The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Less government red tape, not more, is almost always a good thing. In past, we at Canadian NEW MEDIA have consistently advocated industry self-regulation where possible to ensure that worthwhile and safe content is posted to the Internet by producers and aggregators both large and small. Now, however, the BC government has started the country down a slippery slope towards greater reg-ulation of digital content by creating a law that will rate and restrict access to video games. Other provinces will likely follow suit, but unlikely they’ll magically agree on a standard system to be used nationally. Anti-legislation forces in the video game debate rightly point out that the BC law is unfair. It extends only to physical retail shops, without addressing the Internet channel. More and more, the web is a popular alternative to in-store shopping for software. Young adults will still be able to purchase (or pirate) restricted and prohibited games, and activity of that nature will likely increase as enforcement takes effect. How much longer will it be before the BC government decides to cut product off at the source online, forcing retailers to provide BC standards-compliant shopping channels? Of course, this would result in logistical nightmares for businesses wanting to move product cross-country, but what’s law in real space will catch up to the Internet eventually. At an industry conference last week, Canadian NEW MEDIA asked CRTC chair David Colville if he’d seen anything in the developing online world over the course of three years that would make him re-consider the commission’s decision not to regulate the Internet. Thankfully, he replied there was not, and regulation is not a subject of active discussion. Still, the road to regulation may not be paved by the feds, but by the provinces and their film boards. BC’s decision to legislate ratings and restricted access for video games won’t make a difference if people are still able to buy banned games online from national and international retailers. The attorney general’s office likely knows this, or will soon. The forces that cried out for ratings legislation had enough sway to force the government into action in the shops. They may yet have enough sway to extend those laws into cyberspace.