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Why this Yukoner asked the CRTC to license a user-generated porn channel

Robert Hopkins develops software that can power small stations and thinks his proposed channel could help showcase what it can do.

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Robert Hopkins wants to make it easier for Canadians to share their amateur videos.

And not just any videos – he has asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to license a channel that would only show user-generated pornography.

It's a long shot his signal will ever make it into Canadian living rooms. Even if he gets a licence, he'd need to convince cable and satellite companies to offer it to their customers.

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Here's why the 51-year-old Mr. Hopkins – who lives in Tagish, Yukon – thinks he's got a workable idea. The CRTC will entertain his request at a hearing on Nov. 5.

Why try for a licence?

Like all great ideas this started as a drunken conversation between broadcast engineers. We were at a conference and talking about how it would be cool if you could save time and money and let a computer do the work and run your television station with user-generated content. We all snickered, and then looked at each other and realized we could make a lot of money if this ever got some traction.

But who would subscribe to a channel of user generated pornography? You do realize that the Internet is a thing, right?

There are people who don't have access to the Internet in remote communities. Other people would probably be interested in watching if it were available.

You do think people would pay money, in other words.

Yeah, there's the whole money side. I haven't done a proper business plan on this, and I don't want to share my whole hand. But take a look at how much traffic is generated with pornography.

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But the pornography industry has been hit really hard by the proliferation of free content.

True enough. I guess all of the advertising models are out of whack. But I think there's enough demand to get it going.

Do you think you'd be able to get enough content to run an entire station?

There's definitely enough, everything from personal ad kind of things where people want to show themselves off when they are looking for a mate to someone setting up a camera and doing things and wanting to share it.

You develop software that can power small stations and think this channel could help showcase what it can do. Why this?

This is 100 per cent legal. I'm not trying to exploit anyone, it's strictly for entertainment between consenting adults. Yeah, the hook is the porno. But you could do other things – graduation pics, travel pics, all these things people are capturing. You'd be able to swap these.

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You are describing YouTube.

I guess.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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