The following is a guest post by Students For Liberty Campus Coordinator and blogging team member Chance M. Davies.
In 2012, in the middle of the summer, us North Americans began to hear the bubbling dance beats of PSY. Hardly understandable to most of us, the song’s title was Gangnam Style. I’m sure we all remember that one awkward friend (or ourselves) who attempted to mimic this K-Pop star’s sweet dance moves. Something about music can easily transcend borders nowadays, influencing the tracks on local radio stations overnight. But along with music, other cultural aspects move across the world quickly too. Movies, television shows, languages, and literature all follow the same trends of rampant global reach. Cultural globalization certainly owes a lot of this to the acceleration of communication technologies of the last few decades, and luckily (despite the best attempts by government) it’s not slowing down.
The Canadian government, more specifically the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has recently called into question whether they should regulate internet broadcasters such as Netflix and Youtube for its content. Internet broadcasters have long been exempt from the Broadcasting Act, but now the CRTC is seeking to push regulations on such broadcasters in order to maintain and protect Canadian culture. Ultimatums have been given by the CRTC to Google and Netflix to share their subscriber’s data; both companies have refused. The CRTC requires broadcasting companies to have a large amount of its content to be Canadian-produced, something that should be extremely unsettling to Canadians who love their Netflix exclusive House of Cards or Orange is the New Black. The Broadcasting Act (nearly 24 years old legislation) states that “each element of the Canadian broadcasting system shall contribute in an appropriate manner to the creation and presentation of Canadian programming,” something that I think we can largely consider outdated with the recent trends in cultural globalization and the further development of the Internet.