Canadian Creators Continue to Raise Concerns About Bill C-11

Bill C-11 continues to edge closer to the finish line, but Canadian content creators haven’t given up on the fight yet.

When the Canadian Senate voted to fix a critical flaw in the bill that would finally exclude user generated content from the bill, Canadian creators finally got a taste of something they haven’t had throughout the entire debate: hope. After facing gaslighting, intimidation tactics, and bullying from lawmakers at the House of Commons level, it felt like creators were butting heads against a brick wall of a government who has zero intention of listening to them. With the senate process, they finally got some sympathetic ears during the hearings.

That hope, sadly, was short lived as when the legislation was sent back to the House of Commons with the critical fix that they have been asking forth, the government wasted little time in tearing the fix up. The government sent another crystal clear message that regulating user generated content is the entire point of Bill C-11. This was followed up by an outright rejection of the fix, putting the old language back in the bill. The rejection of the senate amendments was a devastating blow to Canadian content creators who saw their hard work and activism immediately thrown into the trash.

Now, the ball is back in the Senates court. The question before them is do they throw Canadian creators under the bus and wave the white flag on this issue or do they send the bill back with the critical fix back in the bill? While the bar is high to send a bill back in these circumstances, rising to the level of the bill otherwise being unconstitutional, the overwhelming consensus is that Bill C-11 meets those levels. Of course, what the senate should do and will do can be two very different things. Our outlook on this is that the situation is not looking good for Canadian content creators. We could be pleasantly surprised in all of this, but the odds are definitely long on this one.

Obviously, when your entire career is on the line, the logical response is basically “damn the odds” and fight anyway. What choice would you have at that point? If you are enjoying the career you have creating video’s, you are going to fight tooth and nail against any existential threat that comes your way. This regardless of the odds. That’s exactly what content creators are doing right now as they fight for their livelihoods right to the bitter end. From CP24:

It’s been years since he sat in a classroom studying the way a bill becomes law, but over the last several months Nathan Kennedy has taken on an unexpected political crash course as the proposed online-streaming legislation winds its way through the House of Commons and Senate.

The content creator from Hamilton, Ont., has found himself thrust into the parliamentary process because of the potential impact that Bill C-11 could have on his livelihood.

“I want to understand what the impact to my broader reach will be, whether it’s on TikTok or YouTube, because that impacts my business, who I do business with, and am I attractive to sponsors from international markets,” Kennedy said.

To his 600,000 followers across various platforms he’s known as @newmoneynate.

“The government hasn’t been able to provide any meaningful information to industry about the actual application of this proposed law,” said Kai Hutchence, CEO of Massive Corporation Game Studios in Regina.

“They say a lot of things, but most of it is extremely vague. They don’t provide a clear example of what they would do on given platforms.”

Hutchence relies heavily on YouTube to promote digital products to international customers.

“A lot of people have some sort of existential fear around being limited in some sense by some governing body,” Kennedy said.

“And there’s collateral damage — called creators — that could be impacted by this.”

This is ultimately the only move Canadian creators can make at this point. If I chose a wildly different career path and became a content creator back in 2013, I would probably be doing the exact same thing as the other creators at this point. That is, fighting tooth and nail to save my own career from government regulatory destruction. Heck, I would probably be hitting the streets by now with protest signs at this point on top of it all. I mean, all options would be on the table at this point if I was in their shoes.

It’s probably worth pointing out that the Senate isn’t sitting until next week This as per the Senate calendar where the next sitting day is on the 18th. So, there is still time to fight this.

The coverage itself did made some who were quoted in the article a little uncomfortable, though. JJ McCullough was in the article:

Creators say there is disinformation about what it all will mean, and the debate has been politicized, with some who oppose the changes being called Conservative.

“The anxiety that (this bill) has provoked in the creator cannot be understated,” said J.J. McCullough, an LGBTQ content creator, from his home in Vancouver.

“I think one thing a lot of (internet) creators feel very deeply about is that they do not want to live under a regulatory framework that governs television and radio in this country.”

Like McCullough, some who have built careers on the internet say they’ve done so within a free enterprise model that works and doesn’t need fixing.

“I became popular by making content people want to watch, it’s as simple as that. That’s the only way you become popular on YouTube,” said McCullough, who voiced his concerns about the law to Parliament.

Good piece about Bill C-11, though I think you will agree that the way I am described is a little… odd?

J.J. McCullough, noted gay, had this to say:

It’s an understandable response given that there are a lot of people who would rather be treated normally in all of this. This especially given that the content he focuses on producing isn’t necessarily LGBTQ focused.

At any rate, it’ll be at least a week before creators get their answer. That answer is to the question of whether or not the senate will defend their livelihoods or not. Not surprisingly, they are making the most out of what little time they have left before the Senate can resume debate and make a final decision.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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