Freezenet’s Submission to the CRTC Regarding the Online Streaming Act (Consultation 3)

We are there at the CRTC responding to the consultation on the Online Streaming Act – for what good that will do of course.

Early last month, we reported on the CRTC consultations in regard to the Online Streaming Act (formerly Bill C-11). There was very tight deadlines – so tight that it understandably sparks loud complaints from various organizations to extend the deadlines. At this stage, it seems unlikely that an extension is forthcoming. So, as of now, the deadline to get these submissions is this Monday.

Since we here at Freezenet are huge supporters of creators – especially of the online variety, we decided to launch a Hail Mary throw and submit something. You always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so why the heck not?

At the moment, there are not one, but three consultations happening concurrently. Those are known by notices 2023-138, 2023-139, and 2023-140. Given the tight deadline, we decided to first assess which consultation should be a priority as we hastily scribble down notes. There’s no telling that we would make all three in time. It seemed as though the logical one for us to start with is 2023-140. For those wanting to participate as well, the page you can access quickly to submit comments can be found here. If you do decide to submit something, the question is what is being asked specifically. Well, that can be found in this corresponding notice.

To highlight just how asinine the process is, not only is the due date in three days, but you are basically asked to sift through 6,731 words to unearth the 15 questions (formatted as Q## where “##” is replaced with the question number). The documents are filled with acronyms and specific regulatory references that 90% of the population probably hasn’t even heard of. This over top of the super long sentences and highly technical details that even I get lost in – which is saying something considering how well I know the internet and this is on a topic about the internet for crying out loud.

What’s more, it’s difficult to really know what kind of writing style or references that work well with the process. As many critics have pointed out, this process is designed to keep the little people like myself out of such a process.

One other note is that the submission process requires either filling out a particular form or submitting in rather specific formats (i.e. RTF is acceptable and PDF is not), so something to watch for if you want to submit a file for convenience sake. (Update: Commissioner Miner has informed me that the documentation provided by the CRTC for the consultation is outdated and not accurate. PDF is apparently acceptable as well.)

At any rate, submitting just one of these felt like I was cramming for a university exam at the last minute. I can only thank my English major training for being able to sneeze out a 4 page document responding to this. Not bad for something this technical on such short notice, honestly. Anyway, for those who were curious what I submitted, you can check out a PDF version (I did NOT submit this version as it is an unacceptable format it seems) here.

Yes, it was hastily put together and has zero description of who I am. It was straight to the point and targeted at as many questions as I could answer as possible. If you think you can do better, feel free to submit your own comments. Just know that it is not exactly a fun process, but I would encourage other Canadians to do the same anyway.

At any rate, can’t say I didn’t try.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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