Broadcasters Ask Brazilian Government To Protect Them From Interesting Foreign Content On The Web
from the good-luck-with-that dept
The Assembly of the International Broadcasting Association today approved a resolution tabled by the Brazilian Radio and Television Association (BRTA) asking the Brazilian authorities to regulate the production and distribution of media content entering the country via the Net.There are a few issues here.
The BRTA accuses foreign groups of producing journalistic content and entertainment, violating Article 222 of the Federal Constitution, which limits foreign ownership of media companies and broadcasters to 30%.
According to the resolution the failure of the regulatory framework represents a "grave violation of Brazilian sovereignty."
First, the flow of material from outside the country doesn't really have anything to do with ownership of media companies: it might come from a TV company's web site in Portugal, say, but is just as likely to be on YouTube, or on some random web server in someone's bedroom. Trying to regulate it using media ownership laws is about as sensible as, well, trying to tell people what videos they can watch on the Internet.
Moreover, framing this in terms of "violations of Brazilian sovereignty" is just silly: it's seeking to turn a simple fact about the global nature of the Internet into an affront to national pride in an attempt to gain some political advantage. It's nothing of the kind, it's just the reality of the online media world today; the sooner the BRTA gets used to that, the easier it will be for its members to thrive there.
The real issue here is why Brazilians have started watching so much foreign content on the web: could it be that they find home-grown stuff rather dull in comparison? Rather than calling for government intervention, perhaps the Brazilian television and radio companies should spend more time seeking artistic inspiration.
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