Open Media Pushes to Fix Bill C-11 at the Canadian Senate

Open Media is still fighting against Bill C-11. They aim to try and fix the bill as it goes through the senate.

The other day. we mentioned how Bill C-11 has passed the final stages at the House of Commons level. The moment capped off a period of hearings that was, well, hard of hearing in general. Repeated warnings from digital first creators, the music industry, and experts alike were all responded to with outright hostility, punctuating the fact that the Canadian government is in the midst of a war on the free and open Internet. To add insult to injury, politicians gave a final collective middle finger to the Internet as a whole when they specifically voted against removing user generated content from the bill.

Because of this, there is a general sense that the Canadian government hates the Internet, free speech, and online creators who forged ahead on their own and found success. Of course, this is basically an extension to the overall relationship traditional media has had with the Internet.

Indeed, traditional media outlets have long treated the Internet as some silly fad that will go away on its own soon. They, in the past, treated sites like YouTube as something that would eventually die out because of litigation from major record labels or movie studio’s because, in their eyes, that’s the only reason sites like YouTube is successful: copyright infringement.

However, years of ignoring and trivializing such services, along with the Internet as a whole, wound up being a major mistake. Online creators gradually started joining in on the Internet revolution, experimented, and found ways of succeeding online. Some have even become millionaires as a result. With the staggering statistics of subscriber count, followers, and views, it didn’t take long for advertisers to follow. It was this wave of interest in advertisers that finally caught the attention of the media.

The reaction has largely been a stamping of their feet and screaming how it all wasn’t fair. How could some random teenagers on these sites outperform their seeming monopoly on entertainment. Simply put, in their view, the wrong people wound up winning. So, they did what they do best: lobbying the blistering [email protected] out of lawmakers to create laws that would tilt the entire Internet ecosystem in their favour. They want those stupid Internet kids to just screw off into obscurity so they can take the audience that rightfully belongs to them. They gave their marching orders to lawmakers and those lawmakers decided that it was best just to follow those orders.

Unsurprisingly, we now find ourselves in the situation that we are in today. Free speech is on the brink as the censorship bill is now only a few stages away from becoming the law of the land. Some lawmakers are trying to pass Bill C-11 at any and all costs. In short, some lawmakers have gone completely insane in the process.

Of course, Bill C-11 has not yet passed the senate. As long as there is still a chance that sanity might return, digital rights advocates will continue to try and push and fix the bill in the first place. Open Media is urging Canadians to sign a letter to urge Senator’s to fix the disastrous legislation:

Bill C-11 just passed the final vote at the House of Commons – and STILL gives the CRTC unprecedented power to regulate YOUR videos, podcasts, Spotify feeds, Netflix queue, and more.1

Any online legislation must respect your freedom of expression and your choice to freely watch the content you want. Bill C-11 does neither.

But there’s still time to fix C-11 – Canada’s Senate is now considering amendments to the bill. They’re our last chance at making sure Bill C-11 gets the full examination and fixes it deserves.

If enough of us speak out, Senators will take action to protect YOUR rights. Email the Senate right now to demand they fix Bill C-11!

As we’ve been remarking for some time, we’ve been skeptical about whether the Senate will do its job, protect Canadian’s, and put a stop to the Bill C-11 madness. The thing is, the fight within the walls of government is not over. So, the digital rights organization are trying to defend freedom of expression at every available opportunity. So, obviously, Canadian’s are encouraged to sign this open letter. After all, this legislation is all but assuredly delayed until September when the Senate returns, so there is time to fight this.

While I’m personally still not convinced the Senate will do what is right, I really want to be wrong and see the Senate listen to Canadians and remove user generated content from the legislation. In fact, it would be a fantastic day where I wound up being wrong for once and the Senate removes user generated content from the legislation. So, if Canadian’s get together and manage to pull this off, I would be thrilled.

We wish our fellow Canadians and Open Media the best of luck in this campaign. After all, so much is riding on this particular fight.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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