Commons committee calls for strict rules on streaming services, online piracy

An all-party committee of MPs is recommending the government set stricter rules for Canadian content on foreign streaming services and a crackdown on internet piracy.

The House of Commons heritage committee's final report on its review of the federal Copyright Act asks the federal government to make foreign-based streaming services such as those run by Netflix, Amazon and Apple contribute to the creation of Canadian content.

The report says while those platforms have simplified the way that Canadians consume film and television, the shift to digital has meant a decline in payments to domestic artists.

There are no policies requiring digital streaming services based outside the country to help fund the production of content in this country, the committee noted.

The effect has been an erosion of artists' ability to earn middle-class livings thanks to a system that has ``diverted wealth from creators to large digital intermediaries,'' the committee said.

The committee also asks the government to crack down harder on people sharing content illegally, noting that witnesses asked the government to increase punishments and fines.