Elon Musk Comments on Canada Requiring Podcasters With Revenues $10 Million or More to Register

The new regulations mandate that online streaming services earning $10 million or more annually will need to complete a registration form by Nov. 28
Elon Musk Comments on Canada Requiring Podcasters With Revenues $10 Million or More to Register
SpaceX founder Elon Musk in Boca Chica Beach, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2022. (Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images)
Marnie Cathcart

Billionaire businessman Elon Musk has weighed in on the federal government’s latest edict that podcast producers that earn revenue of $10 million or more must now register with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

“Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada. Shameful,” Mr. Musk posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Oct. 1, sharing a post that included a link to the news release from the Canadian government detailing the new requirement unveiled Sept. 29 as part of Bill C-11.
The new regulations mandate that online streaming services operating in Canada and earning $10 million or more annually will need to complete a registration form by Nov. 28. The CRTC also set new conditions for online streaming services to operate in Canada effective Sept. 29. The regulations “require certain online streaming services to provide the CRTC with information related to their content and subscribership.”
The CRTC adds that platforms that operate in Canada offering “broadcasting content” and earning $10 million or more annually could include streaming services, social media, subscription television services available online, radio stations live streaming over the internet, and podcasts, either free or with a paid subscription.

The new rules represent “a major step forward to modernize Canada’s broadcasting framework,” the CRTC says in its news release.

Online services earning less than $10 million annually are exempt from registration, as are online services that only offer video games or audio books. Social media services must register; however, the CRTC said users do not need to.

A third consultation is ongoing, according to the Sept. 29 CRTC news release, which will consider “contributions traditional broadcasters and online streaming services will need to make to support Canadian and Indigenous content.”

The CRTC said it will hold a three-week public proceeding starting on Nov. 20, 2023, and will hear from 129 intervenors.


Conservative Party deputy leader Melissa Lantsman also criticized the regulation on Oct. 1, stating, “The Liberals told Canadians that [Bill] C11 was about making big streamers pay their fair share. They told us social media won’t be regulated. The government is now forming a podcast registry.”

“I am not joking,” she wrote.

Minister of Canadian Heritage Pascale St-Onge said on Aug. 6 that the Broadcasting Act had not been updated since 1991 and that the Online Streaming Act, referring to Bill C-11, was how the Liberal government was “standing up” for Canadian culture.

“What it’s about is simple: better support for our artists, our creators and our stories,” she suggested.

Former heritage minister Pablo Rodriguez has contended that the government’s aim in C-11 is to give Canadian content creators a “level playing field” with American competitors and media outlets, which often achieve greater reach with Canadian audiences.

Bill C-11 has been a matter of ongoing debate in Parliament. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre called it a “censorship” bill during question period on March 30.

During the same question period, Liberal former House leader Mark Holland suggested the purpose of C-11 was to make sure “big tech” pays its “fair share” to Canadian content creators and artists.

The legislation has been criticized by many public figures.

“Leave my bloody podcast alone Or face the consequences You insane censorious totalitarian Rats,” Jordan Peterson posted on X on Sept. 29.
Professor Michael Geist, the Canada research chair on internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, raised concern that smaller publishers would leave the Canadian market in face of the new regulations.
“Government pitched Bill C-11 as targeting web giants. In its first decision on registration requirements, the CRTC is apparently defining that to include podcasters or smaller foreign streaming services with $10M+ in Canadian broadcast revenues,” wrote Mr. Geist in a post on X on Sept. 29.