Thanks to the illustrious Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa, Galacticast had a nice shout out in The Montreal Gazette today. As happy as I am that Galacticast was mentioned in a front page article pertaining to Canadian-made web video, I also have to voice my opinion over the concerns raised in the article.
A coalition of arts groups is asking Ottawa to protect the Canadian identity by regulating the Internet, which so far has remained untouched by government oversight in this country.
The group of 18 associations of content creators - most of them from Quebec - says the Internet should be subject to the same rules as TV and radio - that is, it should have more Canadian-made content.
Also, artists should get a cut of the money Internet providers make every time Canadian content is transmitted to homes, said Richard Hardacre, president of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists.
WTF? Who are these whining losersgroups and why do they claim to be representing MY opinion as a Canadian content creator? CanCon on television and radio is bad enough, why should I be force-fed more Canadian mediocrity on an international level such as the internet?
And regarding artists getting a cut of the money internet providers make: that's almost as bad as NBC claiming they have a right to a cut of iPod sales just because they had their content in the iTunes Store. Man, I wish I had thought of that one first. Give me a break.
"We have great deal of faith in the CRTC," Hardacre said of the federal broadcasting commission. "We're just asking them to not let this remain the Wild West."
And what is wrong with the Wild West? From what I understand it was a land of opportunity. A new world where people had the freedom to make their dreams a reality. This is exactly how I feel about the internet. Instead of sitting around waiting for some executive to call us to approve of a script, or going to countless auditions, we're doing it all on our own and making our dreams come true. What's wrong with that?
Because the price of creating and distributing content online is so low, Canadian artists shouldn't need special subsidies as do TV and movies, where costs are massive, Grant noted.
Oh really? And why the hell not? The costs of making tv and movies are only massive because they've been given subsidies to let them get to that level. Why not send some of that funding our way so that we can continue to improve our production quality and show influence in our industry on an international level? Wouldn't that be a great way to promote Canadian content online? Forget forcing sites to feature Canadian content, give us the tools to help build a stronger Canadian new media industry.
"If you want to create something on the Internet, you can go ahead and create it. And if it's good, the world will beat a path to your door," [Grant] said. "Taxing it sounds like a great excuse to start a new bureaucracy."
True. And here is where I ask the question: Must regulation and funding go hand-in-hand?
Many Canadian video shows like Galacticast, Tiki Bar TV, CommandN, etc. have found great success on the international stage, all without the help of forced CanCon guidelines on the internet. I'm sorry that the interest groups from traditional media mentioned above haven't been successful in the internet, but perhaps if they worked harder to listen to what the audience wants to see, instead of producing content they want the audience to see, they would have better results. [Hint: The internet is different from traditional media... there is a dialogue between the audience and the creator ;)]
And to the CRTC, I implore you to reject this group's request to spread CanCon to the internet. We are doing just fine on our own, thanks.