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Electricity bill may mean that Justin Bieber hits do not count as “Canadian” on Spotify

Electricity bill may mean that Justin Bieber hits do not count as “Canadian” on Spotify

Justin Bieber may be one of the best-selling musicians of all time, with a number of Grammy Awards and Junos in the name, but are his songs Canadian enough for the government’s electricity bill?

Spotify, the world’s largest streaming platform, where Bieber’s hits have been listened to millions of times, is in doubt.

It says that songs by the 28-year-old Ontario-born singer-songwriter and other well-known Canadian artists may not be considered officially Canadian under Bill C-11, which is now moving through parliament.

Among the tracks Spotify says it will hardly qualify under the strict Canadian content rules, Biebers GhostTate McRae’s She is everything I want to be and the Moroccan-Canadian singer Faouzia’s Anyone else.

The bill aims to update the Broadcasting Act to bring streaming platforms under the same rules as traditional broadcasters, including requiring them to promote Canadian content.

What qualifies as Canadian?

To qualify as a Canadian, songs must tick a number of boxes.

According to current rules, a song must meet two of the following criteria to be considered Canadian: be written exclusively by a Canadian; mainly performed by a Canadian; be broadcast or performed live in Canada; or have texts written exclusively by a Canadian.

Biebers Ghostfor example, only meets one of these requirements – meaning that traditional broadcasters can no longer count it as Canadian content, and if the bill passes, Spotify and other streaming platforms will not be able to either.

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Spotify says without a more flexible definition of what qualifies as Canadian content, it could end up promoting fewer tracks of the nation’s artists than it does on its Canadian playlists.

LISTEN | How CanCon Rules Affect the Internet:

CBC Newfoundland Morning16:16Cancon rules affect the Internet. Bill C-11 could change the way Canadians experience the Internet. We have reactions from the YouTube sensation Greg Doucette and CEO of MusicNL

Bill C-11 is on its way to the Senate for approval. It is also called the Online Streaming Act, and it aims to change the way Canadians experience online content. But some content creators are worried that this will hurt them in the long run. Greg Doucette is a YouTuber from Halifax. Rhonda Tulk-Lane is the CEO of MusicNL.

“It’s important to understand that today’s music world is international in nature, and involves collaborating with artists from around the world,” said Nathan Wiszniak, Spotify’s head of Canadian artist and record marketing.

“Under current Canadian content definitions, many songs that we know and love from Canadian artists will not be classified as Canadian.”

Current rules can be changed: Minister of Cultural Heritage

However, the current rules can be changed. Cultural Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has said he plans to ask the Broadcasting Commissioner, the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission, to review the definition of Canadian content.

He has said he will give the guidelines to the CRTC after the bill has passed the parliament. At that time, CRTC would be responsible for regulating streaming platforms and ensuring that they promote qualifying Canadian content.

Canadian Minister of Cultural Heritage Pablo Rodriguez rises during the question period in the House of Commons in February. Rodriguez has said he plans to ask Canada’s broadcasting regulator to review the definition of Canadian content. (Patrick Doyle / The Canadian Press)

Spotify curates 90 playlists that put the spotlight on Canadian artists across a variety of genres, including country, Quebec rap and French classics.

The platform says that it currently uses a variety of data sources to determine if a song is Canadian, including self-reporting by the artist.

“This means we have a much broader category of tracks that we have identified as Canadian compared to what we think will be classified as Canadian under current definitions,” said Wiszniak.

The playlists are tailored to the listener’s musical tastes, based in part on what they tend to listen to. They are also designed to introduce people to Canadian musicians and genres they may not have heard before, he says.

“We are concerned that unless the Canadian content requirements are updated, this bill could limit exposure to new and beloved Canadian artists and in turn lead to overexposure of others, pushing listeners away.”

The CanCon definition needs updating: Expert

Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet Law at the University of Ottawa, says that the current criteria for what counts as a Canadian song can “lead to some weird quirks.” He says that the definition of Canadian content must be updated in the bill.

“[It] has led to foreign artists performing covers of Canadian songs produced outside Canada being defined as Canadian because they meet the standards of music and lyrics, “he says,” while Canadian artists performing songs written by non-Canadians and produced outside Canada do not does. is considered Canadian because only the artist requirement is met. “

Bill C-11 has passed the House of Commons and is being investigated in the Senate, where it will be discussed when senators return from the summer holidays.

Senators have been inundated with phone calls, emails and letters from opponents of the bill claiming it could affect amateur videos posted on YouTube.

But supporters of the bill say it updates Canada’s broadcasting laws and will help promote Canadian artists.

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