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Canada’s Trudeau Party Takes Aim At Social And Streaming Platforms

Canadian legislation drafted by Justin Trudeau’s government is taking aim at Big Tech and is looking to subject social and streaming platforms to the same rules as legacy broadcasters, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday (June 22).

If passed, the law known as Bill C-10 would mandate that Big Tech companies like Netflix and TikTok finance and push content from Canada. It is one of the most widespread regulations worldwide to demand oversight of the algorithms that platform companies use to boost content, according to Bloomberg.

Drafted by Trudeau, the legislation — the Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act — could stifle digital platforms that depend on user-generated content, according to the article. The proposed bill is not law yet and has to pass the Senate, which could stall due to upcoming elections later in 2021.

“There are other issues we have to address when it comes to broadcasting and creation, and we will,” Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said during the final debate Monday, per Bloomberg. “Bill C-10 is a first step in that direction.”

Canada is certainly not alone in trying to discern the most appropriate method of regulating digital platform companies. Regulators in many countries around the globe are struggling to review legal frameworks against the backdrop of a new digital-first economy. Legislators in Canada and abroad are working to revamp the narrative surrounding monopolies, taxes and workforce rights.

Another concern Canadian lawmakers have regards how to best protect “domestic cultural industries” as more people look to the web for music and videos. Those two aspects drove the focus of the proposed legislation, Bloomberg reported.

Dwarfing the power of lifestyles in the U.S. is one of the driving components of the proposed media law in the country, Bloomberg reported. Distributing and promoting Canadian content has been a central principle of the country’s laws surrounding media.

The Canadian RadioTelevision and Telecommunications Commission currently is tasked with certifying what is considered content from the country. Fines start at $202,500 for violators and broadcasters could face the loss of license to operate in the country.

As tech platforms come under further scrutiny, the U.S. National Security Council requested earlier this month that the European Union stop undermining U.S. tech giants under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

A new version of the U.S. Data Protection Act calls for a new agency to regulate and enforce antitrust regulations. There are currently five antitrust bills pending that are targeting Big Tech.

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