Regulating Internet Giants: Copyright-Adjacency and the CRTC

Thursday, April 20, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM (EDT)
Category: Chapter Events

“Copyright-adjacent” regulation of telecommunications and broadcasting: Necessary response to market failure, or unnecessary regulatory overreach?

Join the Ottawa and Toronto Chapters for a panel that will canvas various challenges and approaches to regulating Internet content through an existing and expanding copyright-adjacent regulatory framework for telecommunications and broadcasting. Commercial relationships in the film and television industry are based on copyright. Producers acquire the rights necessary to produce content and license that content to theatres, broadcasters and online streaming services. In Canada, the broadcasting industry is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”). The purpose of the regulatory regime is to achieve policy objectives, such as the creation and promotion of Canadian content, that would not otherwise be achieved through market forces alone.

While the development and proliferation of video and music online streaming services has fundamentally altered the way Canadians consume music, film and television the CRTC has to date exempted these online services from most forms of regulation. Now, however, the Federal Government is seeking to address the disruptions caused by online services by requiring the CRTC to regulate online streaming services and to require Google and Meta social media platforms to compensate news organizations when news content is shared on their platforms. These “copyright adjacent” regulatory schemes are intended to address a perceived imbalance between legacy media and large technology companies. Our panel will canvas various challenges and approaches to regulating content on the Internet, and discuss whether these measures are necessary, if they will achieve the desired result, and if there will be unintended consequences.