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Canadian Broadcasters Seek New Internet Regulation 171

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the new-interference-commission dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist's weekly Toronto Star column reports that the Canadian broadcasting community, including broadcasters, copyright collectives, and actor labor unions, are all calling on Canada's broadcast regulator to increase its regulation of the Internet. Some groups want sites such as YouTube to be subject to Canadian content requirements, while the broadcasters want to stop U.S. broadcasters from streaming television shows online into Canada."
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Canadian Broadcasters Seek New Internet Regulation

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  • by rednip (186217) * <rednip@noSpaM.gmail.com> on Monday April 02, 2007 @12:47PM (#18575531) Journal
    To satisfy the Canadian content requirement, all one needs to do is add a couple minutes of the 'Great White North' [wikipedia.org] to each of the YouTube clips.
    • by Bobzibub (20561)
      Get in the 00s. = )
      http://www.trailerparkboys.com/ [trailerparkboys.com]

    • This will go over about as well as the McKenzie Brothers' attempt to get free beer from the liquor store. :)

      http://youtube.com/watch?v=KWzdOKCb-Gw [youtube.com]
      • by Brickwall (985910)
        This will go over about as well as the McKenzie Brothers' attempt to get free beer from the liquor store.

        The liquor store? In Ontario in the 1980's? Sorry, my friend, it was "The Beer Store".

        • by tb3 (313150)
          In Ontario, in the 80's, it was The Brewers' Retail.
          You're probably too young to remember. :-P
          • by Brickwall (985910)
            Too young? I remember when you had to fill out slips at the LCBO, hand them in at one counter, and pick up your package at another one. Apparently, the LCBO heads studied marketing in Soviet Russia.

            But I digress.. yes, the official name was the "Brewers' Retail", but every single person I know (including the Mackenzie brothers) referred to it as the "Beer Store". Seriously, did you know anyone who said "I'm off to the Brewers"?

            • by tb3 (313150)
              I remember that era of the LCBO too. I think there was a store in Ottawa that used that system up until the early 1980's. Ontario is remarkably puritan. There used to be a law that you couldn't carry your glass of beer around in bars. You had to sit at a table or the bar, and if you wanted to move, the barman or waitress had to move your drink for you.
          • by Sj0 (472011)
            Did I miss something? Did the LCBO start up only recently? Was the beer store really the only place to get booze in the 80s?
            • by Brickwall (985910)
              The beer store was the only place to get beer in the 1980's in Ontario. Wine and spirits were from the LCBO, beer from Brewer's Retail. Thank god times have changed.
    • for Canada, then, just work up software at YouTube that puts toques and beers on everybody in those videos when the IP request comes from up north, eh.

      it worked for SCTV, eh.

      so then should shortwave radios in Quebec have translation software so all the stations you listen to come in speaking French? it would be funny to hear Nutjob of Iran on the news, eh, speaking in French. "Death to America. Get me another beer, eh?"
    • CanCon (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mark_MF-WN (678030) on Monday April 02, 2007 @01:45PM (#18576429)
      Why do they always have to embarass us like this? The great thing about youtube is that all the media is in direct competition. It's exactly the arena where Canadian content should shine -- any of it that is worth seeing in the first place, that is. It's not like with television where networks can be deliberately myopic about only selecting programs that will appeal to American demographics. The very nature of youtube makes nationality irrelevant. Canadians can access all of the Canadian content on youtube just as easily as they can access the American, Russian, or Swahili content.

      If Canadian broadcasters want Canadians to see Canadian content on youtube, they should put some awesome videos on youtube and then promote them to people. THAT'S how you encourage the development and advancement of culture. By making things that kick ass and then spreading them far and wide, not by keeping out things that happen to kick asses of the wrong nationality. Maybe if they'd get past their intense penis-envy towards American-style copyright law, they would see that.

      • by MyIS (834233)
        Precisely. Internet streaming works specifically to prevent the traditional "brain drain" that Canadian creative industry has had to deal with so far. With YouTube and the upcoming paid content streaming solutions you don't have to go to Los Angeles to be able to distribute you awesome new show to a wider audience. Too bad that this would also mean directly competing with content industries that are *not* spoon-fed by the government and are leaner and meaner that way.
        • Well, the government support of big media is definitely its own problem. When you look at the pissing matches between California and BC over how heavily they can subsidize film production, or the lobbying that goes on to strip the public of basic free speech rights (let alone the fair-use rights), it becomes pretty obvious that at some point, big media needs to be collapse and allow a refocusing on small scale artistic expression. The factors that led to the existence of big media are disappearing anyway;
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Scrameustache (459504)

        If Canadian broadcasters want Canadians to see Canadian content on youtube, they should put some awesome videos on youtube and then promote them to people. THAT'S how you encourage the development and advancement of culture.

        AMEN!

        Just like the BBC did: Open up a Director channel, upload some cool stuff [youtube.com] (like clips of David Attenborough narrating the lives of neat animals, for instance).

        I would love it, LOVE IT, if the Film Board would put some of their content on [www.nfb.ca] youTube, or their own version of archive.org, or SOMETHING. Now that would promote canadian culture and content.
        This move, however, seems to be a way for telecoms to cash in, using culture as a pretext.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Brickwall (985910)
        If Canadian broadcasters want Canadians to see Canadian content on youtube, they should put some awesome videos on youtube

        Absolutely! Check out the following "Hinterland Who's Who" from the Canadian Wildlife Service:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHzdsFiBbFc [youtube.com]

    • by AdamD1 (221690) <adam@[ ]inrub.com ['bra' in gap]> on Monday April 02, 2007 @04:28PM (#18578703) Homepage
      Yikes. :(

      Remember also that in 1996 the CRTC unsuccessfully attempted to pass similar legislation regarding all content on the internet.

      I hate the CRTC. They have effectively ruined everything regarding broadcast and digital technology.

      The CRTC are also are a big reason that Tivo doesn't exist as a service in Canada.

      Sure, nice, fine: we get to hear that extra bit of Nelly Furtado (produced in America, by American musicians and producers, for an American label) and friggin' Nickelback. But can we download TV shows in iTunes? Nope. Movies? Nope. Can we get actual HBO anywhere? Nope. Up until mid-last-year there was also no satellite radio. The only reason we have it now is that they created several Canadian stations, literally none of which anyone I know even listens to at all.

      But we DO get endless reruns of Corner Gas on multiple tv stations. And we have ET Canada now. Which is nice... I guess... (Cheryl Hickie notwithstanding.)

      The CRTC is run by a bunch of 70-year-olds who still probably think Burton Cummings is "hit-worthy." I wish to god they would go away. If it actually led to greater talent discovery and exposure, then I'd be all for it. As it stands the truly good Canadian artists get absolutely no airplay anywhere. CRTC has outlived their usefulness if these are the kinds of battles they're choosing to fight, using my money.

      ad
      • by stry_cat (558859)
        If you really want CRTC to go away, you need to take action. Start a group to lobby for the abolition of the CRTC. Wishing to god and Complaining on /. ain't going to help. You're preaching to the choir mostly likely and well most of this choir probably doesn't even live in Canada (god only helps those who help themselves). Please do us all a favor as well as your fellow countrymen and go out and take action.
  • "Go fuck yourself."

    It's one thing for American lobbies to push for government regulation of the internet, given our government can be bought, and we do still control the internet to a significant degree. Just what the hell do these guys think they can accomplish?

    Any laws passed in deference to these idiots will have all the power of a UN resolution.
    • by spun (1352)
      Any laws passed in deference to these idiots will have all the power of a UN resolution.

      No, they can mandate a firewall that blocks all objectionable content from getting into Canada.
      • by pasamio (737659)
        So the great firewall of Canada? Makes them sound like another nation that starts with C and what they do with objectionable internet content. The proof is there...I guess Canada would just be the next!
      • My statement stands, mostly due to the fact that Canada's government isn't irrational enough to think that a good idea and actually pass that law.

        Well, one would hope.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spun (1352)
          Oh, exactly. I wasn't saying they will, I'm just saying they can. Your original post made it sound as if they don't have the capability to even attempt something like that, when in fact they do, they just lack the political motivation for something so dumb.

          I doubt any country would be dumb enough to try to firewall off commercial content that certain national industries don't want. Based on the rulings regarding Internet gambling, I'd be willing to bet that the WTO would come down against a country trying t
      • No, they can mandate a firewall that blocks all objectionable content from getting into Canada.

        Nose, meet knife. This is in regard to your upcoming appointment with the face.
      • by walt-sjc (145127)
        This is EXACTLY the right response. Trying to push all the little conditions on web sites in other countries is irrational (just like the US tries to do with gambling.) This needs to be done at the Canadian ISP level. Of course no matter WHAT "solution" is mandated, it can be bypassed with redirectors / proxies.

        The real answer of course it to tell all the whanking whiners to STFU and come up with a valid business model for the modern world.
      • >they can mandate a firewall that blocks all objectionable content from getting into Canada.

        Having watched Canadian television, I, for one, find the concept of watching television content that Canadian broadcasters find objectionable terrifying.

        • by LilGuy (150110)
          That sentence was really hard for me to read, and having nailed down some sort of rhythm to reading it, I don't think I understand the point you were trying to make... can you please clarify?
          • Hmmm.... Yep, pretty tortured syntax. :-) How about this?

            I have watched Canadian television. It already sucks, and I am terrified by the idea that there is television content that Canadian broadcasters find objectionable.

            • by LilGuy (150110)
              Ahh much nicer. I don't think I got anything near that meaning previously. Well said.
      • by rtb61 (674572)
        More likely they will push for a new tax much the same as for blank CDs, an Internet connection tax where 10% of your Internet bill goes to the pigoplists, this would of course include Internet phone calls, because all you canucks talk about is new ways to fill blank CDs with pirated content.
  • Dear CRTC (Score:5, Funny)

    by camperdave (969942) on Monday April 02, 2007 @12:54PM (#18575641) Journal
    Dear Canadian Radio and Television Commision:

    The internet is neither radio, nor television, nor Canadian, so keep your regulatory hands in your pockets.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yeah, good point. It's funny how some people just can't seem to get that the internet changes everything. With radio and television it was somewhat reasonable for the government to insist that a portion be Canadian content. There used to be a limited amount of stuff that could be broadcast across the airwaves. And many people, including myself, wanted to hear/see local (as in Canadian) artists.

      But now with the internet it doesn't cost anybody anything extra to get content from everywhere. Having access to
      • by DerWulf (782458)
        That's a broad definition of reasonable. Mandatory content is wrong on so many levels, one of which is that it violates freedom of speech, an other that it's basically censorship in reverse.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Who's to say it isn't television? Or Radio? Just because the transport is different doesn't mean that it's not television. I'll give you that's it's not Canadian, but neither is Fox,NBC,ABC or CBS. Yet if they're playing the same show as a Canadian broadcaster then then Canadian show (with canadian commercials) gets shown instead.
    • Yeah, like our agencies don't change names.

      Just ask Customs... or CRA... or CCRA... or Revenue Canada... or the Ministry of National Revenue.

      (For the non-Canadians in the crowd, that's the same agency, with a few name and focus changes over the years.)

      They'll just repackage the CRTC as the Canadian Heritage and Information Agency or something that doesn't spell "CHIA". With the repackaging, they get an Internet control mandate.

      I'd be willing to accept this: Downloading MP3s remains legal in Canada as long a
    • by tb3 (313150)
      Unfortunately for your argument, it's the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission link [crtc.gc.ca], so it may well be within their jurisdiction.
      • Touché. I stand corrected on that part. However, I'd much rather have them deal with spam, telemarketers, and autodialer ads than this.
        • I've given up trying to coach them:

          "Do you get paid by the call or the hour?"

          "Uh, the call."

          "Well, having said that I'm not interested, you persist in continuing to sell to me, an uninterested customer. The longer you talk to me, the more money you lose. The smartest thing you can do financially is to tell me to have a good night, hang up, and try the next person on the list."

          "Have a good night, sir."

          I had a telemarketer call the other night. He was selling travel insurance.

          "It's not legal for me to travel
    • by Khaed (544779)
      The internet is neither radio, nor television, nor Canadian, so keep your regulatory hands in your pockets.

      Wow.

      I wish I'd thought of that line. You're my hero for stuffing all that into one sentence and not saying it in the way I had in mind. (for the curious, "Piss off, turdburglars.")
  • Since the Canadian Air Force is equipped with those fantastic Avro Arrows [wikipedia.org], they'll have no problem enforcing this...
  • by Grashnak (1003791) on Monday April 02, 2007 @01:05PM (#18575819)

    Some groups want sites such as YouTube to be subject to Canadian content requirements
    Fellow Canadians, I am shocked to learn that YouTube is apparently not meeting its committment to ensure that at least 30% of its content is Canadian. I call upon all of you to immediately get a camcorder and make a tape of: yourself smashing your testes during an ill-fated skateboard stunt; two drunk Canadian girls kissing; a dog (Canadian) biting someone's crotch; your sister, passed out and naked; Canadian ninjas fighting Canadian pirates, or; a montage of guys showing off their plumbers butts at hockey games.

    Only by lowering ourselves to their level will we ever be fairly represented on YouTube.
    • by slashbob22 (918040) on Monday April 02, 2007 @01:11PM (#18575943)

      Only by lowering ourselves to their level will we ever be fairly represented on YouTube.
      Just make sure we post in both official languages. The French Language Commission may follow up with whatever the CRTC leaves behind.
    • Re:A call to arms (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday April 02, 2007 @01:19PM (#18576061) Homepage
      While I realize you're trying to be funny, but you do illustrate the point well. How is a site consisting only of user created content supposed to adhere to content laws? How are they supposed to control the amount of Canadian content?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Scrameustache (459504)

        While I realize you're trying to be funny, but you do illustrate the point well. How is a site consisting only of user created content supposed to adhere to content laws? How are they supposed to control the amount of Canadian content?
        Spam youtube with Clips of Celine Dion?
      • by RexRhino (769423)
        If you want a certain percentage of YouTube content to be Canadian, and the non-Canadian content outnumbers Canadian content by an unacceptable margin, you simply require that YouTube make large amounts of non-Canadian content unavailable to Canadians.

        YouTube will simply detect your IP, and if you are in Canada, you will have greatly restricted access.
      • by Brickwall (985910)
        How is a site consisting only of user created content supposed to adhere to content laws? How are they supposed to control the amount of Canadian content?

        But the broadcasters, at least, (I have no comment on CanCon freaks; they are nuts IMHO) are not complaining about "user created content" - they are complaining about the retransmission of content the broadcasters have paid for by people who aren't doing anything in the way of changing or adding to the original content. For example, if someone wanted to

    • by gobbo (567674)
      [shameless SP]
      It's a good point, and, fed up with the lowest common denominator, some friends and I are going to be posting about 5 hours of student videos (about 50) to youtube in the coming week, culled from about 4000, from the Gulf Islands Film and Television School near Vancouver and Victoria. They were all made guerilla flim style, with prosumer gear and in under a week. That 'film boot camp' indie style quick training is just what is needed for the lumpen proletubiat to start making something a littl
  • by rlp (11898)
    Sounds like a request from Scott [wikipedia.org]
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Monday April 02, 2007 @01:17PM (#18576021) Journal
    If Canada doesn't want to compete with the US in various sectors, why did it opt in to NAFTA?

    Canada needs to friggen grow up.

  • Culture fascism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Butisol (994224) on Monday April 02, 2007 @01:19PM (#18576049)
    As a Canadian, these kinds of stories are very disturbing. It's not so much that I'm worried about these laws actually passing as I'm worried about the socio-political ideology in which these ideas are born. On the one hand are profit driven enterprises trying to protect their markets, which is nothing new and quite expected. But on the other hand in the ministries is a virulent strain of "we have the right to decide how much of what Canadian viewers get to see in the name of protecting 'Canadian culture'." THEY WANT TO DECIDE WHAT MEDIA I HAVE ACCESS TO. This is just as reprehensible as the Catholic church burning pagan classical writings, without even the excuse that it's for a divine purpose.

    Rip those fucking fascists. Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid!!!! Berzerker!!!

    • Vote 'yes' to join with China by installing firewalls at the border so that we can protect your children from nasty American home made videos on Youtube.

      Vote 'no' to maintain a free society, but allow evil American culture to seep into the brains of your children. Oh why won't you think of the children!
  • Read that again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LihTox (754597) on Monday April 02, 2007 @01:19PM (#18576057)
    Wait a second...
    "The Canadian broadcasting community, including broadcasters, copyright collectives, and actor labor unions, are all calling on Canada's broadcast regulator to increase its regulation of the Internet."

    Well, of course they are. The American broadcasting community wants increased regulation of the Internet, too. Heck, the Tongan broadcasting community probably wants it too. We should keep an eye on them, but don't blame Canada for having greedy broadcasters.
    • by VE3OGG (1034632)
      Especially since many Canadian broadcasters are at the very least dependent on a great deal of American television tripe (as opposed to the Canadian tripe), and in actual fact, many have at least a somewhat significant American ownership...
  • Canada is slowly becoming the North American equivalent of Britain and France combined in the some of the worst ways - Legislated to death and it rewards its citizens for 'waiting for the government to do something about it.' At least they shave their pits (Or so I believe)

  • I've heard a number of Canadian artists say that the CRTC, the gov, and particularly the cancon rules, have saved Canadian culture and the Canadian artists. So, if what they are asking for could be done then that would be great.

    But it can't.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I've heard a number of Canadian artists say that the CRTC, the gov, and particularly the cancon rules, have saved Canadian culture and the Canadian artists. So, if what they are asking for could be done then that would be great.

      An alternative argument would be that if Canadian culture is so great, it will preserve itself.

      • by RexRhino (769423)

        An alternative argument would be that if Canadian culture is so great, it will preserve itself.
        Another arguement would be that there is no real Canadian culture - there is Quebec culture, Newfoundland culture, Alberta culture, First Nations culture, Chinese immigrant culture, etc. - and that attempts to promote an imaginary single catch-all "Canadian" culture actually destroy the many real cultures (plural) of Canada.
  • Of course the CRTC isn't saying we (Canadians) can't watch certain things. But this is certainly giving the feeling of censorship, by trying to impose what we can view...wait...that is censorship! Here's a thought: Disband the CRTC and realize that most Canadian programming isn't worth saving if it needs to be propped up by subsidies.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday April 02, 2007 @01:51PM (#18576541) Homepage Journal
    Yea.

    If you cant compete, quit the field and go do another business.

    people are not bound to be LIMITED in their freedoms using the taxes they THEMSELVES are paying, for the sake of any sector's personal profit and protection.

    fucking bastards.
  • is protection from American hegemony on teh Intarwebs.

    Since most Canadians don't know much about what their country stands for, or it's history beyond the lessons gleened from beer commercial slogans, many peer south for queues about what it is to be Canadian. And what is it, in a nutshell? I am *not* American.

    Yes, having your national identity centered around something you're not may be difficult for most Americans to understand, but perhaps I can put it in context for you: Not being American generates nat
  • I remember a few years back when the CRTC came to the conclusion that the internet could _not_ be regulated. Thus it didn't try. Now, apparently it has decided it can. IMO, the change in government isn't a coincidence.

    But, I have an idea for all the arrogant americans that have posted in this thread. Instead of being assholes (ignoring your own backyard btw), how about just sitting back and being amused when they try. I mean, there's nothing wrong with being critical, but seriously *disappointed*
  • The arguments from broadcasters and media conglomerates regarding the importance of "Canadian content" is nothing more than a smokescreen for "make them buy my shit or more of my shit." There is plenty of Canadian content on the Internet; possibly disproportionately so given that Canada is an extremely wired country. The problem for the broadcasters is that it isn't the property of Bell/Globemedia/whoever so they can't charge for it.

    Actual advocates for Canadian content, such as Friends of Canadian Broadcas
  • Tell me again how great Canada is? I tend to forget when I read of moves like this. I don't recall USA broadcasters stopping the streaming of Canadian television shows down to their southern neighbor.
    • Replace 'broadcasters' with 'drug companies' and 'television shows' to 'affordable drugs'.

      Canada has a lot of faults, don't get me wrong, but mote, eye, pluck, glass house, stones, blah blah blah.

  • Every once in a while there comes a time of expansion in human knowledge, technology, and commerce. One symbol of such an age is the caravelle, which was the vehicle of geographic exploration and discovery in the middle ages. Caravelles carried explorers, as well as goods, to their destinations. But that expansion would not have been possible if ocean routes had been strictly controlled, if naval traffic across the oceans had been highly regulated.

    Now the Internet is the new "ocean" and the media broadcas

  • while the broadcasters want to stop U.S. broadcasters from streaming television shows online into Canada.
    Here's an idea: put servers in Canada to serve your content. It may be dumb but maybe something as simple as that could shut them up.

    Groups like the CRTC can't adapt fast enough to new technologies and actually hold back the people they want to protect.

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