Archive for April 9th, 2007

RCMP Renews Call for Lawful Access

Canwest is reporting that documents obtained under the Access to Information Act reveal that the RCMP has renewed calls for lawful access legislation, claiming that its absence has "already had serious consequences for investigations and victims."

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April 9, 2007 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Internet Radio May Stream North to Canada

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the legal rules surrounding Internet radio. Internet radio consists of several types of "stations" including conventional radio stations that simulcast their signal on the Internet, community and college radio stations that use the Internet to extend their signals from small communities to the entire world, and Internet-only stations that broadcast exclusively online.  The Internet-only services are particularly intriguing as they include niche webcasters focused on content not found on mainstream AM/FM stations as well as customizable services such as Pandora and Last.fm, which help users identify new music personalized to their tastes.

Despite their popularity, there is growing fear that a recent U.S. royalty decision could effectively shut down thousands of webcasting services.  The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board recently established a new royalty scheme that dramatically increases the fees that webcasters will be required to pay to stream music online. 

Given the concern about the future viability of Internet radio in the U.S., there has been mounting speculation that some webcasters may consider setting up shop in Canada, where the U.S. rates do not apply.  For example, Mercora, a service that allows individuals to launch their own webcasts, has established a Canadian site that falls outside U.S. regulatory and royalty rules.

Webcasters considering a move to Canada will find that the legal framework for Internet radio trades costs for complexity.  There are two main areas of concern from a Canadian perspective – broadcast regulation and copyright fees.

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April 9, 2007 10 comments Columns

Internet Radio May Stream North to Canada

Appeared in the Toronto Star on April 9, 2007 as Web Radio May Stream North To Canada Online radio is one of the Internet's quiet success stories.  While podcasting and Internet video garner the lion share of attention, webcasting has emerged as a major force with millions tuning in daily […]

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April 9, 2007 5 comments Columns Archive

Science Says “Not-Neutrality” = less network

The following is an abstract from a research paper on Net Neutrality by researchers from the University of Florida. It concludes as we do that without Net Neutrality, there will be far less incentive for carriers to upgrade and expand their networks. Whether to legislate to maintain “net neutrality”, the […]

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April 9, 2007 Comments are Disabled Neutrality