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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CRTC to call for licensing of streaming online content?

Andrew Coyne does more this week than provide us with an awesome blog post. He also provides us with some scary news about mumblings of new regulation down at the CRTC:

As the comedian Colin Mochrie, who testified at this week’s opening of CRTC hearings on regulating “new media,” observed, now that “the space for content is practically endless . . . content can easily get lost.” State intervention is needed “to make sure Canadians can find their own content.” What does all this lofty talk mean, in concrete terms? It means, if Mochrie and his friends at ACTRA, the film and television actors’ union, have their way, that anyone who streams live video online would have to be “licensed and subject to regulations.” It means that anyone who provides the means for others to do so would have to be likewise licensed and regulated. And of course, there would have to be new taxes to fund this content, on the off chance that Canadians should not prove as eager as all that to be told more Canadian stories online.

That's right. After years of badgering those who dare to partake in foreign media and billions in government subsidies to make creating and distributing Canadian artwork cheaper and easier, the CRTC is talking about regulating them to make it more expensive and difficult. This is by far the worst news in the piece, but it doesn't end there:

in the age of cross-ownership, when the proprietors of most of the major print publications, including this one, also own broadcast outlets, this opens the way for the CRTC to go where it has never before dared: regulating the print media.

Coyne goes on to speculate that the CRTC could mandate CanCon in print media, but I'd be much more concerned about the possibility that they could enforce a requirement that all print media outlets join a national press council the CHRC bureaucrats were mentioning some time ago, as well as imposing harsher penalties on print media that violated the CHRA.

Scary stuff.

h/t: Ker

Posted by Janet Neilson on February 25, 2009 | Permalink


...almost as bad as having to have websites in French.

Oh wait.

Never mind.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2009-02-25 5:49:17 PM

There is human nature and there is the nature of bureaucracy. The second will always seek more funding, more growth and more power, so perhaps it is time to dismantle the CRTC. It does not require a whole bureaucracy to issue free air waves when requested.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-02-25 6:00:38 PM

Would the CRTC consider it Canadian content if a radio or TV station, be it traditional or on the Internet, recorded someone saying or singing that "The CRTC is stupid" and played it back on a long loop?

Posted by: Cory D. Schreyer | 2009-02-25 6:12:31 PM

Did anyone hear that the CBC wants more money to weather the economic downturn. Yes, you heard that correctly. Instead of come up with ideas for things that deserve the money more. How about Marc Emery's defense fund.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-02-25 7:06:10 PM

"things that deserve the money more. How about Marc Emery's defense fund."

Great idea Zebulon!

For all interested, here is a resource where you can learn more about Marc and how you can help him and the BC3 fight extradition to the United States for selling marijuana seeds and this is the link to donate online.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-02-26 5:25:50 AM

Kalim, I was joking.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-02-26 9:12:06 AM

The Marc Emery Extradition Fund is being bankrolled by tax money, ..........thanks to viewers like you

Posted by: 419 | 2009-02-26 9:50:20 AM

I'd rather spend the money on the troops serving in Afghanistan right now for we the people.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-02-26 10:00:07 AM

The CRTC should take small samplelings of the internet to determine the approximate amount of Canadian content and whether that content has any value. It's vitally important that we stake our claim to this relatively new medium now before other foreign media giants do. I am just afraid that small internet tv stations, which do not receive funding, will be left behind in the mad rush to stake a claim. Small broadcasting stations like NBTV.ca have not received any funding and must operate with one hand tied behind it's back. This means NBTV.ca must compete against the already well established media giants that do receive funding. This practice is completely unacceptable and a complete contradiction to a fair and democratic process which this counrtry claims to hold in such high esteem. If this action is allowed to continue the internet which is often called the new media frontier will quickly become a joke. This does not mean to say we should throttle the internet or shut out certain groups. What the new policies should do is foster more Canadian content and better Canadian content while offering a level playing field for both old and new media. Worst case senerio is the CRTC will just see this as a new way to censore the internet which I hope is not the case but imposing hefty licence fees on internet broadcasters and heavy handed regulations would be worse than doing nothing at all. Lets hope they see the light and tread easy. this is a new frontier and we don't want to screw it up.

Posted by: Ted McKeown | 2009-02-27 10:10:31 PM

The CRTC thinking it can regulate the internet reminds me of King Canute commanding the tide to recede.

Pompous self indulgent $^%#'s.

Posted by: epsilon | 2009-03-02 8:52:28 PM

Small broadcasting stations like NBTV.ca have not received any funding and must operate with one hand tied behind it's back.
Posted by: Ted McKeown | 2009-02-27 10:10:31 PM

With all due respect Ted, posting scenes on a website that were shot with a MiniDv camcorder from around North Bay hardly qualifies you as a broadcasting station.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-03 12:52:39 PM

Re: the comment by stig,

I can only guess as to why your not willing to give your full name. I would however like to respond to your sour grapes comment. First any server that sends a video stream of UDP packets is a broadcast station. I might also add that you were not very careful in giving your expert assessment because as anyone who has really bothered to investigate would see that there are a variety of videos available on NBTV, sporting events like the Western Rodeo, like the NBSSR Radar Runs, Music events like the Heritage Festival, and much more, not just scenery as you put it. I have three video cams and have long since upgraded equipment to better serve the community of North Bay. NBTV offers public access and accepts video submittions which we will run on our station so if you have a video you would like to submit even your video would be considered for our broadcast. Especially scince you were to shy to give your full name.

Posted by: Ted McKeown | 2009-03-03 5:45:00 PM

First any server that sends a video stream of UDP packets is a broadcast station.
Posted by: Ted McKeown | 2009-03-03 5:45:00 PM

Look Ted, one of my largest clients is Fox Television. I know what a broadcaster is and the technology they use. Simply streaming video or sending out a transport stream doesn't make you a broadcaster. You're a hobbyist. Would you like a tape from me? I could send you stuff in HDCAM. Can you play that format?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-03 6:11:32 PM

Re : comment by Stig (no name)

FOX is a multi billion dollar company based in the US (head office). NBTV is based in Canada. I am not paid for the work perform unlike your US counterpart. If you do not like NBTV I am sorry. There are several other websites that offer broadcast media of every variety. You are more than welcome to continue dealing with FOX however my initial offer stands. I will look at your video and if it's worth something I will broadcast it.

Posted by: Ted McKeown | 2009-03-03 6:33:29 PM

I am not paid for the work perform unlike your US counterpart. If you do not like NBTV I am sorry
Posted by: Ted McKeown | 2009-03-03 6:33:29 PM

I never said that I didn't like or appreciate what you do. However you aren't a broadcaster. And the CRTC should simply leave organizations like yours alone.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-03 6:59:44 PM

Re: Stig

Then I guess those other websites that carry our broadcast don't count either. !

Posted by: Ted | 2009-03-03 7:14:20 PM

Some people took offence to FOX Television comments made on there Red-Eye program which put down our Canadian troops. This comming shortly after four Canadians were killed in action. I am not a big fan of FOX

Posted by: Ted McKeown | 2009-03-23 3:46:04 PM

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