Monday, July 15, 2024

Justin Bieber’s music may not be Canadian enough

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Justin Bieber is one of the most famous artists of all time, and he has received Grammy and Juno Awards since the beginning of his career.

The 28-year-old singer-songwriter from Ontario has also been named one of the most influential people in the world and one of the 10 most powerful celebrities.

But are his songs Canadian enough for the government’s online broadcast bill?

Spotify, the world’s largest digital music platform, where Bieber’s songs have been streamed millions of times, has his doubts.

The company says that songs of Justin Bieber and other popular Canadian artists will not officially qualify as Canadian under Bill C-11, which is still pending in Parliament.

Tracks that are unlikely to qualify under Canada’s strict content rules include Justin Bieber’s “Ghost,” Tate McRae’s “She’s All I Wanna Be” and Moroccan-Canadian singer “Anybody Else,” according to Spotify. Fawzia.

The bill seeks to update the broadcast law to subject broadcasting platforms to the same rules as traditional broadcasters, including requiring them to promote Canadian content.

In order for songs to be considered Canadian, they must meet a series of criteria.

Under current rules, a song must meet two of the following criteria to be considered Canadian: to be entirely written by a Canadian, primarily performed by a Canadian, broadcast or shown live in Canada, or the lyrics entirely written by a Canadian. Canadian.

For example, Justin Bieber’s “Ghost” meets only one of those requirements – which means it can’t be considered Canadian content by traditional broadcasters, and if the bill is passed, neither Spotify nor other streaming platforms will.

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Spotify says that without a more flexible definition of what counts as Canadian content, the platform could end up promoting fewer tracks by artists in the country than it currently has on Canadian playlists.

“It is important to understand that today’s music world is global in nature, with artists from all over the world participating,” said Nathan Wisniak, Marketing Director for Canadian Artists and Record Companies at Spotify.

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

However, the current rules can change. Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has announced his intention to ask the broadcasting regulator, Radio, Television and Communications Canada (CRTC), to review the definition of Canadian content.

He said he would report the policy guidance to the CRTC after the bill was passed through Parliament. At that time, the CRTC will be responsible for regulating the streaming platforms and ensuring that they promote eligible Canadian content.

Spotify maintains 90 playlists featuring Canadian artists in a range of genres, including country music, Quebec rap, and French classics.

The platform says it is currently using a range of data sources to determine if a song is Canadian, including the artist’s self-declaration.

“This means that we are offering a much broader category of routes that we have defined as Canadian than we believe would be classified as Canadian under current tariffs,” Wisniak said.

Playlists are tailored to suit the listener’s musical tastes, and it depends in part on what they tend to listen to. It is also designed to introduce people to Canadian musicians and genres of music they may not have heard before, he added.

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“We are concerned that unless Canadian content requirements are updated, this bill could limit exposure to emerging and popular Canadian artists and lead to over-exposure to others, which could offend listeners.”

Michael Guest, Canada Research Chair in Internet Law at the University of Ottawa, says current standards for what is considered a Canadian song can “lead to quirks”. He says the definition of Canadian content needs to be updated in the bill.

“[This]has led to foreign artists performing covers of Canadian songs produced outside Canada as being Canadian, because they meet musical and lyrical standards,” he says, while Canadian artists perform songs written by non-Canadians and produced outside Canada. Canada does not count because only artist requirements are met. »

Bill C-11 has passed the House of Commons and is under Senate scrutiny when senators return from their summer vacation.

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 those who support the bill say it updates Canadian broadcasting laws and will help promote Canadian artists.

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