Canada law may force streaming services like Apple TV+ to promote local content

Posted:
in General Discussion
The Canadian government is working on approving a bill that would require all streaming services that service the country including Apple TV+ and Apple Music, to finance, distribute, and promote Canadian-made content.

Canada passes new bill requiring streaming services to finance and promote Canadian content


The bill, known as Bill C-10, would subject major streaming services to the same requirements as traditional broadcasting companies. Companies affected would range from Apple's streaming services to companies like YouTube, Netflix, and even TikTok.

Justin Trudeau's government drafted it in the hope of protecting domestic cultural industries as more and more Canadians turn to the internet for entertainment. The Canadian government hopes to limit the influence of U.S. culture in particular, as much of the content that users are engaging with comes from content producers who live within the United States.

According to Bloomberg, those opposed to the bill worry that it would place limitations on free speech.

Other critics also worry that it would be difficult to enforce in the first place. The bill's language has been called "ambiguous," suggesting that the legislation won't regulate user activity, but that content produced by user-driven sites would be.

The bill targets "discoverability" in specific, and would require companies to promote Canadian content producers over those elsewhere. However, for user-driven sites, namely YouTube and TikTok, the concern is that the government would have too much overreach. Critics worry that the government could suppress free speech based on a creator's location.

It's currently unclear whether or not the bill will become law, as it still needs to pass through the Canadian Senate. Canadian elections later this year could significantly influence the legislation's ability to pass. If the senate kills the bill, the government would need to redraft it and start the process again.

Toronto has a large film industry, with shows like the now-ended Supernatural and current Star Trek: Discovery being filmed there. It isn't clear how this content will be counted towards the requirements proposed by C-10.

Canada isn't the only country to suggest such a bill, either. In December of 2020, European Union lawmakers proposed legislation that would require streaming giants to feature 30% European content or face a block.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    No Canadian wants this. If it goes into effect (it won't), expect 30% of the content on Apple TV+ to consist of Anne Murray concert films and idiotically corny documentaries produced by the members of the Barenaked Ladies. 
    williamlondonkillroyBeats
  • Reply 2 of 15
    robotrobot Posts: 7member
    No Canadian wants this. If it goes into effect (it won't), expect 30% of the content on Apple TV+ to consist of Anne Murray concert films and idiotically corny documentaries produced by the members of the Barenaked Ladies. 
    Seriously? There's been lots of great Canadian content since Anne Murray & BNL, check out Schitt's Creek for instance, or Drake, or Weeknd for music. Maybe it's time to move on from dated stereotyped references. See is shot in Toronto, don't know if that will count?

    elijahg
  • Reply 3 of 15
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,391member
    As a Canadian, who always watches the credits at the end of every TV show, I was proud to see in the credits of most Apple TV+ shows last year that most of them were made in Canada anyway. And now Canadian politicians want to punish that system which already favours Canada?

    Apple should ask Canadian politicians, "Would you like more Canadian content in exchange for Apple removing its production for American shows outside of Canada?" But Apple is quite timid and doesn't know how to pick a fight, as I see so often with these monopoly and App Store issues.
    Beatszeus423
  • Reply 4 of 15
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,253member
    No Canadian wants this. If it goes into effect (it won't), expect 30% of the content on Apple TV+ to consist of Anne Murray concert films and idiotically corny documentaries produced by the members of the Barenaked Ladies. 
    There's actually a lot of AppleTV+ content that origins out of Vancouver and Ontario, so maybe just stamp a Maple Leaf in the upper right corner on those in the opening credits. Same for the rest of the streaming services. 

    I do agree that streaming services should promote the local content that they do have available, though that's about the limit of what I would legislate. 

    So is "Letterkenney", or "Trailer Park Boys", something that Ottawa really wants "discoverable"?*

    *For the record, I've watched multiple seasons of both, and "Trailer Park Boys" was refreshingly offbeat for the first couple of seasons, then kind of lost its way, and "Letterkenney" has some brilliant writing for it's four core characters, but retreats to reprisals of its niche skits/sets often enough that it is tedious to watch. There's only so much you can do with hockey, native gangs, goths, and partying.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    barthrhbarthrh Posts: 109member
    Seriously? There's been lots of great Canadian content since Anne Murray & BNL, check out Schitt's Creek for instance, or Drake, or Weeknd for music. Maybe it's time to move on from dated stereotyped references. See is shot in Toronto, don't know if that will count?

    If the content is so great, then there is no need to legislatively compel its distribution. Make something good and people buy it (like what you listed). Unfortunately, that 30% gets filled with a lot of second and third rate content instead.
    charlesatlaskillroyzeus423
  • Reply 6 of 15
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 786member
    As a Canadian, who always watches the credits at the end of every TV show, I was proud to see in the credits of most Apple TV+ shows last year that most of them were made in Canada anyway. And now Canadian politicians want to punish that system which already favours Canada?

    Apple should ask Canadian politicians, "Would you like more Canadian content in exchange for Apple removing its production for American shows outside of Canada?" But Apple is quite timid and doesn't know how to pick a fight, as I see so often with these monopoly and App Store issues.
    Punish?

    It seems more like a codification rather than punishment.

    If it's like the (obsolete) CanCon rules AppleTV+ should be safe.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,334member
    As a Canadian, who always watches the credits at the end of every TV show, I was proud to see in the credits of most Apple TV+ shows last year that most of them were made in Canada anyway. And now Canadian politicians want to punish that system which already favours Canada?

    Apple should ask Canadian politicians, "Would you like more Canadian content in exchange for Apple removing its production for American shows outside of Canada?" But Apple is quite timid and doesn't know how to pick a fight, as I see so often with these monopoly and App Store issues.
    Agreed.

    'Apple should ask Canadian politicians...'
    We all should ask all politicians to just think.  I suspect many just see what's on social media and try to gauge what will get them 'likes' from their chosen user base.
    zeus423Japhey
  • Reply 8 of 15
    minus31minus31 Posts: 1member
    "If the Canadian Senate kills the bill" - that's laughable - I don't think that's ever happened. They just rubber stamp everything.
    zeus423
  • Reply 9 of 15
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,391member
    minus31 said:
    "If the Canadian Senate kills the bill" - that's laughable - I don't think that's ever happened. They just rubber stamp everything.
    "From 2000 to 2013, the Senate rejected 75 bills in total." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate_of_Canada ;
    killroytmayFileMakerFellerjony0
  • Reply 10 of 15
    sanssans Posts: 55member
    How would that affect services like BritBox?
    edited June 22
  • Reply 11 of 15
    zeus423zeus423 Posts: 108member
    For Pete's sake. Is every country in the world going to start mandating things like this? Canada with streaming content. Russia requiring local offices. And let's not even get started on the lunacy dictated by the EU.
    BeatsJaphey
  • Reply 12 of 15
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,408member
    Can’t believe people defend this garbage.

    This is just Canadian pride and extortion of businesses. I hate how we are allowing the government to own tech companies. These non techie politicians know nothing yet they want to run tech companies.

    Who's next? Mexico? Kazakhstan? Thailand?

    What happens if the U.S. demands 30%, Canada demands 30%, U.K. demands 30% and Australia demands 30%? That’s 120% of English language content. Will that content stay local?

    Will the country bit*hing pay for production? (Of course not).


    robot said:
    No Canadian wants this. If it goes into effect (it won't), expect 30% of the content on Apple TV+ to consist of Anne Murray concert films and idiotically corny documentaries produced by the members of the Barenaked Ladies. 
    Seriously? There's been lots of great Canadian content since Anne Murray & BNL, check out Schitt's Creek for instance, or Drake, or Weeknd for music. Maybe it's time to move on from dated stereotyped references. See is shot in Toronto, don't know if that will count?

    Drake and The Weeknd are fine (who I believe no longer reside in Canada so could be a problem) but if Apple is forced to fill 30% of Apple Music’s catalogue with Canadian artists, that’s absurd.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 724member
    robot said:
    No Canadian wants this. If it goes into effect (it won't), expect 30% of the content on Apple TV+ to consist of Anne Murray concert films and idiotically corny documentaries produced by the members of the Barenaked Ladies. 
    Seriously? There's been lots of great Canadian content since Anne Murray & BNL, check out Schitt's Creek for instance, or Drake, or Weeknd for music. Maybe it's time to move on from dated stereotyped references. See is shot in Toronto, don't know if that will count?

    Why wouldn’t it? It fills all the criteria the Bill proposes. Plus, as 22July2013 stated, most of the TV+ content is already made there also. 
  • Reply 14 of 15
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 724member
    zeus423 said:
    For Pete's sake. Is every country in the world going to start mandating things like this? Canada with streaming content. Russia requiring local offices. And let's not even get started on the lunacy dictated by the EU.
    Yes. Seriously. Best to enjoy the way things are now.  Because one day, very soon, we will all look back at this time as “the good old days”. 
    edited June 23
  • Reply 15 of 15
    applguyapplguy Posts: 147member
    I wonder how the EU arrived at 30%. 20% too little and 40% was too much? Where else have I seen 30%? 
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