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farrellj's Journal: Is "Free" only a Yankee concept? 1

Journal by farrellj

Today, I experience what is becoming a frequent phenomenon....I will read about some excellent website to get something, in this case, Chris Anderson's New Book "Free", and I find that I can't access it. Why, because I live in Canada. Now before you get all puffed up saying "American content is for Americans"...let me tell you that I am *an* American. I've got the US Passport to prove it! As an American accessing American content, I am being denied access, simply because of my geographical location. Similarly, I try and access The Colbert Report...same thing, and I am told I have to try and access it from the CTV Broadband site, which barfs on Firefox running on Linux. So again, I am an American denied access to an American show simply because of my location, (and then a crappy website).

Now up in Canada, many people call all Americans Yankees, and going "down South" usually means going to Florida. I could access these sites using various proxy server based solutions, but that's not the point. If the US wants to be the Champion of Freedom, that should mean all freedoms, not just the ones it wants to impose upon other countries for US market's interest, or some political ideologue's. One of the US's best ways to spread freedom is through the internet, and if American Culture is the heart of that Freedom, the world is being slowly but surely cut off from that heart. And the result is laws like what Canada has, called CAN-CON.

CAN-CON is a concept that was created to promote Canadian arts in Canada. It forced TV and Radio to have a certain percentage of their broadcasts consist of Canadian produced shows and music. This has had a hugely beneficial effect for Canadian music. But a great deal of it is only heard in Canada. Now many people know some of the great Canadian acts that arose before CAN-CON came into place, bands and artists like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band, The Guess Who (listen closely to the word of "American Woman"!) and Rush. Some of the acts that have come up since CAN-CON are Feist, Sarah McLachlan, Alannah Myles, Jeff Healy, D.O.A., Voivod, I Mother Earth, Nickleback, Avril Lavigne, Sam Roberts, Nelly Furtado, Dream Warriors, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly (FLA), and k-os, to name some of the top selling Canadian acts.

Now, Imagine that those acts had not been able to get across the border because of a lack of freedom of Canadian Music going across into the US. Of course, some Americans would be happy, as it would mean no Celine Dion or Bryan Adams...but there are always exceptions. :-)

Information, which is what all media is today, wants to be free. If Comedy Central really wanted to find out how many people on the internet liked show like The Colbert Report, they would allow any country to watch the show on their website...but now, they only have the US demographics...and everyone else in the World downloads the show on P2P networks. If they watch it on CTV Broadband, it is usually when they are at work, and bored.

Maybe the answer is in Chris Anderson's "Free"...I'll never know because the site it's available for previewing at a site blocks Canadian IP address.

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Is "Free" only a Yankee concept?

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