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Opinion

Beware of the unintended consequences: why Canada’s internet streaming regulation plan could raise consumer costs and reduce competition

By Michael Geist      

There is no Canadian-content production crisis at the moment, but Steven Guilbeault’s new bill may well create one.

With the introduction of the government’s plan to regulate internet streaming services, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has touted new rules that will require companies such as Netflix and Spotify to make mandatory payments in support of Canadian content. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—With the introduction of the government’s plan to regulate internet streaming services, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has touted new rules that will require companies such as Netflix and Spotify to make mandatory payments in support of Canadian content. The government’s bill also paves the way for the companies to both tinker with what they show to subscribers, so as to increase the “discoverability” of Canadian content, and open their books to Canada’s telecom and broadcast regulator by granting access to confidential corporate information.

Michael Geist

Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.
- mgeist@uottawa.ca


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