Scrambled Signals: Canadian Content Policies in a World of Technological Abundance

40 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2010  

Lawson A. W. Hunter

Stikeman Elliott LLP; C.D. Howe Institute

Edward Iacobucci

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Michael J. Trebilcock

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 28, 2010

Abstract

Having undergone a transformation from an era of a few channels broadcast over the air to hundreds of channels available via cable or satellite, Canada's broadcasting and telecommunications sector is on the verge of another tectonic shift, say the authors, of which Internet Protocol (IP) TV is an example. The transition from a "push" network, where entertainment choices were limited to those available at a given time, to a "pull" network, where content is available on demand, will render many current regulatory tools obsolete, they say. Ownership regulations and exhibition and expenditure quotas that mandate Canadian ownership of media and the percentage of Canadian content broadcast or purchased will be unenforceable online and should be abolished.

Keywords: Economic Growth and Innovation, Canadian Content, Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Digital Technology, Internet

JEL Classification: L82, L86, L96, O38

Suggested Citation

Hunter, Lawson A. W. and Iacobucci, Edward and Trebilcock, Michael J., Scrambled Signals: Canadian Content Policies in a World of Technological Abundance (January 28, 2010). C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, No. 301, pp. 1-34, January 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1564834

Lawson A. W. Hunter (Contact Author)

Stikeman Elliott LLP ( email )

5300 Commerce Court West
199 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5L1B9
Canada

C.D. Howe Institute ( email )

67 Yonge St., Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1J8
Canada

Edward M. Iacobucci

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-2694 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Michael J. Trebilcock

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-5843 (Phone)
416-978-1279 (Fax)

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