Google schools the CRTC

There’s just so much that I enjoy about Google’s latest submission to the CRTC. I wanted to share their very pointed response to the regulatory body in its call for consultations from stakeholders. (highlighting is mine)

This Consultation is déja-vu all over again. The CRTC tackled this exact issue two years ago. It received submissions. It heard evidence. It made an important — and correct — decision to maintain and expand the exemption for New Media. The key facts on the ground underlying the CRTC’s current don’t- mess-with-a-good-thing policy are the same as the last time around. No new online audio-visual content regulation is warranted.

Without doubt, Canadians have benefited from and embraced the open Internet and the increased choice it provides. Canadians continue to contribute a voluminous and diverse range of New Media content, a diversity not seen before in the history of mass communications. On YouTube (a business operated by Google), there is no disadvantage to being a Canadian content creator. There were hundreds of thousands of new hours of Canadian content added to YouTube last year. Also, importantly, in 2010, Canadian videos had roughly the same number of views per video as American videos. In other words, Canadian content is not being drowned out online. Compelling Canadian content succeeds online — without subsidy or quota.

Canadian creators are making money from uploading their videos to YouTube, resulting in a flow of funds directly to artists, enabling them to create even more Canadian content. Artists are able to reach their audiences and be compensated, without having to work through studios, marketing companies, broadcasters or distribution undertakings. In the past year alone, YouTube’s partners (i.e. content creators, including Canadians) made nearly 300% more from advertising revenue on YouTube than they did the previous year.

The hand-wringing leading up to this Consultation reflects a discomfort with innovation. While a multitude of New Media start-ups have emerged, and some have prospered, many of Canada’s more staid players have taken only modest online steps, despite the latter having substantial advantages over the former (for example, when it emerged a mere six years ago, YouTube was a start-up above a pizza shop and did not have the financial resources, contacts, or ready access to content enjoyed by traditional media).