Open Letter to Minister Rodriguez

MINISTER RODRIGUEZ:
FIX BILL C-11 TO PROTECT DIGITAL CREATORS

Minister Rodriguez must remove Section 4.2 from C-11 to ensure that the Bill does not apply to online content that is uploaded by any individual user.

To: Hon. Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Dear Minister Rodriguez,

The livelihoods of Canada’s digital creators are being put at risk by Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act and the successor to Bill C-10. You have repeatedly declared that the legislation excludes digital first creators like myself from being regulated like a television or radio station, however, the text of the Bill does not reflect this commitment. As currently drafted, the Bill will still allow the CRTC to regulate the content of digital creators. The Bill also will also indirectly regulate creators by mandating what content digital platforms must recommend to Canadians.

Canadian digital first creators like myself call on you to stand up for our art and our livelihoods and to follow through on your promise: Ensure that Bill C-11 is fixed to clarify that digital first creators and their content are not regulated – directly or indirectly – under the Broadcasting Act.

Digital creators drive important job growth and economic development in Canada. A 20191 report from the Audience Lab, part of Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD), found that there are over 160,000 Canadian digital creators. Moreover, that study concluded that over 40,000 creators have monetized their platforms and created tens of thousands of jobs in the process — employment that depends on a creative digital media ecosystem.

Open platforms remove traditional media gatekeepers and allow for creators from diverse communities, walks of life, and passions to express themselves, share their talents, and build an audience – and a business. For digital creators, our content is our livelihood. Please do not subject us to a Broadcasting system that was not designed for our medium. All types of creators should have an opportunity to succeed and earn a livelihood from their content, but that doesn’t mean that the interests of digital first creators should be subjugated behind those of traditional, established creators.

You’ve promised that “an individual online creators’ content will not be regulated”. It is time for you to follow through on this promise, once and for all. Our community deserves clarity – written into the legislation itself – that our content will not be subject to CRTC broadcast regulation. Minister Rodriguez, you must remove Section 4.2 from C-11 to ensure that the Bill does not apply, directly or indirectly, to online content that is uploaded by any individual user.

Sign the letter to stand up and protect the rights of Canada’s digital creators.

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