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Canada isn’t trying to silence podcasters

Canada isn’t trying to silence podcasters


The reaction to a CRTC registration requirement may be overblown.

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Illustration of a series of blue microphones on a teal background.
Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

The Canadian regulatory body that oversees radio, television, and online streaming services put out a news release last week about a provocative new rule. Any online streaming service that operates in Canada, offers broadcasting content, and earns more than $10 million in annual revenue will need to complete a registration form by November. This includes online services that offer podcasts, the release stated.

The move has drawn some criticism on social media as well as in op-eds in a number of Canadian news outlets, which suggest that the rule is the beginning of an effort by the government to control speech on podcasts. A spokesperson for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) told Hot Pod that that simply isn’t the case — and a look at the actual text of the announcement backs that up.

“What is available online will not change. The CRTC will not censor content Canadians listen to and watch online. You will be able to continue to listen to and watch the content of your choice,” CRTC spokesperson Mirabella Salem wrote in an email. 

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