Web CanCon

Upon reading a post on Michael Geist’s blog about how the CRTC seems to be considering adopting the .ca domain standard as a filter to determine Canadian content on the web, I had the the following to say:

A government or government agency’s protectionist attitudes on the web are, at best, misguided and, at worst, breaching on censorship. There is a reason it’s called the world wide web, and why the ubiquitous prefix “www” has become standard; the web will not be constrained without pushback to outright revolution. Cancon is an outdated notion in all media. In as much as I would love to see quality programming come from Canadian networks and independent television stations, they try to follow a US model that is borne on billions of advertising dollars.

The CRTC is quite willing to have Canadian networks buy up US shows and make money off of Canadian advertising, while censoring viewers’ choices to watch US network feeds if they wish. As a web parallel, I know that even though I may get the default Canadian site on Google or Amazon when I go there, I have the choice of going to the US site if I wish. The CRTC and cable television providers have eliminated this option.

I contribute to three regular blogs and two podcasts, none of which have a .ca domain, all of which are 100% Canadian. The prioritizing of content on the web happens quite effectively through internal measures. The CRTC should worry about one thing for all Canadians: free access to a free web for anyone that wants it. Stop getting whipped by CIRA and the RIAA. Stop the scare tactic cries of “child pornography” which as disgusting and illegal as it is, will not be curbed by allowing P2P throttling or “pushing” Canadian content on browsers.

What’s next, all browsers in Canada will have a filter that force you to go to an equal amount of .ca sites as .com or you can no longer browse without watching an episode of Red Green replete with Tim Horton’s and McCain commercials while singing O Canada with a hockey stick in one hand and poutine in the other?

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