Canadian TV Industry: Please, Regulators, Make The Internet More Like TV... And Have ISPs Give Us Money
from the how-to-break-the-internet-in-one-easy-step dept
Perhaps the most ridiculous is Canadian comedian Colin Mochrie, who is making pretty much a mockery of the whole thing by whining about how Canadian content will get buried if ISPs don't pay extra to create and "broadcast" Canadian content. Perhaps Mochrie hasn't noticed, but ISPs aren't like TV networks. They don't choose what content they air. They are the conduit. Mochrie's complaints get more and more silly the further he goes:
Unlike television, when you are broadcasting through new media, the space for content is practically endless. However, being endless, content can easily get lost. So how do we make sure Canadians can find our own content? How do we make sure Canadian content is featured and given "shelf space"?How about by making the content good so people want to see it no matter where they're from? Or, if he wants to go fund a website that just highlights Canadian content, he's free to do so. It wouldn't even cost that much, thanks to the wonders of the internet. And that's before Mochrie just starts making stuff up:
Most of what we do on the Internet falls under the definition of "broadcasting" and that percentage grows daily as we turn to our laptops, iPods and mobile phones to watch our favourite programs.No, actually. Most of what people do on the internet falls under the definition of "communications." A small amount falls under "broadcasting," but even then it tends to be a lot more interactive than traditional broadcasting. The broadcasting companies have jumped onto the internet bandwagon (much too late, of course), but they should learn to adapt to the platform -- not force the entire platform to become TV 2.0.
Mochrie goes on to make the argument that basically anyone offering content in Canada needs to be regulated -- meaning forcing them to show Canadian content, and that ISPs and wireless operators should be forced to fund this content? Why? Who needs reasons! It's for the good of Canadian culture or something.
In the meantime, while we agree with ISPs like Rogers, who are protesting any such move, it is worth pointing out how hypocritical they're being as well. Rogers is protesting any such rule by claiming "We're a dumb pipe" who can't be expected to "regulate" the content shown over their network. However, as Michael Geist points out, when it comes to traffic shaping, Rogers has no problem claiming it's "smart" enough to figure out what to shape and block. So which is it?
This whole debate is rather silly of course. Starting to regulate content on the internet would serve to severely damage internet services and culture in Canada -- bringing all of the disadvantages of protectionist cultural policies and knocking out most of the benefits of the internet. Hopefully the CRTC knows better than to follow folks like Colin Mochrie.