No new media regulation, says CRTC
Gatineau will stay away from new media for at least another five years, but calls for a broader, national strategy to keep Canada competitive in the digital marketplace.
The CRTC will stay away from new media for at least another five years, but has sided with the NFB in calling for a broader, national strategy to keep Canada competitive in the global digital marketplace.
The Commission said Thursday it will continue to exempt from regulation broadcast content that is distributed via the Internet or mobile devices, as it has since 1999, following hearings it held earlier this year towards a possible policy change.
‘While broadcasting in new media is growing in importance, we do not believe that regulatory intervention is necessary at this time,’ said CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein in the ruling.
‘Internet and mobile services are acting in a complementary fashion to the traditional broadcasting system. Any intervention on our part would only get in the way of innovation,’ he added. The policy will be reconsidered again within five years.
Gatineau was under pressure from labour groups and other creatives in the industry to bring new media under its regulatory aegis – in hope that the stamp of legitimacy would lead to, among other things, more funding – while a loose and unlikely alliance of broadcasters, Internet service providers and activists resisted the move.
The CRTC balked at calls for new funding and has referred a more thorny question about ISPs – namely, whether they should be subject to the Broadcasting Act – to the Federal Court of Appeal.
The Commission also noted, however, that its ability to make policy on new media is limited by its mandate under the Broadcasting Act. The digital era, requires ‘a holistic approach,’ says the CRTC, adding that it endorses the National Film Board’s call for a national digital strategy.
‘Such a strategy is essential if we want to maintain a competitive advantage in this global environment,’ said Von Finckenstein.
From Playback Daily