Archive for March 3rd, 2008

Bulte Loses Nomination Bid For Don Valley West

Sarmite Bulte has lost her bid to be the Liberal nominee for the Toronto-area riding of Don Valley West to Rob Oliphant.

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March 3, 2008 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Canada Stuck in the Slow Lane on Traffic Shaping Debate

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the slow response of Canadian officials to the issue of traffic shaping.  Last fall, the Associated Press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported that Comcast, the largest cable provider in the United States, was actively interfering with network traffic by engaging in traffic shaping.  The practice – largely undisclosed by the company – resulted in reduced bandwidth for peer-to-peer file sharing applications and delayed the delivery of some Internet content. The revelations sparked an immediate outcry from the public and U.S. officials.  Class action lawyers filed lawsuits, members of Congress introduced legislation mandating greater transparency and neutral treatment of Internet content and applications, state law enforcement officials issued subpoenas demanding that Comcast turn over information on its network management practices, and the Federal Communications Commission, the national telecommunications regulator, launched hearings into the matter.

Last week, the FCC devoted a full day to the issue as companies such as Vuze – an online video provider that uses peer-to-peer technology – along with public interest groups argued that the Commission needed to use its regulatory muscle to ensure greater transparency in the broadband market and to preserve an open, non-discriminatory Internet. While the FCC established ten principles for network operators to ensure network neutrality in 2005, there is mounting pressure in the U.S. for it to do more.  Given that many believe that the Comcast’s practices violated the FCC principles, regulatory and legislative responses to the lack of transparency in ISP network management may be on the way.  

While the U.S. appears to be rapidly moving toward legislative and regulatory action, Canadian regulators appear stuck in the slow lane.

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March 3, 2008 12 comments Columns

Canada Stuck in the Slow Lane on Traffic Shaping Debate

Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 3, 2008 as Canada Stuck in Slow Lane on 'Traffic Shaping' Last fall, the Associated Press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported that Comcast, the largest cable provider in the United States, was actively interfering with network traffic by engaging in traffic shaping.  […]

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March 3, 2008 4 comments Columns Archive

Publishers Dropping DRM for Audiobooks

Random House and other leading book publishers have announced that they are dropping DRM for their audiobook sales.  Random House experimented with DRM-free audiobooks in the fall on eMusic and could not find a single instance where a DRM-free book later appeared on a P2P system.

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March 3, 2008 2 comments Must Reads

Toronto Star Calls for Copyright Bill

On the heels of the National Post's warning against a copyright bill, the Toronto Star has published a masthead editorial calling on Industry Minister Jim Prentice to introduce a new copyright bill.  The Star reported that several copyright lobby groups met with the editorial board in late January to discuss […]

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March 3, 2008 4 comments Must Reads