Monday, March 9, 2009

Nation Wide Tax On A World Wide Web

That's the option which is currently being considered by Canada's telecommunications regulator - the CRTC.
Traditionally, Ottawa has stayed away from treating online content as part of the broadcast industry. But under a scenario proposed yesterday, Internet service providers could be asked to surrender 3 per cent of their subscriber revenue – roughly $100-million – to a fund that would help produce Canadian programs for the Web.
Members of the TV production community, including actors and directors, supported the idea at the hearings in Gatineau, Que., saying it would help carve a place, however small, for Canadian content in a borderless Internet world.
Though it's not certain the CRTC will adopt the idea in the end – the hearings are spread out over the next four weeks – the concept would be similar to the $242-million Canadian Television Fund. The CTF collects about half of its budget from cable and satellite TV companies and turns those dollars over to independent producers to help fund domestic comedies, dramas and documentaries.
In other words - they want to make us pay a couple dollars extra per month to subsidize yet another website (or a group of websites) that most of us will never visit. And it's obvious that while this whole tax grab is being organized for the sake of streamlining Canadian content online, their definition of Canadian won't include traditional, pro-life, pro-family Canadians. So, not only we'll be paying extra for something we're not going to use, but also - we'll be paying extra for a supposedly Canadian content that won't even represent us. They'll misrepresent us - that's for sure. But why should any of us be required to pay for that from our own pockets?

And that's just the beginning. So far the CRTC hasn't ruled out the idea of licensing the online content providers. That means the proposal could still be discussed during the remaining weeks of the hearings. No doubt, all those "cultural" groups that are currently lobbying for our cash, will also push for licensing or some other type of content regulation that would give them an advantage over their competition in the online media market.

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