Canada panel urges taxes and home content material guidelines for Netflix, different U.S. corporations


FILE PHOTO: The Netflix brand is seen on their workplace in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Picture

TORONTO (Reuters) – Ottawa ought to require U.S. tech corporations corresponding to Netflix (NFLX.O), Amazon (AMZN.O) and Fb (FB.O) to gather the identical taxes as Canadian corporations and likewise be topic to the identical necessities for supporting domestically produced content material, a Canadian government-mandated panel really helpful on Wednesday.

“Our suggestions for reform are sensible and actionable offering the legislative powers and regulatory instruments essential to seize the alternatives and deal with the dangers of the digital age,” the panel’s chairwoman Janet Yale, a veteran Canadian telecoms government, mentioned in a press launch accompanying the report.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s authorities created the six-member panel in 2018 to look at Canada’s decades-old broadcasting and telecoms legal guidelines, and advise the federal government on the way to carry the laws updated with the present digital panorama.

The report acknowledged that it was not recommending a so-called “Netflix Tax” by charging shoppers an additional levy. As an alternative, the report really helpful requiring on-line streaming companies corresponding to Netflix to “put money into Canadian programming that they consider will entice and enchantment to Canadians.

“This strategy would guarantee a significant contribution to Canadian cultural coverage goals and the manufacturing sector. It needn’t lead to greater costs for shoppers.”

The report additionally known as for the mandate of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Fee (CRTC) – which regulates media and telecoms corporations in Canada – to incorporate making certain equal entry for all Canadians to inexpensive web entry, affirming particular person rights to an open web and offering stronger protections for customers’ information.

It really helpful that the CRTC be given a much wider mandate, to incorporate three courses of corporations: curation, corresponding to Netflix and Amazon Prime; information aggregators together with cable corporations and websites like Yahoo! Information; and sharing platforms corresponding to Fb and YouTube.

The panel’s suggestions are usually not binding.

Canadian corporations are legally required to spend a proportion of programming budgets and allocate a set portion of air time to Canadian content material. Curation corporations must do the identical, beneath the really helpful modifications, whereas aggregators and sharers would contribute to Canadian content material in an identical means as home corporations, by levies based mostly on a calculation of Canadian-derived revenues.

Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Modifying by David Gregorio


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