Heritage minister, Google clash over online streaming bill

Minister, Google clash

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said he doesn't appreciate Google "trying to intimidate Canadians," after the company pushed back on the government's proposed online streaming bill.

Google published a blog post on Wednesday advocating against Bill C-11, saying it has the potential to "disadvantage the Canadian creators."

When asked about that criticism, Rodriguez said the proposed law simply asks streaming companies — including YouTube, which is owned by Google's parent company Alphabet — to contribute to Canadian culture.

The online streaming bill, which has passed the House of Commons and is now in the Senate, would force streaming platforms to promote Canadian TV, movies, videos or music, and help fund Canadian content.

YouTube executive Jeanette Patell told a Senate committee last month that it gives far too much discretion to Canada's broadcasting regulators to make demands around user-generated content.

Bill C-11 has been sharply opposed by digital-first creators and Conservative MPs, who claim it would allow a future government to regulate people posting videos on YouTube — a charge the government denies.

In a statement, Patell said YouTube will continue to engage "constructively and transparently" in the conversation about the bill.

"We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to inform Canadian users and creators of how this bill could impact their YouTube experience, and in some cases their livelihoods," Patell said.

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