Michael Geist: Here We Go Again: Canadian Recording Industry Calls on Government To Regulate the Internet

InsightaaS: Readers who follow Across the Net know that we are appreciate and support the efforts of Michael Geist to expose issues and legislation that threaten Canadians’ privacy and digital freedoms. Those who have followed some of our earlier research and commentary might also be aware that we have an equivalent level of antipathy for CRIA, the Canadian Recording Industry Association, which is attempting to distance itself from its past by relabeling itself “Miusic Canada.”

In this post, Geist highlights the latest attempt by CRIA factotum Graham Henderson to obtain government support for a filtered Internet designed to direct funds to the major recording labels. Geist has been an important voice in opposing this sort of censorship for years, and in “Here We Go Again: Canadian Recording Industry Calls on Government To Regulate the Internet,” he takes aim at the fabrications (such as the Carly Rae Jepson search example) used in pleading the labels’ position. What might be of equal interest to readers is the commentary attached to the post – 49 comments in all as of the time of this entry. A few of the representative quotes: “I hope the government realize that they are being asked to engage in a never ending cat-and-mouse game against the Internet. It can be regulated, but new sources will forever replace those being blocked. Who is going to pay for that?” and, “If consumers fail to find “legitimate” sources of music, that’s a MARKETING PROBLEM. That’s like asking cities to configure all the streets to one-way so they more effectively lead to only PetroCan stations.”

Graham Henderson, the head of the Music Canada (formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association) wrote a blog post late last year lamenting musicians’ earnings, a situation he blames on the Internet allowing a few to “amass staggering, unprecedented wealth” while musicians toil for tiny incomes. Leaving aside the facts that the Canadian music industry experienced increased digital sales last year (while sales declined in the U.S.) and that the Ontario government is handing out tens of millions of tax dollars to the industry, Henderson now says the government needs to step in and regulate the Internet. According to Music Canada, government support must be complimented by:

judicious and reasonable regulation of the internet. The actions taken by courts in other jurisdictions have very reasonably required ISPs to block websites that are almost entirely dedicated to the theft of intellectual property.

In fact, Internet regulation and blocking websites are not the only music industry target. Last week, Music Canada appeared before the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, where it cited Google as a problem:

the federal government has done a lot to help us in our battle against illegal sources, but they could certainly do more...

Read the entire post: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/7054/125/


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