CRTC Will Try to Figure Out the Internet

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With the increasing popularity of such on-line broadcasters as Joost, Hulu and YouTube, and with advertisers increasingly embracing marketing strategies targeting Internet users, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
is preparing to consider Internet regulation.

The CRTC has launched two major reviews of Internet technologies pertaining to the TV and radio content that Canadians receive through their computers or mobile devices.

The Commission plans to begin public hearings on the issue in late 2009. It is now asking for written input from interested parties.

The decision to consider Canadian Internet regulation runs counter to a CRTC decision in 1999, when the commission decided it would not impose rules on Canadian Internet businesses.

The CRTC could now decide to limit Canadians' access to online broadcasters and Internet-based radio stations. It could also consider a levy charged to Internet service providers to pay for the creation of Canadian content online.

For years, key Canadian music industry players have been increasingly vocal about the new web-based music services being exempt from statutory domestic music quotas. Their alarm intensified as digital music services began to offer multiple business models—including paid individual downloads, subscriptions, and streaming radio—alongside the launch of mobile telephone broadcasting services.
With these digital music businesses mostly coming from outside Canada, many music industry figures here are keen that such services should be licensed and regulated to comply with the Canada’s Broadcasting Act, and with existing domestic music content quotas.

However, others contend that these new services present a significantly different environment from the existing broadcasting system. They argue for changes in ederal government policy and a phasing out of quota-based mechanisms.

Reprinted with permission from The LeBlanc Newsletter. The LeBlanc Newsletter is exclusively carried and archived by Canadian Music Week in Canada at It is available In the U.S. at Encore Celebrity Access:

Journalist/broadcaster/researcher Larry LeBlanc has been a leading figure in Canadian music for four decades. He has been a regular music commentator on CTV’s “Canada A.M” for 35 years, and has been featured on numerous CBC-TV, CTV, YTV, Bravo! MuchMusic, MusiMax, and Newsworld programs in Canada; VH-1, and EEntertainment in the U.S.; and BBC in the U.K. Larry was a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record; and, most recently, the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard for 16 years.



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