Binks Is Here

Commentary on the World

Trade Associations And Canadian Communication Systems

Whenever a trade association raises the barricades and tries to lobby their way into maintaining the status quo, they are doing their members a disservice. Instead of spending time and insight and effort reinventing what they do and organizing for a better future, the members are lulled into a sense of security that somehow, somehow, the future will be just like today.

The full article is short, but interesting, from Seth Godin.

The post brought to mind an article I saw from the CBC just recently - Sirius, the struggling Satellite Radio company, wants internet service providers to be forced to pay fees to support Canadian artists; since apparently they benefit from internet radio and should be bound by the same CRTC rules as any other broadcaster in Canada.

Well, actually they have two suggestions - block all non-Canadian internet radio stations, OR force the ISPs to pay up some amount of money. This seems like just another anti-competitive nail in Canada’s communication coffin. Instead of Sirius having to take the heat of having its service packaged into every GM vehicle (A move which likely cost a princely sum to a company that’s circling the drain…); it runs to Canada’s regulators to try and force everybody else to play the game that Sirius wants to play.

Canadian content requirements were put into place because there is limited bandwidth - you can only have so many stations and options in the airwaves at one time. This does not apply at ALL to the internet.

So, the Canadian RIAA wants to put a fee on every Canadian’s internet bill to compensate artists for downloads (similar to the burnable CD levee), Sirius wants a fee to be paid for internet radio, the CBC wants some sort of ISP tariff as well, who else wants to try and step up the to trough that is consumer’s wallets?

Doesn’t anyone want to try and compete on price and level of service in Canada? Maybe they should just try it for a while, see if they like it.

Who wants to wager that when Canada auctions off the TV spectrum after the digital TV switchover (happening now in the US, slated for two or three years from now in Canada) they won’t even put in the same open-access requirements that the US included in the requirements of sale?

Canadian communications companies have bought the Canadian consumer with our own tax dollars, thanks to network build-out funded by the taxpayer and regulations that are weak in consumer protection, and high in allowing monopolistic tendencies.