Recent news about the CRTC is mulling over whether or not to tax Internet Service Providers has me perplexed. If your not familiar with the issue, it basically boils down to this: because people are now watching content on the web, Internet service providers should have to help fund Canadian content in the same way their broadcasters traditional media do. This is the position argued by Canadian producers and artists as a way to help stimulate Canadian developed content.
I am perplexed because the CRTC has already gone on record stating that the web was not going to be regulated (if you can regulate it at all). This was a big step, keeping meddling hands out of a medium that is the great equalizer. I'm also confused because the internet offers artists carte blanche to develop, produce and distribute content free from the shackles of Canadian funding system. The SAG strike in the US showed us that when some of the funniest and talent people can work outside of the existing distribution systems - some of the best and most enjoyable content can be produced - Dr. Horrible, Sarah Silverman's Matt Damon thing, plus lots of other actor mash ups.
What needs to be done is for Canadians to get more daring with the production of content and use the web for distribution. We have lots of talented actors, writers, comedians, animation houses and producers - yet we can't seem to get outside of the shadow of needing government handouts to produce content.
I think it is about time that we take advantage of the smart people we have in the entertainment business and go outside of the CRTC and other government bodies to create alternative distribution and monetization for our content.