Should Canada try to tame the Wild West of the net?

More signs that old media does not understand the new media environment created by the internet.

In an op-ed for Playback magazine, Bill Roberts, the president and CEO of broadcaster S-VOX, argues for greater regulation of new media in Canada.

He maintains that the internet is a Wild West that needs to be tamed:

The Wild West nature of the internet has, to some extent, facilitated growth and innovation in Canada’s new media sector. But it’s time to ask whether our approach ought to change. Smart, market-sensitive policies that privilege the creation of high-quality, original Canadian content could benefit consumers, producers, broadcasters and Internet providers alike. Even the Wild West didn’t stay wild forever.

This is a thorny issue for the broadcast regular, the CRTC.  Apart from the argument over whether it should intervene, the more difficult question is how it could regulate a network such as an internet.

Regulating Canada’s broadcast airways is one thing, but seeking to extend these controls over a transnational, distributed network is another thing altogether.

Post Author: Neil Black