Toward a 21st Century Canadian Cultural Policy

Professor Geist's weekly Toronto Star Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, HTML backup article, homepage version) features part two of an examination of Canadian cultural policy. The column argues that the current Canadian culture toolkit must be recast for the 21st century by adapting it to emerging technologies and to legal frameworks that render obsolete longstanding policy mechanisms. The column identifies three key principles — (1) acknowledgement that Canadian content requirements are only marginally effective and Internet distribution provides a more useful channel; (2) discarding the notion that cultural foreign ownership restrictions provide effective protections; and (3) avoiding unnecessary protectionist legislation that serves primarily to benefit foreign interests and marketplace incumbents.

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