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Bill C-11: gives nearly unlimited global reach to CRTC over internet audio-visual services

Geist: "One of the most troubling aspects of Bill C-11 is the virtually limitless reach of the CRTC’s jurisdictional power of audio-visual services. As discussed during the C-10 debate, an internal government memo identified a wide range of sites and services potentially covered by the legislation. Given that the approach remains unchanged in Bill C-11, the scope remains the same. The memo noted that bill could cover podcast apps such as Stitcher and Pocket Casts, audiobook services such as Audible, home workout apps, adult websites, sports streaming services such as MLB.TV and DAZN, niche video services such as Britbox, and even news sites such as the BBC and CPAC.

"Video games provides another interesting case in point. The government insists that video games are out of the bill, though they are clearly part of it as currently drafted and a policy direction will be needed to exclude them. But even if that is forthcoming, services such as Twitch which involve live streams of gameplay are surely covered the bill. Given its user base, it would stand a good chance of facing a full set of CRTC regulations, including registration, mandated contributions, and conceivably discoverability requirements for Canadian gamers whose game playing videos will be considered “programs” under the Act."

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