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Opinion

Why the CBC’s Catherine Tait is wrong about Netflix

By Michael Geist      

Cancon support remains an important ingredient in a vibrant Canadian cultural sector. Yet support such as grants, tax benefits, and other measures should come from general revenues as a matter of public policy, not through cross-subsidization models grounded in flawed arguments and inappropriate analogies.

CBC President Catherine Tait recently sparked a firestorm with comments to an industry conference that likened Netflix, the popular online video service, to the British Raj in India and French in Africa, warning about 'imperialism and the damage that it can do to local communities,' writes Michael Geist. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—CBC President Catherine Tait recently sparked a firestorm with comments to an industry conference that likened Netflix, the popular online video service, to the British Raj in India and French in Africa, warning about “imperialism and the damage that it can do to local communities.” The comments were rightly criticized as shockingly inappropriate, as if any video service can be reasonably compared to the subjugation of millions.

Michael Geist

Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.
- mgeist@uottawa.ca


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