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CRTC Mulls Canadian Content On the Internet

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the home-grown dept.

The Internet 269

PsiCTO writes "The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is going to weigh Internet content regulation — this could mean requiring some amount of Canadian content coming across Canadian pipes. The CRTC is akin to the FCC. They get that they can't 'regulate' the Internet, but are proposing to promote additional Canadian content in some way, as is currently done with radio and TV content. Likely they will discuss tax credits, subsidies, grants, or other traditional mechanisms. What do people think about this? Are there similar efforts, existing or proposed, in other countries?"

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269 comments

Net Neutrality in Action (3, Interesting)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890365)

This is net neutrality in action. Once you hand over responsibility to the government, your service is only as good as those in power see fit. Internet censorship becomes a political whim, to be used when it is politically profitable for campaigns.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (5, Informative)

jetsci (1470207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890567)

Note: I work for the CRTC. They are not proposing influencing the content itself but rather the distribution. As mentioned in the article, we do it for radio and television and it ensures that local artists are not over-shadowed by our Southern counterparts.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (5, Informative)

SemiSpook (1382311) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890759)

Oddly enough, Rick Moranis revealed that the Mackenzie Brothers skit tacked on to the tail end of every episode of SCTV fulfilled the CRTC requirement. If someone could figure a way to do that for 'net content, you'd be golden.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890861)

It's a great story. When they started showing SCTV down in the States, the CRTC demanded that some extra time in every episode be Canadian in content. So, feeling that this was an insane and idiotic intrusion on the show, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas literally put a couch in front of a map of Canada, had a single cameraman rolling, and sat around being as stereotypical as possible beer-swilling inbred Ontario morons for the required number of minutes. Bob and Doug were nothing more than one big F--- You to the CRTC's Canadian content rules.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (4, Informative)

adonoman (624929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890897)

Actually, I think it was CBC, not the CRTC, that was pushing the Canadian content:

The sketch was conceived when SCTV moved to the CBC television network. Each episode to be broadcast on that network was two minutes longer than those syndicated to the United States. The CBC network heads asked the show's producers to add specifically and identifiably Canadian content for those two minutes. Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas thought that this was a ridiculous request, since the show had been taped in Canada, with a mostly Canadian cast and crew, for two years.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

lucif3r (1391761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891767)

No, the CRTC defines the Canadian content broadcasting rules. Obviously the network asked SCTV to help them meet their requirements, however the rules come directly from the CRTC. The rules are beyond stupid and I can't believe they are trying to take this as far as the internet. What a waste of taxpayers dollars.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891975)

Yes, the CRTC defines the rules, but this wasn't a case of rules, but rather some PHBs at the CBC wanting to "Canadian-Up" the extra bit of show that was only being shown in Canada.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26891791)

John Candy, in the "Johnny LaRue's Street Beef" sketch, similarly wrote into the script that all Johnny wanted for Christmas was a crane shot, in direct reaction to the network's complaint that they were spending too much money renting equipment.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891601)

Oddly enough, Rick Moranis revealed that the Mackenzie Brothers skit tacked on to the tail end of every episode of SCTV fulfilled the CRTC requirement. If someone could figure a way to do that for 'net content, you'd be golden.

That's easy! Just set up the web server to append "Hecho en Canada/Fabre en Canada/Made in Canada/..." to the footer of every page served.

CRTC - Screw You, Taxpayer (2, Funny)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891881)

And it's on-topic, too (at least after 1:20). [youtube.com]

When it comes to the Internet, though, I think this is completely wrong (as has probably been stated here). When we're watching TV, we can either watch the American channels, with 99% American programming, or the Canadian networks, with about 75% American programming. The Canadian shows will always end up on the Canadian channels. With the Intertubes, wouldn't we really just be choosing to watch American or Canadian content directly?

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890807)

And how, pray tell, are you going to influence distribution? Are you going to set up massive filters at the borders to insert Canadian commercials like Starchoice and Bell Expressvu do with satellites (never was there a better justification for grey dishes than this unholy bit of interference)? Are you going to force foreign content providers to test for IP addresses to make sure Canadians are seeing the appropriate amount of Canadian content?

There's a story about King Canute trying to hold back the tide. You guys at the CRTC should read it. The Internet is going to render Canadian content rules obsolete and unenforceable. You cannot force me to download Canadian content. The most you can do is abuse the CRTC's powers to up my Internet bill so some unaccountable board hands out welfare cheques to "artists".

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891915)

There's a story about King Canute trying to hold back the tide.

Maybe they need to read the story about Aqluktikut, the Innuit hunter who was trying to stop the polar bear from being white... It's got more Canadian content.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (2, Insightful)

finarfinjge (612748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890811)

You wrote:

"Note: I work for the CRTC. They are not proposing influencing the content itself but rather the distribution."

In either case, the nanny state is telling me what I can and cannot watch. Whether it is the content, that is direct cesorship, or the distribution, that is the ability to see what I want without "help" from the government (that is you), it is STILL censorship. It is, like all cancon laws, tarted up censorship.

JE

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890889)

You wrote:

"Note: I work for the CRTC. They are not proposing influencing the content itself but rather the distribution."

In either case, the nanny province is telling me what I can and cannot watch. Whether it is the content, that is direct cesorship, or the distribution, that is the ability to see what I want without "help" from the government (that is you), it is STILL censorship. It is, like all cancon laws, tarted up censorship, eh.

JE

There, I Canuckified that for you. It's now compliant with the Canadian Content laws.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891701)

Actually, as others will probably point out to you, 'state' is still applicable. The Country of Canada would be 'the state' in this case, which has provinces.

The 'eh' was funny, although grammatically incorrect.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891749)

You wrote:

"Note: I work for the CRTC. They are not proposing influencing the content itself but rather the distribution."

In either case, the nanny province is telling me what I can and cannot watch. Whether it is the content, that is direct cesorship, or the distribution, that is the ability to see what I want without "help" from the government (that is you), it is STILL censorship. It is, like all cancon laws, tarted up censorship, eh.

JE

There, I Canuckified that for you. It's now compliant with the Canadian Content laws.

Actually, he was using "state" properly. He was using it in the sense of a nation, rather than a subentity in US style. For example, the US states technically were states in the normal sense only until they ratified the US Constitution currently in force (They were still independent states under the Articles of Confederation, by the way.)

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

jetsci (1470207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891089)

We're not proposing cutting anything but why would we allow American commercials to profit within our borders when we can boost our economy with a little home-grown advertising?

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (2, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891257)

We're not proposing cutting anything but why would we allow American commercials to profit within our borders when we can boost our economy with a little home-grown advertising?

For products made in China.

Canadian content rules are becoming more moronic every single day.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891971)

I think the CRTC should leave this alone, but at the same time, this has nothing to do with censorship of any kind. It's about providing incentives to produce more content, not prevent you from seeing anything you want to see. Basically, this will have absolutely no effect on you. It will, however, benefit those producing Canadian content for the web.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890821)

Damn, I thought the *AA, DOJ, and bad US lawyers were doing enough to stop US content from making it to EVERYONE's Internet, Canada included!

If the original intent was to ensure that Canadian artists and industry were given a fair shake at fame and stardom and riches, isn't the Internet the wrong place to be mandating content? Content on Internet sites that have nothing to do with entertainment is not helping that particular group of artists. How can you mandate such content? Doesn't the .ca TLD do enough? I'm reasonably certain that even newfies know the difference between .com and .ca

When I get the Vancouver club scene newsletter email or whistlerblackcomb newsletter email... well, I'm not confused about the content and where it came from. You seem to have the same kind of problem that the *AA has... loss of control. Perhaps if you mandated that Canadian companies worked harder to produce content that Canadians wanted to download AND made it reasonably cost effective to do so from within Canada by making Shaw et al discount for Canadian content downloaded... well, you're problem would be solved or on its way to being solved.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (2, Funny)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891387)

I'm reasonably certain that even newfies know the difference between .com and .ca Yeah whatchya got dere bai is yer dot com dat's da reg'lar innernet, and ya gotchyer dot C-A dat's yer Canadian innernet. In Newfoundland though we just calls dat a cod trap, dat's da innernet inside da outernet.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891799)

Perhaps if you mandated that Canadian companies worked harder to produce content that Canadians wanted to download AND made it reasonably cost effective to do so...

Hell, if they did that, the rest of the world might want to download Canadian content, too. They couldn't possibly want to unleash THAT menace upon the world! Oh! The humanity!

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890891)

This isn't net neutrality at all. This is a government agency requiring the exact opposite of net neutrality, namely the favoring of one kind of content over another. By the looks of things you're conflating "net neutrality" with "any government regulation of the Internet".

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

Oqnet (159295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890905)

It depends on how it's run if it's setup in a way where you can get tax breaks or funding if you include Canadian content, then it's not limiting you on what you can put on your website. What it would then do is give an incentive to providers to make extra cash by dropping in the maple leaf once in awhile. I don't think this is the same as net neutrality. I would hope that the CRTC would not bock content that didn't fulfill their agenda. I also think that this would only effect canadian sites, but how do you end up defining that? Something hosted in Canada or something from the .ca domain? I just hope that they Mull it over and don't do anything, but I doubt that it's going to be anything really that bad. Just glad I don't have a great firewall like China or Australia... maybe we already do and I don't know..

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890941)

Are you seriously suggesting that the CRTC would censor the internet in Canada for political ends? Or even attempt to do so?

Just so you know, they've been regulating mass media in Canada for as long as I've been around, and it's never even been suggested that they thought about considering to ponder the notion of musing about doing something like that. The most controversial thing they've done, in my memory, is force the CBC to show more hockey.

The problem with our American cousins, like yourself (I assume) is the knee-jerk, paranoid anti-government reaction you tend to have. You just can't seem to fathom the idea that a government entity would do things for the common good. Sad, really.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891153)

The problem with our American cousins, like yourself (I assume) is the knee-jerk, paranoid anti-government reaction you tend to have. You just can't seem to fathom the idea that a government entity would do things for the common good. Sad, really.

How is putting on a levy on Internet accounts to hand the money over to programs that no one will watch doing something for the common good? The CBC has absolutely dismal ratings, and the only reason CTV seems to do any better is because it's got the broadcast rights for a lot of major American shows.

In short, Canadians don't give a shit about Canadian content. It's a pack of no-talent artists and bureaucrats all looking, in various ways, to pad their pockets with money they don't deserve who care.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (1)

agbinfo (186523) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891541)

They've also terminated the license of a Quebec City radio station (CHOI-FM).

The reason the license was terminated can be found here [wikipedia.org]

One of the hosts, Jeff Fillion, now has a web site [radiopirate.com] and the other, André Arthur [wikipedia.org] is a member of parliament.

Re:Net Neutrality in Action (4, Funny)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890951)

Hmmm on one side I hand over responsibility to an entity that I give money to work for me but doesn't, on the other side I hand over responsibility to an entity I give money to work for me but doesn't. Decisions, Decisions.

But all my internet content is porn (3, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890371)

So are we now going to get goverment subsidised canadian porn? For that matter, get the canadian goverment to ensure that canadian slashdot readers get the right percentage of canadian first posts?

I don't know what they smoke in canada but it got to be good.

Re:But all my internet content is porn (2, Funny)

kramer2718 (598033) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890585)

Canadian pr0n... Interesting concept, but wouldn't the hockey sticks get in the way?

Re:But all my internet content is porn (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891081)

That's Canadian S&M, if I recall correctly.

As Baber Siddiqui [imdb.com] once said, "The best way to seperate men from women is Hockey Night in Canada.

Re:But all my internet content is porn (1)

Curtman (556920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891943)

Only certain types of men. I'll never understand why anyone would sit and watch a hockey game unless someone forces them to at gunpoint.

Re:But all my internet content is porn (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890679)

goverment subsidised canadian porn?

Surprisingly, this may work out to be the case.

Some of the biggest companies in the industry are Canuck-run

[ALL NSFW!!]
http://www.brazzers.com
http://www.adultrental.com
http://www.python.com (not .org !)

Re:But all my internet content is porn (4, Interesting)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890981)

Basically, yes.

Instead of attempting to regulate the internet, which would be insane at best and totally fucktarded at worst, they're probably going to try something else.

That would be grants and tax breaks to Canadian providers of internet content. Iliad (userfriendly) might get to write off (his? her?) bandwidth as a legitimate expense. If you create a blog, you might be able to get a grant. I don't know what they're planning.

The CRTC might be a huge bloated archaic corporation, but they're not complete morons.

Re:But all my internet content is porn (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891073)

If at all possible, please try to include a moose.

Re:But all my internet content is porn (2, Funny)

Vagrant (518197) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891155)

I don't know what they smoke in canada but it got to be good.

BC Bud [wikipedia.org] ... and ya ... its good.

Re:But all my internet content is porn (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891699)

Don't be making fun of our porn. We have the hottest porn stars...once you get them out of their snow suits.

I for one will eagerly welcome our government subsidized Canadian porn star overlords.

CanCon (3, Informative)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890373)

Canadian Content laws may be controversial, but there is no denying that it has helped Canadian art and artists flourish. Personally, I don't mind paying a few extra bucks each year on my tax return, if it means I get to live in a richer, more interesting society as a result.

Re:CanCon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890485)

Collectivism. The root cause of human misery on earth.

Re:CanCon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26891707)

Actually, these days, the root cause of human misery on earth is Capitalism. Collectivism had its day though.

Re:CanCon (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890519)

Canadian Content laws may be controversial, but there is no denying that it has helped Canadian art and artists flourish.

Or, in most cases, simply become yet another kind of welfare recipient.

Personally, I don't mind paying a few extra bucks each year on my tax return, if it means I get to live in a richer, more interesting society as a result.

Yes, because, after all, we're so much richer for my hard-earned tax dollars going to pay for Davinci's Inquest and King of Kensington reruns.

Re:CanCon (4, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890563)

It hasn't helped Canadian "art" flourish. Quite the opposite -- it's provided funding to drek that no one wants. Commercial art (i.e. TV and radio) needs to be competitive to survive, not propped up by tax dollars. Witness the CBC's abysmal ratings and lack of standout series for the past many years.

An article I read this weekend explained that they're talking about Can-Con for foreign web broadcasters, including some TV channels that internet broadcast from the Phillipines. I don't think I've ever heard a more ludicrous thing -- demanding that foreign stations carry Canadian content!

Rather than bleat about the competition, CBC could do like CTV and start internet broadcasting their series as streaming video. The only CanCon rules I support would be to mandate that Canadian content be internet-enabled so that it can compete. Navel-gazing demands on the content carried by foreign channels is pointless -- there is no way to enforce it and it would be considered as interference by the nations where those channels are based, and rightly so.

Re:CanCon (2, Interesting)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890591)

What it has helped is keeping people making complete crap under the guise of making 'good Canadian content' as opposed to reality hitting them square in the ass and giving them a clue that they suck.

Worst government waste ever. Well, not the worst, but still a huge waste.

Tax funded CanCon (2, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890977)

I don't think anybody would object to you paying a few extra bucks each year to a charity that produced Canadian content if you think that makes your society richer and more interesting.

But do you really think Canadian content would die if Canadians weren't forced to pay for it? If not, why do you think it needs to be funded by taxes? If yes, doesn't it mean most of you don't think it's a worthwhile investment in your society?

Re:Tax funded CanCon (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26891545)

Would Mister Rogers and Sesame Street have existed without American tax dollars? Just curious.

Re:CanCon (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891015)

Wouldn't it be more direct to just, well, fund the artists? Why dance around with weird requirements when you can just cut checks?

Re:CanCon (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891475)

I'm not sure Alanis Morisette qualifies as "+1 Interesting". Give me more of those crazy McKenzie brothers, though! It's aboot time we got them!

Re:CanCon (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891757)

...but there is no denying that it has helped Canadian art and artists flourish.

Artists like Bryan Adams, who the CRTC decided a few years ago did not qualify as Canadian content (in a particular context I can't recall) because he built his success in the US? Or maybe Lorne Michaels, Jim Carrey, William Shatner, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Meyers, Neil Young, Tom Cochrane, Randy Bachman, Bif Naked...

There is no shortage of successful Canadian artists who aren't on a CRTC welfare program. And it's certainly no surprise that most of these artists have built a great deal of their success south of the border, because that's where there's a big enough population to support sales.

Providing some public funding to help local artists get started isn't a bad thing, but imposing content requirements often results in content providers scraping up the cheapest material they can produce to fill the required space*, or running re-runs of 30-year-old shows that stopped being interesting 29 years ago.

*Ironically, the McKenzie brothers bit on SCTV, which was created in this way, became one of the more memorable parts of the show. So I guess you just never know!

Government should not compete (4, Insightful)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890391)

What is special about "Canadian content" anyhow? The whole notion of nationalism needs to begin fading into the background. If there is something unique of value that the Canadian gov't brings to its citizens, fine, but an attempt to promote the Canadian brand by the government is not really useful in the big picture. If there is something great to publish, then there is no real barrier to its being published. This is just branding and it's a waste of time.

Re:Government should not compete (5, Funny)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890553)

I don't think you understand how vitally important this is. Without CanCon rules there would have been no Bryan Adams, no Alanis Morisette, no Avril Lavigne, no Celene Dion.

OK, never mind.

Re:Government should not compete (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890639)

The real irony here is that Canada has produced some major acts with little help from Canadian content rules. Rush has been since the late 1970s a major act, selling out arena tours, selling tons of records, while most of it has hardly ever gotten major air time in Canada or the States. The same goes for the Band, which pretty much relocated to the US, and during its heyday, was four-fifths Canadian, and yet is now seen as being one of the most important rock and roll bands of the last half century.

Re:Government should not compete (1, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890619)

When you are a country of ~30 million situated next to a neighbour ten times your size (and that neighbour has a penchant for economic and cultural imperialism), sometimes you have to take steps to prevent the trampling of your artistic community.

Re:Government should not compete (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890699)

When you are a country of ~30 million situated next to a neighbour ten times your size (and that neighbour has a penchant for economic and cultural imperialism), sometimes you have to take steps to prevent the trampling of your artistic community.

By turning it into a welfare community? My tax dollars going to pay for stuff that most Canadians won't even hear or see? It sounds more to me like it's about creating a wall between artists and any notion of consumerism. After all, why bother making anything that anybody gives a damn about if the only people you have to sell it too is some unaccountable board whose sole job is to take money from Internet consumers and find people to give it to.

That's the real irony. The best they can do is use the CRTC to extort money from each and every ISP customer to pay for things that those ISPs customers are unlikely to have any interest in at all.

Re:Government should not compete (4, Interesting)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890869)

What nonsense. What in the hell is "cultural imperialism" anyway? It's an inflammatory but meaningless term. Quality Canadian artists thrive on the world stage and in the U.S. Even mediocre ones seem to do well. As for "economic imperialism", Canada does very well in its trade relations with the U.S. Canada's economy is a good balance of extractive, agricultural, manufacturing and service businesses. If there was any "economic imperialism" involved then the U.S would only be trading automobiles for timber and oil. That's not the case. Canada manufactures and exports automobiles, consultants, service, rail and other transportation services, and a whole host of high value economic products. To top it all off, Canada gets a big defense subsidy by being next to the U.S. It can afford to spend much less as a percent of GDP on defense because it knows the U.S. won't allow anyone to attack it. The CRTC and certain other Canadians engaging in this delusional paranoia are really undervaluing what Canada, Canadians and Canadian culture produce. Otherwise they wouldn't be so fearful of letting it compete fairly on the world stage. I don't see the Australians having this problem.

Re:Government should not compete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26891429)

Last time I checked, Australia isn't bordering the US.

A better example would be new zealand culture in australia. But we don't know much about new zealand

Re:Government should not compete (2, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891051)

When you are a country of ~30 million situated next to a neighbour ten times your size (and that neighbour has a penchant for economic and cultural imperialism), sometimes you have to take steps to prevent the trampling of your artistic community.

Or accept that if your populations' artistic ability is about the same you'll produce 10% the amount of great art as that neighbor. It's not like US TV channels and record companies will discriminate against Canadian artists if they could squeeze money out of them.

Re:Government should not compete (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891281)

I'll gladly accept the insult (complement?) about cultural imperialism - you are right and the world certainly seems to import a lot of our "art". But any country who imposes Nickelback on us deserves the title as well :)

Besides, in 40 years or so we'll all be hearing more stuff like this [thefrontloader.com]...

Re:Government should not compete (1, Funny)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890793)

What is special about "Canadian content" anyhow?

Most likely, same thing they do with Radio and TV. A bunch of low-budget knockoffs. Websites like aboot.com and slashdoot.org.

It's not about the government (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890875)

We live in a predominantly capitalist society.

Canada has about 30 million consumers, and the US has about 300 million.

Even among Canadians there are many distinct cultures that are truly Canadian.

But attempts to produce content that appeals to any fraction of Canadians can quickly get drowned out by whatever drivel all the US teenagers are interested it.

As far as North America is concerned, Canadians are a minority, and the government is trying to do it's part to make sure that the minority voice is loud enough to be heard over the endless drone of American consumerism.

Re:It's not about the government (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890989)

But attempts to produce content that appeals to any fraction of Canadians can quickly get drowned out by whatever drivel all the Canadian teenagers are interested it.

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:It's not about the government (4, Insightful)

cyriustek (851451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891343)

Canada clearly has a distinct culture, that many of its people want to preserve. However, it does seem that some Canadians do go a bit overboard with it.

When traveling across Europe, or Australia or NZ, it is quite easy to pick the Canadians out. It seems that a very large percentage keep a Maple leaf somewhere on their body or clothing. Evidently, they do not like people assuming that they are Americans due to their accent, so they over compensate.

Since many people have noticed this attitude from Canadians, they usually will not ask someone if they are American if they meet them, so as to avoid offending the Canadians. Instead, they inquire whether one is from Canada, since it seems rare for an American to be insulted by this question.

I think this is a little like a little brother / big brother rivalry. Although Canada is large geographically, it clearly does not have the population of the USA. As such, there is not a concerted effort of Americans trying to implement imperialism over Canada, it just happens due to the numbers. We can see similar examples of this in NZ and Australia. Another example would be Wales and England.

I cannot blame Canadians for trying to get their culture out there. However, going overboard just makes one look a bit silly.

Re:Government should not compete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26891401)

The whole notion of nationalism needs to begin fading into the background.

It isn't that simple unfortunately. Nationalism must be opposed selectively.

If it's US nationalism then yes, by all means it must be vigorously opposed. This ugly trait, which appears to be a genetic defect in US citizens, must be countered in all its forms real and imagined.

Canadian nationalism? Lets us consider the implications and seek precedents among other nations to provide justification ("Are there similar efforts, existing or proposed, in other countries?") What's a little nationalism among canucks?

BBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890407)

Are there similar efforts, existing or proposed, in other countries?

Of course, the BBC is a great example that I can think of quickly.

Canadian content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890433)

As Shatner no doubt realizes, this is a crude attempt to censor him personally.

Global (2, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890483)

As a Canadian, I'm ashamed that our tax dollars are being wasted like this. The WORLD WIDE web is GLOBAL. Attempting to enforce (or even encourage) Canadian content on the WORLD WIDE web is simply stupid. Even with their alternate methods (tax credits, subsidies, grants, etc.), it's simply stupid. I have troubles supporting CanCon on radio and TV but on the WORLD WIDE web? Nah. That's just a waste of time and money.

Re:Global (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26891077)

As a Canadian, I'm ashamed that you don't read the fucking article. The CRTC is going to have hearings on whether to change their decade-long hands-off policy. Odds are, they'll keep the status quo.

Why? (2, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891743)

I'd argue that it's one of the few things we here in Britain have going for us nowadays- the BBC.

The BBC produces some excellent content and shares it worldwide such as Planet Earth and gets involved in various co-productions with foreign companies such as HBO in the US. Some people love BBC news, others hate it but overall the BBC is a top notch content producer when it comes to (lots of people love Top Gear, Doctor Who etc.).

The situation with the BBC isn't quite the same as that described but it is similar. I think the BBC is largely quite respected worldwide for the content it produces to and whilst many things make Britain look like an awful country nowadays, I'd argue the BBC isn't one of them and in fact is one of the few things that shows us in a positive light.

It may sound bad but really it's not, we pay a TV license here which funds the BBC and they also have BBC Worldwide a commercial arm that sells DVDs of their content and such on the world stage to help fund international content too. As such if your setup follows the latter model- by charging reasonable amounts for some, but not all of the foreign content the cost isn't going to be much, but more people will become aware of Canadian culture.

It does have benefits.

Doesn't make as much sense for the Internet (3, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890487)

Of course this sort of thing exists in other countries, at least for broadcast media. France, for example, has quotas on both television and radio content. [nytimes.com]

I'm not sure that it makes as much sense for the Internet, though. The French idea is that you have limited broadcast time, and without a quota, they'd be playing American music and television shows 24/7. Maybe that makes sense, but with the Internet, you don't have the same broadcasting limits. People choose what they want to listen to with ease, actively seeking out their preferred content from any number of sources.

They can promote domestic content all they want, and it might even be a good thing, but it's not going to have the same "cultural preservation" effects as with broadcast media.

Re:Doesn't make as much sense for the Internet (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890593)

The general idea seems now to be focusing on levies. In other words, there's no way to force Canadians to watch and listen to more Canadian content on the Internet, so instead we'll simply further entrench the artistic welfare. It should lead to delightful situations where a TV show gets no more than a few thousand viewers, but gets topped up from the levy.

Initiatives like this are why so much Canadian content is nothing but mediocre trash with horrible production values, terrible actors, terrible writers, while Canadian talent, in large part, simply goes down to the States where the real money is.

Re:Doesn't make as much sense for the Internet (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890773)

Who then take their american casting company and film their dirty american content in Canada, where its cheaper.

Re:Doesn't make as much sense for the Internet (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890893)

Who then take their american casting company and film their dirty american content in Canada, where its cheaper.

Where they also get money throw at them by various levels of government in the form of film development tax credits and grants, thus making Governor Schwarzenegger cry.

ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890555)

Simple solution: host spam zombies in Canada. Also google.ca can serve Canadian ads.

Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890569)

Now I can expect to be spammed by Alanis instead of just hearing her screatch.

A silly idea, but may do some good (5, Interesting)

Strike Fiss (167449) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890581)

If the CRTC wants to encourage Canadian Content on the net, maybe they could lobby Ottawa to create tax breaks for using local companies and carbon-footprint shrinking solutions. I just recently changed my host to a Canadian provider who uses Green Energy for their datacentre and I feel pretty happy about that. I suspect plenty of personal and professional Canadian users would do the same if there was even the most reasonable incentive to do so given out by the Gov.

And best thing about this plan: it wouldn't even require 1 out of every 100 homepages to be an Alanis Morsette or Celine Dion tribute page. (thank God...)

Re:A silly idea, but may do some good (1)

Reibisch (1261448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891807)

Why the hell do you need an 'incentive' to do what, in your opinion, is the 'right thing'? If it's so right in your opinion, why do you need a reward for doing it?

Tax (1)

Reibisch (1261448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26890615)

They'll simply impose a 'content' tax on ISPs and then funnel part of that money to 'artists' like the copyright board does with the piracy tax.

Translation: Dear Canadian-based providers.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890739)

Let me translate this for you:

Dear Canadian-based content providers....

We in the government would like very much if you would kindly move your servers and business operations to another country, and create a holding company that remains in Canada to distribute the income from the foreign operations.

We of course, will not make you do this, so we are now adopting regulations to make it very clear that we really want you to do it.

Thank you for your consideration.

Me Too ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890929)

We just had to prove that America wasn't the only country with morons in high places :-(

It's already the case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26890957)

We already can't access any of the fun streaming content from the states (pandora, hulu, etc). See, international copyright law is working it all out for us.

Corruption ... Canadian style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26891239)

read this as - taxes from working Canadians will be used to support corporate media

same ol, same ol, just the rich getting richer by leveraging the poor via corrupt governance

Nothing to see here ... (1)

gordguide (307383) | more than 5 years ago | (#26891973)

They've been there before, where they concluded the whole exercise would be pointless. They will look at it again now, where they will decide the whole exercise is currently pointless. And then they will move to look at it again, in the future, in case something changes in the meantime. That's what these kinds of regulators do.

If anyone doubts any of the above, may I point out that they have in the last year refused to address Net Neutrality and Traffic Shaping, leaving it to remain wholly unregulated. Which basically sums up the only technology that has any hope whatsoever of doing anything of the sort.

Can I post my next Slashdot story now? I'll date it February 16, 2014 (five years from today).

I'm thinking of entitling it "CRTC Mulls Canadian Content On The Internet".

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