services that make programming available to the public.
Content posted by social media users will not be regulated. A person who uploads audio or video content to a social media platform is not a broadcaster under the modernized Broadcasting Act.
The goal of the modernized Broadcasting Act is to ensure that content made by Canadians and Indigenous creators is supported and promoted on traditional broadcasting services and online streaming services.
Myth: The CRTC will censor what you watch, read or listen to online
Fact: What is available online will not change. We will not censor the content Canadians listen to and watch online.
You will be able to continue to listen to and watch the content of your choice. Our goal is to better support Canadian and Indigenous content and ensure it is available on radio, TV and online streaming services. We have always respected Canadians’ right to freedom of expression.
Myth: The CRTC will regulate the algorithms of online streaming services
Fact: We will not regulate algorithms. We want to encourage innovation to make Canadian and Indigenous content easier to find.
We cannot order online streaming services to use specific algorithms to promote Canadian and Indigenous content. There are many other ways to make Canadian and Indigenous content easier to find, which could include promotional campaigns or featuring content on the service’s home page. We will explore these options as part of our consultations and look forward to hearing everyone’s views.
Myth: The CRTC will regulate the prices of online streaming services
Fact: Companies will continue to sell their services using their own business models and plans.
The Broadcasting Act mentions that online streaming services should charge affordable rates. However, each online streaming service makes its own decisions on how to market and sell their services based on their own business models and plans.
Myth: The CRTC will regulate online video games
Fact: We are proposing to exempt online games offered by online broadcasters from any requirements.
Our long-held view is that video games are not broadcasting content. To make this clear, we are proposing that video games not be regulated.
For more information
- Contribution and Discoverability Obligations in Various Countries Around the World: Find out what other regulatory authorities are doing world-wide.
- Regulatory plan: See our 3-phase plan to implement a new regulatory framework.
- Date modified: