Canada is preparing to regulate podcasts, a move that is drawing criticism across the internet.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced its plan to regulate podcasts in an effort “to modernize Canada’s broadcasting framework and ensure online streaming services make meaningful contributions to Canadian and Indigenous content.”
The CRTC unveiled two new guidelines that will apply to the industry:
First, the CRTC is setting out which online streaming services need to provide information about their activities in Canada. Online streaming services that operate in Canada, offer broadcasting content, and earn $10 million or more in annual revenues will need to complete a registration form by November 28, 2023. Registration collects basic information, is only required once and can be completed in just a few steps.
Second, the CRTC is setting conditions for online streaming services to operate in Canada. These conditions take effect today and require certain online streaming services to provide the CRTC with information related to their content and subscribership. The decision also requires those services to make content available in a way that is not tied to a specific mobile or Internet service.
The agency will hold a third consultation to discuss possible further regulation.
“We are developing a modern broadcasting framework that can adapt to changing circumstances,” said Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, CRTC. “To do that, we need broad engagement and robust public records. We appreciate the significant participation during this first phase and look forward to hearing a diversity of perspectives at our contributions proceeding in November.”
It goes without saying that the CRTC’s regulation is already drawing widespread condemnation, with many saying the move is an attack on free speech.