Canada Wants More Canadian Content On Streamers Like Disney+
As streaming services continue to expand globally, many countries around the world are starting to put in legislation to protect its film industry from becoming overrun by American studios like Amazon, Netflix and Disney. While traditional linear television stations have rules that a certain amount of content shown has to be made in Canada, restricting on how much content from other countries like the US, UK and Korea can be shown, streaming services like Disney+ didn’t have any rules in place. The Broadcasting Act was originally introduced in 1968, but obviously needs updating to meet the needs of today.
Recently, Canada has revealed details on its upcoming Online Streaming Act (Bill C-11), which is being brought in to regulate digital streaming services like Disney+. According to a CBC report, this new bill will create a framework that means streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix would be required to contribute to the creation and promotion of Canadian content. The bill passed its third reading in the Senate last month with 26 amendments. It will be up to the House of Commons to decide which of those changes to keep before passing the bill into law.
Disney does already make a number of films and shows in Canada, including recent hits like “Sneakerella” and the upcoming “Peter Pan & Wendy”. It also has a VP & GM of Disney+ Canada, Jason Badal, who is trying to create more shows and films in the country.
The main aspect of this bill is that streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix would have to contribute financially to the development and promotion of Canadian content. Other countries, such as France, already had a similar rule in place, and Australia is also planning on introducing similar rules to protect local productions. There also also clauses that require an international streamer to make use of Canadian creative talent.
There are some issues that need to be ironed out before this bill comes into law, as it’s still thought the bill allows international streamers like Disney+ to still have an advantage over traditional television channels.
Senator Paula Simons says Canada’s trade obligations may prevent the government from being able to make foreign streamers follow the same rules as Canadian broadcasters.
“What C-11 has tried to do, and what we’ve tried to do with various amendments is to strike a balance. I think for each streamer there will be a different deal struck and there will be a different way that they can contribute.”
One of the main reasons why countries are taking these steps, is ultimately, without them being in place, studios like Disney, Netflix, Amazon and Apple having global streaming services, where the majority of the content is created in the US, with little reflection of local cultures and local film industries could potentially collapse due to almost everything being made in the US.
Alex Levine, the president of the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) said:
Canadians will see a world reflected back to them that is determined by studio executives in Los Angeles and not by Canadian artists.
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