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This brief is the result of a collective reflection by the members of the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE). It reports on the upheavals caused by the increasing circulation of cultural content online and proposes short-term and long-term solutions in the context of the revision of broadcasting and telecommunications laws.
The development of the Internet has strongly disrupted the business models of cultural industries. Online programming services have led to changes in the way cultural content is consumed, made money, produced, distributed and marketed in Canada and around the world.
While their market shares are steadily increasing, these companies are not required to comply with the conditions to which conventional broadcasters are subject, including the requirements to contribute to the financing and promotion of Canadian content in both French and English.
Similarly, telecommunications services providers are seeing their revenues increase as a result of increasing access to online cultural content, with no obligation to contribute to the financing of Canadian content.
In short, these companies benefit from cultural content, but do not contribute to the development of Canadian content.
The CDCE makes several recommendations as part of the legislative review.
First, they aim to better distinguish the regulation of telecommunications activities from that of cultural content activities.
The recommendations also aim to ensure that all actors who benefit from the Canadian system contribute to the financing of Canadian content. They also emphasize the responsibility for the promotion of Canadian content and the transparency of all programming services, whether Canadian or foreign. Finally, regulation should promote a balanced environment for the creation, production and dissemination of diversified local cultural content. The diversity of cultural expressions must be materialized in the environment allowing access to cultural content through the Internet.
The CDCE makes 14 recommendations to translate these broad objectives. Some of these recommendations can be implemented now.