Why Can’t I Watch?

The Internet that I access here in Canada is the same Internet that you access in the United States of America, or Australia, or Sweden, or England. The www in the addresses we type stands for “world wide web.

World wide. That’s a great concept. We should be able to connect to anyone, any site, or find anything we want to on this huge computer network.

The Internet should be wild and free. We should be allowed to go wherever we want on it and view any content that we choose too. Unfortunately that’s not what happens when I surf around.

I keep coming across videos that I would like to watch that won’t play for me. The screen stays black and I get a message that reads something like this

“Thanks for your interest but the video you requested is not available in your region”

or

“Oh, you’re from Canada – no video for you!”

Okay, I exaggerated on that last one. But what’s the point of denying me access to the video because of where I live. That’s geographism. Okay I made that up too, but it feels like I’m being discriminated against because of my geographic location.

Now I’m all for Canadian content rules on television and the radio. We need to protect our airwaves and these practices have actually built a strong music industry in this country and some great television programs.

Of course, there isn’t a decidedly Canadian portion of the Internet and I don’t there should be. The same goes for American content. If television networks have shows on demand from their websites, they should be freely available to all. The CRTC and the FCC need to leave the Internet alone and let us watch the programs we choose.