Netflix facing a fee battle in Canada?

The Canadian Media Production Association is pushing for the Canadian Radio-Television Commission to declare Netflix's streaming movie service an online broadcaster because its current $7.99 a month subscription model is "undermining the Canadian broadcaster's revenue model."

The regulator requires broadcasters and content providers to pay a content production fee that Netflix so far has been exempt from paying, which the CMPA says is unfair.

But the CRTC, in advance of a confab in Ottawa today, says Netflix isn't required to pay the fee because, under current definitions, it's not an online broadcaster.

"It's not broadcasting within the Broadcasting Act," said Korad von Finckenstein, CRTC chairman, pointing to a Canadian appeals court decision last year and saying that since Netflix plays no role in content production it's exempt from the fees.

Until the issue of content distribution, especially from U.S. firms pushing their operation north, is addressed by the Canadian legislature, the CRTC is unlikely to take any action.

For more:
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