Thanks to companies like Netflix, Instagram and Facebook, the Internet has become a big part of the average Canadian's life, especially when it comes to staying in the loop. While sometimes we might run out of data on our phones after mistakenly streaming Netflix with no WiFi, we can usually rest assured that when we get home, we've got our trusty unlimited WiFi to support our Internet addiction. Though, that may not be the case for long if the Screen Composer's Guild of Canada convinces the government of their latest proposal.
That's right, your Internet use could be at risk, thanks to a new proposal from the Screen Composer's Guild of Canada. They're suggesting that the government should tax Canadians who "download over 15GB of data a month." That may not seem like a lot in comparison to the 1GB monthly phone plan you manage to use without overage charges. But, think about how much more Internet you use at home in comparison.
From downloading movies and TV shows to streaming Netflix or even downloading other apps and games, it all uses the Internet and a lot of data in the process. Most Canadians are already blowing through 15GB of data a month, especially those living in a house with several others.
If you are wondering why the tax is even being proposed, it has to do with the Guild's belief that the writers and people behind the TV shows and movies we watch should be getting paid more. Especially considering these same people have seen "a large drop in revenue when their shows are streaming on platforms like YouTube and Netflix," the Guild told Global News. As a result, the tax on downloading the content they create would go towards paying them more.
The Guild even admits that using the Internet in your home and trying to stay under 15 GB would only be possible if you are lightly surfing the web, checking your email and maybe doing some online shopping. Noting that if you are hitting the 15GB mark, "you are likely watching Netflix or other media through the Internet."
Of course, objection to the proposal has already arrived and it's a fair criticism. A director at Open Media named Laura Tribe told Global News "it doesn't understand how people actually use the Internet." Noting that assuming everyone who is using 15 GB of data or more are "automatically watching content is unrealistic."
Tribe also mentioned that with Canadians already paying for the streaming service of their choice, adding a tax "would mean they are paying twice." Ultimately, claiming that the tax proposal is "a Band-Aid solution to a larger issue." They claim that the solution for content creators to make more money would be to implement a sales tax on streaming platforms, as well as increased government funding.
When Global News contacted the SCGC for a response, they said they are "considering a number of initiatives to address alarming reports from our membership about declining remuneration due to outdated Canadian copyright policy."
Naturally, many Canadians are not impressed with the concept. Many believe there are several ways to better compensate the creators of the shows we watch, which would be at expense of the companies creating the shows rather than the viewers:
@ScreenComposers Are you fucking nutjobs serious?— SiDtheVicious 🇨🇦 (@sidtheviciousyt) October 8, 2018
Trying to levy a tax on bandwidth usage? Canada already gets screwed on bandwidth. And 15GB per month?! Are you that damned ignorant on today's needs?
Steam and gaming consoles use more than that for downloads for a single game. pic.twitter.com/uiO21UzVvC
https://t.co/9IrPbolfWz— Beakstarr (@Beakstarr) October 16, 2018
Screen Composer’s Guild of Canada says that anyone who downloads over 15GB of data a month <From their home internet line> should be charged an additional tax
BOYCOTT THE SCGC AND ANYONE WHO ASSOCIATES WITH THEM.
Thankfully, since the proposal hasn't actually been approved, you can still stream to your heart's content. Though you may not want to take the ability to use as much Internet as you want tax free for granted anymore, considering it could be quite a different situation in the near future.
Source: Global News