Michael Geist is a professor who has an interesting niche — copyright law, digital media, that sort of thing. I haven’t seen him weigh in on the political censorship aspects of digital media.
But on those other issues, I’d say he’s the closest thing to an independent thinker in Canada on the subject.
Here's his latest in the Globe & Mail:
New Cancon tax proposals would stick Canadian consumers with the bill.
Cancon is such a 1980s kind of word, like "VCR" or "VHS." Cancon refers to the rule that Canadian TV and radio stations were forced to broadcast a minimum quota of Canadian-made shows or songs. Even if nobody liked them, or nobody liked them as much as they liked, say, British songs or American song.
And they had really weird rules for determining if a song was Canadian enough. Bryan Adams is one of the most successful Canadian musicians of all time; he even received the Order of Canada. But because he spends time in California and London, England, they said he wasn’t Canadian enough to count as Cancon.
That whole debate seems so weird in the era of the Internet, streaming music and Netflix.
Well, those same control freaks want back in. Geist writes:
The battle over the future of Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications is quickly emerging as a hot-button policy issue, with a government-mandated review of the law recently garnering thousands of public responses. (...)
Among the ideas being proposed are new taxes on internet and wireless services, mandated Cancon requirements for Netflix and the prioritization of Canadian content in search results from online services to enhance its “discoverability.”
Oh — now we’re getting down to it. It’s about taxes. And the elites, promoting their friends and insiders.
Yeah — the 1980s called, and they want their cultural policy back.
Snobby insiders can’t convince you to watch their shows, so they want to force you watch their shows and pay for it.
If they don’t get protection from the government, we Canadians might watch U.S. content.
But we already do that. The top shows on Canadian TV are American made: Young Sheldon. New Amsterdam. Big Bang Theory. Besides local news, the only Canadian shows on the list are Murdoch Mysteries and Hockey Night in Canada.
Michael Geist points out that there has never been more money spend on Canadian cultural products, totalling billions of dollars.
So what is going on? Well, you can always wring out more money through regulation.
The CBC, if you can believe it, even after their massive raise from Justin Trudeau, is actually asking for another $400 million a year. Right now they get $1.5 billion.
The second thing is what I think truly what motivates these people — control.
In other words, rather than embracing the opportunities that come from unprecedented global demand for scripted television programming and competing for the attention of Canadian viewers, some prefer to place their bets on a digital wall consisting of new taxes and regulations. And Canadian consumers are going to pay for it.
And — don’t you forget it for one second — this will be about censoring, blocking and deplatforming any competition. Whether it’s music, comedy shows — or news and opinion, like ours.
NEXT: Breitbart's Allum Bokhari is back, to tell us about his latest exclusive investigation into Silicon Valley censorship:
YouTube announced Friday that it will intervene in recommended videos — the content that is recommended to viewers of a video on the right-hand sidebar. Previously a mix of content tailored to users’ viewing history, YouTube says it will now intervene to remove “content that could misinform users in harmful ways” from recommendations.
The change came just a day after BuzzFeed published a major article attacking the video hosting platform for recommending conservative and populist content to viewers. The videos identified by BuzzFeed as “hyperpartisan” include Dinesh D’Souza and Bill O’Reilly videos.
Watch our conversation to learn more about the establishment's latest attempt to censor conservative voices.
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