Archive for August 11th, 2008

61 Reforms to C-61, Day 36: TPMs – No Identification of Authorized Circumventers

The removal of the provisions that target the legality of circumvention devices is one way to help ensure that the law does not eliminate basic copyright user rights.  There are other approaches, however, that can be introduced in tandem with that change. New Zealand's new copyright law introduces the concept […]

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August 11, 2008 6 comments News

Times-Colonist on ACTA Insiders

The Victoria Times-Colonist features a masthead editorial on the ACTA negotiations that concludes that work on the treaty "should not be taking place in secret and it should consider the best ideas from wherever they might come, and not just from a small group of insiders."

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August 11, 2008 3 comments Must Reads

Text-Message Fight Obscures Real Consumer Costs

Of all the recent controversies involving Canada’s wireless carriers – and there have been many – my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues that the fight over the 15-cent charge for the receipt of text messages must surely rank as the most puzzling. The issue, which generated an enormous amount of attention from politicians, company executives, and consumers, effectively came to a conclusion on Friday after Industry Minister Jim Prentice acknowledged that he was not prepared to intervene.

Scratch below the surface and it is difficult to understand what all the fuss was about. Text messaging has admittedly become an enormously popular form of communication and the new charges feel like an ill-advised cash grab by Bell and Telus. To be fair, however, the charges are also a relatively minor consumer issue given that the overwhelming majority of wireless subscribers are not affected by it.  Moreover, the political reaction reeked of opportunism.  Prentice had endured weeks of criticism from consumer groups across the country over his copyright reform bill and may have been looking for a way to re-make himself as a friend of Canadian consumers by briefly vowing to fight over the issue.

With the saber rattling over text-messaging charges now concluded, the issue should serve as a wake-up call on several festering problems with telecommunications in Canada.

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August 11, 2008 19 comments Columns

Text-Message Fight Obscures Real Consumer Costs

Appeared in the Toronto Star on August 11, 2008 as Text-Message Spat Obscures Costlier Issues Of all the recent controversies involving Canada’s wireless carriers – and there have been many – the fight over the 15-cent charge for the receipt of text messages must surely rank as the most puzzling. […]

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August 11, 2008 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Meeting With Bob Rae on C-61

A constituent reports on their meeting with Liberal MP Bob Rae.

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August 11, 2008 2 comments Must Reads