Yukoner gets green light to broadcast homemade porn

A Yukon man now has a government-approved plan to sell user-generated videos to cable companies, including everything from cat videos to pornography.

A Yukon man now has a government-approved plan to sell user-generated videos to cable companies, including everything from cat videos to pornography.

Rob Hopkins, who runs the CJUC radio station in Whitehorse and operates his OpenBroadcaster business from Tagish, was recently granted two licences by the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission, which regulates the broadcast industry.

The licenses allow Hopkins to collect user-generated videos from the Internet, package and rate them based on region and popularity, and sell that package to cable TV companies. One covers regular videos and the other covers porn.

“My target market will be major centres, places like downtown Toronto condos or Vancouver,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins has developed software to comb the web for videos people have shot on their smartphones or other devices. His program will then collect those videos and sort them by region.

They will also be ranked based on the number of “likes” and “shares” each has received. Then, the most popular ones will be offered to cable companies as TV shows highlighting the best home videos from their region or the top-ranked videos from across the country.

It is essentially Americas Funniest Home Videos for Canada, but built on the back of free content that is already floating around on the web.

“It’s like how the newspapers have comments sections with people contributing stuff for free, which draws other people there to read those comments. The newspapers make some extra money from this content that’s contributed for free. That’s what I want to do with videos,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins said he expects to see everything from funny cat videos, to family graduations and weddings shared easily through his program.

“I know what you’re going to say next. You’re going to say I’m describing YouTube,” he says, laughing.

And that’s true, sort of. Hopkins said his program will function much like some of the more popular YouTube channels, which already offer the same curation and ranking that he plans to. But, under his plan, you wouldn’t need an Internet connection to see all of it.

There are lots of places in the North that don’t have reliable Internet service, and bandwidth is expensive, he says. Having a channel that allows people to sit down on their couch, flick on the TV, and watch a cat riding a Roomba wearing a shark costume chasing a duck could be a marketable idea.

And then there’s also the homemade porn.

Hopkins said the idea for that came when he was at a broadcasters convention years ago, sitting around with some other guys from the business having a few drinks and brainstorming ideas.

“We were just kind of joking about user-generated videos, and someone said, ‘What if you made a user-generated porn channel?” he said.

There is a second, more serious reason behind Hopkins’ dual applications to the CRTC, however. He said he included the porn channel as a second application because he was worried the regulator might kibosh his whole plan if they thought he hadn’t considered the possibility of users uploading porn.

So he split the application in two, in part to show that he had a plan in place to make sure adult content didn’t accidentally end up on daytime TV, and also to protect his family-rated programming application from getting scuppered along with the porn if the regulator decided it was too risky.

“I was as shocked as anyone that they said I could do both,” Hopkins said.

He said consumers needn’t worry about the porn ending up on family TV sets. He would use the same sorts of safeguards that sites like Facebook and Flickr use to ensure that adult content isn’t displayed where it shouldn’t be.

With the licences now granted, Hopkins has two years to get his scheme into action and convince cable companies to pay for it.

Contact Jesse Winter at

jessew@yukon-news.com

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