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Canada’s streaming legislation would violate USMCA: CCIA

Canada‘s pending legislation on online streaming services would violate the U.S.-Mexico Canada-Mexico Economic Cooperation Agreement (USMCA), warned the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA).

In this regard, the CCIA published a White Paper on Canada’s proposed Online Streaming Bill and the threats to US-Canada trade.

When Canada’s Parliament resumes work on January 31, it is expected to work to finalize Bill C-11, known as the Online Streaming Act.

The CCIA details in that White Paper how this flawed legislation would undermine existing significant investment from abroad for Canada’s creative sectors, and how it would conflict with Canada’s international trade commitments, including those made in the USMCA.

The Online Streaming Act seeks to subject online audiovisual services to the prescriptive mandates of Canada’s regulated broadcasting regime.

It would also direct government regulators to impose a number of obligations on foreign providers with the goal of funding and giving preference to local content developers.

Streaming

Already, foreign providers represent one of the most important sources of investment in Canada’s creative sector and are key partners in bringing quality Canadian content to the global marketplace.

According to the CCIA, disincentivizing the production and distribution of quality content through arbitrary mandates will undermine a remarkably successful partnership.

CCIA Vice President of Digital Commerce Policy Jonathan McHale said, “Canada’s legislative reversal, through Bill C-11, of a successful decades-long policy protecting the benefits of the Internet for Canadian consumers is disheartening.  Bill C-11 reflects a misunderstanding that regulatory requirements for broadcasting are necessary for the Internet to foster the development of local content.”

It then added: “And, by requiring U.S. providers to fund or otherwise promote Canadian content, the legislation conflicts with several obligations Canada committed to in the U.S.-Mexico Canada-Mexico Economic Cooperation Agreement. CCIA urges the Canadian government to rethink this burdensome and restrictive policy.”

 

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