Ian Kelso (Canadian Interactive Alliance): The new media industry needs more funds

During the CRTC’s public hearing, at the end of February, Ian Kelso, president of the Canadian Interactive Alliance/l’Alliance interactive canadienne (CIAC) offered his comments on the regulator’s New Media Broadcasting hearings. The CIAC’s position is that Internet media should not be brought under the regulatory purview of the CRTC. In a interview with, Ian Kelso (also President & CEO of Interactive Ontario) explains why. Is it desirable and feasible for the Commission to regulate the Internet to any meaningful extent?
Ian Kelso: No, it is neither desirable or feasible for the CRTC to regulate the Internet in the same way it has traditionally regulated the broadcasting system. The Internet is an open global network, and I don’t think anyone really contemplates that the Commission will attempt to limit foreign content or set quotas for Canadian content the way they can and do for television and radio. That is not to say that there are not other things they can do to use their regulatory power in proactive ways. Why does the CIAC believe that that at this juncture it would be practically impossible to define, control, regulate and oversee new media broadcasting content and its distribution on the Internet?
Ian Kelso: To regulate something, first you have to define it. The scope of the CRTC’s inquiry into what they call "New Media broadcasting" seems to pertain only to linear video that is distributed over IP networks as opposed to regular cable or satellite. Further, they seem only interested in "professionally produced" content that is of "high quality". Of course, the open nature of the Internet could not have been truly anticipated in the Broadcasting Act which was last revised in 1991. It seems to take for granted that there will always be a substantial divide between what amateurs and professionals create: that is, that audiences will only be interested in expensively produced video that is distributed through a broadcast undertaking which commissions, selects and programs content (gatekeeper #1) and then through a broadcast distribution undertaking that controls and sells these channels to the end-user (gatekeeper #2).

On the Internet, the lines between professional and amateur, high quality and low quality are very blurry. It is almost impossible to discern what "broadcasting" means via an interactive platform when the video itself can contain elements of interactivity, or be completely non-linear. At least at this juncture, it is highly difficult — and perhaps impossible — to accurately import concepts and definitions from the broadcasting act and apply them to the new media. What is the CIAC’s position on CanCon on the Internet? Should it be regulated? Should it be financed through a mechanism like the Canadian Television Fund?
Ian Kelso: Canadian content on the Internet should be supported and promoted. But we need to start to change our overall industrial strategy for creating audio-visual media to recognize that we now must compete on the global stage. We have to insure we are equipped with the right talent, adequate capacity and access to capital to grow and retain our media companies and intellectual property. We have created flickr, Club Penguin, and Bioware in this country, but they were sold to Yahoo!, Disney and Electronic Arts respectively. We are the third largest developers of video game content in the world, though most of our large companies are now owned and controlled by multi-national publishers. Funds like the Canada New Media Fund and the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund have been incredibly important to help emerging companies take risks, create capacity, forge new partnerships and find new markets. What should the Government do to support the growth and competitiveness of the interactive media industry?
Ian Kelso: First, the government should recognize that we are at least fifteen years into the digital media economy and we don’t have a plan. The regulatory approach we have now is inadequate; it can only examine the facets of the industries through the lenses it has been given. Given the fundamental changes that have occurred in the technologies and the economics of the audio-visual networks, we need a higher level vision and a strategic framework for developing policy and programmes for the future. The CIAIC believes that the Commission should use all the tools it has at its disposal to provide incentives for the creation and distribution of Canadian interactive media content and services: what kind of tools?
Ian Kelso: We are not criticizing the CRTC: they can only affect the system given the scope of the mandate they have been given in the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts. They can however, be a part of the solution and advise the government that by carrying out their duties without adherence to a higher level plan, their decisions may have unintended consequences. They can also open up the rules and advocate the creation of more funds like the Bell Broadcast & New Media Fund. Between it and the Canada New Media Fund the industry has access to only about $24M per year across Canada and across all the interactive platforms. According to you, what will be the outcome of this audience? Who will be the winners and who will be the losers?
Ian Kelso: The ultimate winners need to be Canadians. We are seeing everyday now the decimation of our manufacturing economy. Thousands and thousands of people are losing their jobs and their skills are not extremely adaptable. The knowledge and creative economy employs highly skilled and highly educated workers and offers relatively high remuneration. Companies and workers in this economy are more innovative and adaptable. We are currently spending a lot of time and money trying to preserve a status quo that no longer exists. We should be making large investments to bridge to the new economy with a fierce determination to succeed world leaders. It is not too late.

-  Interview: Sophie Bernard, reporter - -

 [March 4, 2009]

Send this IT news to a friend
Recipient :
(enter the e-mail address of the recipient)

(enter your name)

(enter your e-mail address)


Other IT news about Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA)

  • Modus FX at Shanghai’s 2010 World Expo (February 10, 2010)
  • Conference to connect BC book publishers with BC’s film, television and digital media producers (February 29, 2008)
  • CFTPA remains ready and willing to bargain (February 15, 2007)
  • Other IT news about Canadian Interactive Alliance/l’Alliance interactive canadienne (CIAIC)

  • New Study on Monetizing Digital Media: Trends, Key Insights and Strategies that Work (November 11, 2014)
  • IFDA Selects DealCenter, LLC for its Online Meeting System for its Distribution Solutions Conference (August 25, 2011)
  • DigiBC and CIAIC Applauds CMF Budget Boost for Interactive Media (April 5, 2011)
  • Second edition of landmark study of Canada’s interactive digital media industry released (June 9, 2009)
  • Ontario’s businesses shine in second edition of landmark study of Canada’s interactive digital media industry (June 5, 2009)
  • Video interview with: James Lewis (Canadian Interactive Alliance/Alliance interactive canadienne - CIAIC) (April 20, 2009)
  • Other IT news about CRTC

  • CRTC staff launches online discussion on message relay services (June 10, 2015)
  • CRTC releases 2014 financial results for specialty, pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand television services (June 5, 2015)
  • CRTC encouraged by the wireless industry’s progress on mobile public alerting (June 3, 2015)
  • CRTC invites Canadians to participate in a project measuring the performance of their broadband Internet services (May 22, 2015)
  • Quebecor responds to CRTC decision on wholesale wireless services (May 7, 2015)
  • CRTC fosters sustainable competition, innovation and investment in the wireless services market (May 6, 2015)
  • CRTC releases 2014 financial results for Canadian local television stations (May 5, 2015)
  • The CRTC is pursuing its efforts to modernize the communication system for Canadians (April 30, 2015)
  • "Let’s Talk TV" Decision: Videotron Shares the CRTC’s Approach (March 23, 2015)
  • GamePlus stays exclusive to Rogers customers, as CRTC dismisses Bell complaint (March 17, 2015)
  • CRTC Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer issues $1.1 million penalty to Compu-Finder for spamming Canadians (March 6, 2015)
  • CRTC lowering rates for Internet services in northern Canada (March 5, 2015)
  • CRTC releases the results of its fact-finding process on the role of payphones in the Canadian communication system (February 27, 2015)
  • Installing computer programs on an individual’s computer without consent is now illegal (January 16, 2015)
  • CRTC approves structure and mandate of the administrator of a new video relay service (December 19, 2014)
  • CRTC to hold a hearing in Gatineau, Quebec (November 24, 2014)
  • CRTC : “regulating Netflix is the least of our concerns” (November 7, 2014)
  • CRTC issues its first decision on Let’s Talk TV (November 7, 2014)
  • CRTC releases full edition of the 2014 Communications Monitoring Report (October 17, 2014)
  • CRTC works with small business to stop malicious spam from being sent to Canadians (October 8, 2014)
  • Canadians increasingly choosing to watch TV series in preference to feature films (September 26, 2014)
  • Why the CRTC Should Pass on Pick & Pay TV: C.D. Howe Institute (September 26, 2014)
  • CRTC releases 2014 report on the state of the Canadian telecommunications industry (September 26, 2014)
  • The CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV Consultations - Tous amis de Radio-Canada Files Its Memorandum (September 17, 2014)
  • TekSavvy Announces Partnership with Hastings CableVision (September 17, 2014)
  • CRTC Publishes a Citizen’s Guide to Participating (September 3, 2014)
  • CRTC Vice-Chairs report on outcome of paper bills meeting (August 29, 2014)
  • Last chance for Canadians to have their say on the future of television in Canada; Let’s Talk TV (August 22, 2014)
  • CRTC to ensure telecommunications networks can support next-generation 9-1-1 services (June 26, 2014)
  • CRTC recognized for its creative and innovative work on behalf of Canadians (June 20, 2014)
  • CRTC releases 2013 financial results for Canadian cable and satellite companies (May 16, 2014)
  • CRTC releases 2013 financial results for Canadian local television stations (May 7, 2014)
  • CRTC announces public hearing on the future of the Canadian television system (April 25, 2014)
  • The CRTC Launches Let’s Talk TV: Choicebook (February 19, 2014)
  • CRTC continuing efforts to improve telecommunications services for all Canadians (February 7, 2014)
  • CRTC to take closer look at wholesale roaming rates, terms and conditions in Canada (December 13, 2013)
  • CRTC Addresses Telephone Number Shortage in Ontario and Alberta (December 3, 2012)
  • Rogers Media Receives CRTC Approval to Launch Citytv Saskatchewan (June 22, 2012)
  • CBC/Radio-Canada calls on the CRTC to enable its plan for the future (June 21, 2011)
  • CRTC launches online consultation on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s upcoming licence renewals (June 20, 2011)
  • A Seamless Transition With Cogeco Cable to Digital (June 20, 2011)
  • Public Mobile Plans to Seek Leave to Appeal to Supreme Court of Canada (June 9, 2011)
  • CRTC launches online consultation on wholesale Internet access services (June 6, 2011)
  • CRTC releases 2010 financial results for Canadian television services (June 3, 2011)
  • Stingray Digital Supports the CRTC’s Request for Information on Online Broadcasting Services (May 27, 2011)
  • CRTC seeks information on online broadcasting services (May 26, 2011)
  • CRTC finds that radio stations are supporting new Canadian artists (May 13, 2011)
  • CBC/Radio-Canada applauds CRTC decision to have satellite television providers carry more local stations (May 6, 2011)
  • CRTC requires Bell TV and Shaw Direct to carry more local television stations (May 5, 2011)
  • CRTC sets speed target for broadband Internet and maintains obligation to provide basic home telephone service (May 4, 2011)
  • TELUS calls on CRTC to protect Canadian TV viewers (April 28, 2011)
  • CRTC makes it easier to switch between providers of broadcasting and telecommunications services (March 21, 2011)
  • CRTC to hold public hearing on wholesale Internet access services (March 14, 2011)
  • CRTC approves BCE’s purchase of CTVglobemedia (March 8, 2011)
  • CRTC to review billing practices for wholesale Internet services (February 9, 2011)
  • Broadcast standards issue raises interference concerns - CEP (February 8, 2011)
  • BCE’s Takeover of CTVglobemedia: Cogeco Cable Asks CRTC to Keep Close Watch to Preserve Competition and Protect Consumer Interests (February 4, 2011)
  • Liberals oppose CRTC decision on usage-based billing (February 3, 2011)
  • Telecommmunications - Consumers often left to their own devices, according to Option consommateurs (December 1, 2010)
  • CRTC reaches an agreement with TELUS Communications Inc. concerning automated calls (October 28, 2010)
  • Satellite television access to CBC/Radio-Canada: It’s time to get it right says CBC (September 3, 2010)
  • Bell disappointed with CRTC decision denying rural and remote communities the latest wireless broadband network technology (September 2, 2010)
  • MTS Allstream Endorses CRTC Decision (September 1, 2010)
  • TekSavvy Solutions Inc. Reaction to Landmark CRTC Decision: Competitors Allowed to Exist but Denied the Means to Innovate (September 1, 2010)
  • CRTC orders rebate for Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, Telus and MTS Allstream’s home telephone customers and approves a plan to bring broadband Internet to 287 communities (September 1, 2010)
  • CRTC encourages competition and investment in the provision of Internet services (August 31, 2010)
  • Bell asks the CRTC to implement "regulatory symmetry" by applying the same rules to cable and telecom companies when they sign up new customers (May 31, 2010)
  • Dark day for public broadcasting: CBC/Radio-Canada denied value-for-signal by CRTC (March 23, 2010)
  • CRTC unveils a new group-based television regulatory policy (March 23, 2010)
  • The CRTC seeks input from Canadians on local television signals (December 1, 2009)
  • Campaign for Competitive Broadband Reports Unprecedented Demonstration of Grassroots Concern (November 4, 2009)
  • CRTC finds that Globalive does not meet Canadian ownership rules (October 30, 2009)
  • At the end of the line: From the CRTC to Heritage Canada, Canada’s communications regulations need an overhaul (October 30, 2009)
  • Shaw Commends the Government for Directing the CRTC to Protect the Interests of Consumers (September 21, 2009)
  • Government of Canada Directs CRTC to Consider Consumer Interests With Regard to Fee-for-Carriage (September 18, 2009)
  • Rogers Argues Against Fee-For-Carriage (September 16, 2009)
  • Unprecedented CRTC decision will impact entry of wireless competition for Canadians. according Globalive Holdings (July 22, 2009)
  • Rogers expresses concern about significant new consumer TV taxes (July 7, 2009)
  • CRTC to hold a hearing on the Internet traffic management practices of Internet service providers (July 6, 2009)
  • BCE appeals CRTC decision that discourages investment in next-generation networks (March 13, 2009)
  • Ontario Champions Cultural Industries At CRTC (March 10, 2009)
  • CCA applauds CRTC’s decision to support Canada’s cultural sector (November 3, 2008)
  • BCE substantially satisfies conditions for CRTC approval (May 19, 2008)
  • BCE: CRTC agrees to extend deadline (April 29, 2008)
  • Don’t ignore small broadcasters, S-VOX CEO urges CRTC (April 22, 2008)
  • CRTC orders TELUS to rebate customers (April 21, 2008)
  • Shaw Communications Inc.: CRTC Heading in the Wrong Direction (April 14, 2008)
  • MTS Allstream Endorses CRTC Definition of Essential Facilities (March 5, 2008)
  • CRTC and Statistics Canada partner to streamline data collection from the telecommunications industry (February 28, 2008)
  • CRTC approves initiatives to benefit Canadians with disabilities and expand rural broadband services (January 21, 2008)
  • CRTC Town Hall Meeting Scheduled For nextMEDIA - Monetizing Digital Media (November 12, 2007)
  • MTS Allstream Calls for Strong Essential Facilities Regime to Spur Competition and Innovation (October 29, 2007)
  • CRTC moves a step closer to establishing a National Do Not Call List (July 4, 2007)
  • British Columbians will soon need to dial 10 digits (June 8, 2007)
  • Canadian specialty, pay and pay-per-view television and video-on-demand services - a profitable industry (May 3, 2007)
  • Bell Canada welcomes more market-based approach to regulation (May 1, 2007)
  • The CRTC announces new pricing rules for local telephone services (May 1, 2007)
  • CRTC: Deregulation of local telephone services (April 5, 2007)
  • CRTC to hold a public hearing in Gatineau, Quebec (March 26, 2007)
  • Consumer Groups Oppose Bernier Plan to Deregulate Local Telephone Service (January 16, 2007)
  • CRTC releases report on the future environment facing the Canadian broadcasting system (December 14, 2006)
  • Bell Canada comments on Cabinet decision to reform local telephone regulation (December 12, 2006)
  • CRTC Issues Landmark Order (January 1, 2006)

    Website based on SPIP, an Open Source program under GNU/GPL licence