YouTube officials are sharing their disappointment with the Trudeau government’s online censorship bill, C-11, and will be looking to the Senate to ensure user-generated content will not be affected by the controversial bill.
Last week, MPs on the House of Commons heritage committee rushed over 150 amendments to Bill C-11, but did not address the main concern with the bill – user-generated content such as YouTube videos.
Green Party MP Mike Morrice had proposed an amendment that seeked to clarify that user generated content would not be regulated under the bill, but it was rejected by the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois.
In a statement, YouTube Canada’s head of government affairs and public policy Jeanette Patell said the company is “disappointed that the concerns of thousands of Canadian creators were not recognized through amendments that would have reflected the minister’s intention for Bill C-11′s scope.”
“It is possible to support Canadian artists without compromising the creator ecosystem. We will continue to propose solutions and hope to work closely with the Senate towards this shared goal,” she added.
In May, YouTube warned that Bill C-11 could give the government unprecedented power over everyday content posted online. They said the bill’s wording is so broad that it places home videos within the purview of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Many Canadian content creators have spoken out about the government’s online censorship bill’s potential consequences, including Vancouver based YouTuber J.J. McCullough, who appeared in front of the Heritage Committee earlier this month.
“Anyone proud of the tremendous success of Canadians on Youtube should be deeply concerned about the damage Bill C-11 could do to their livelihoods,” McCullough told the committee.
“I also worry that the dreams of the next generation of Canadian YouTubers will become less achievable, once they’re forced to navigate intimidating new regulatory hurdles my generation did not.”
Trudeau’s heritage minister Pablo Rodriguez has said on several occasions that Bill C-11 would not regulate user-generated content. However, his claims have been contradicted by the CRTC.
“[Section] 4.2 allows the CRTC to prescribe by regulation user uploaded content subject to very explicit criteria. That is also in the Act,” CRTC chair Ian Scott told the heritage committee earlier this month.
Bill C-11 is set to be put to vote for third reading in the House of Commons before heading off to the Senate.