The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) has launched the “Save our Culture” campaign. SOCAN a member of the CDCE, supports this campaign.

For years, our national, regional and local culture flourished on radio, television, and in print. Our policies have enabled the development of dynamic and professional cultural ecosystems that nourish our identity, and our economy.

Technological developments and the arrival of web giants have greatly disrupted the cultural sector by bringing about changes in the way cultural content is produced, distributed, promoted, and accessed. Online platforms offer a wide choice of musical, audio-visual, and literary content. But can we really choose to see, listen to, and read our artists and creators on these platforms? Are our productions sufficiently present? Are they sufficiently supported and enhanced in this new environment?

The answer is no. Because our cultural policies don’t apply online.

As their market shares continue to grow, online platforms don’t have to comply with the same rules as our retailers, broadcasters, and cable operators. They’re not required to promote and finance local cultural content. In addition, foreign companies benefit from more favourable taxation! They accumulate valuable data on our habits and preferences, but they don’t provide any data on access to our culture!

Similarly, internet and mobile phone service providers are seeing their revenues increase thanks to access to online cultural content, but without being required to contribute to the financing of content creation.

Meanwhile, more and more artists, creators, professionals, and cultural entrepreneurs must make significant sacrifices. Some can no longer even make a living from their art or activities!

There is an urgent need to act to ensure that our cultural ecosystems remain alive and innovative, and continue to fuel our uniqueness, pride, and aspirations.

Let’s apply our policies to the web. Let’s put pressure on Ottawa.