Archive for December, 2011

CRTC’s Net Neutrality Rules in Action: Bell To Drop P2P Traffic Shaping

Bell advised the CRTC yesterday that it plans to drop all peer-to-peer traffic shaping (often called throttling) as of March 1, 2012.  While the decision has been described as surprising or as quid pro quo for the usage based billing ruling, I think it is neither of those. The writing […]

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December 20, 2011 12 comments News

What Happened to the PIPEDA Review?

Section 29 of PIPEDA, Canada’s private sector privacy law, requires Parliament to review the portion that deals with data protection every five years.  The first review started in 2006 and led (after considerable delay) to the reforms found in Bill C-12, which is currently languishing in the House of Commons. […]

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December 16, 2011 7 comments News

The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 52: Ontario Council of University Libraries

With Parliament set to break for the holidays later today, the daily digital lock dissenter will break as well.  I’ll resume the series once Parliament returns in late January.

The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) represents the 21 public university libraries in Ontario, serving a community of about 400,000 full time students and professors. OCUL provided a submission to the 2009 national copyright consultation that stated the following about digital locks:

Digital locks can prevent users from interacting with copyright materials in ways that are perfectly legal in themselves. Copyright law must not make it illegal to circumvent a digital lock in order to use a copyrighted item for purposes that do not infringe copyright. To satisfy WIPO treaty obligations, it is sufficient that copyright law afford protection to digital locks only to penalize the breaking of digital locks for infringing purposes.

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December 15, 2011 4 comments News

The False Link Between C-11’s Digital Lock Rules and Video Game Industry Jobs

Debate resumed on Monday on the copyright bill with the opposition parties citing correspondence from Canadian after Canadian concerned with the digital lock rules found in Bill C-11. Thousands of Canadians have called on the government to adopt compromise legislation that provides legal protection for digital locks but ensures that the copyright balance is retained by linking circumvention to copyright infringement. As I have chronicled in more than 50 daily digital lock postings, this view is shared by business groups, consumer organizations, cultural groups (including the leading performers and publisher associations), education and library representatives, as well as Canada’s leading consumer organization. There is no serious debate about where the overwhelming majority of Canadians that have spoken out on the bill stand.

The task of defending the bill has lately fallen to Paul Calandra, the Parliamentary Secretary for Canadian Heritage. As I posted last month, Calandra has focused on the claim that there is no jurisdiction “where digital locks have been used and the actual availability of content has been reduced.” The argument is a complete red herring as no one has argued C-11 will reduce the availability of content but rather that it will eliminate many of the rights consumers obtain when they purchase that content. 

Calandra has now also turned to the video game industry as a major source of support. Given the fact that writers, performers, publishers, musicians, documentary film makers, and artists have all called for greater balance on digital locks, the government has been left with fewer and fewer creative industries that support its position. On Monday, Calandra repeatedly referenced the video game industry and the prospect of lost jobs as a reason to support restrictive digital lock rules. For example:

I wonder if the member and her party opposite are talking about putting an end to the video gaming industry in this country with weak TPM measures.

Later, Calandara asked an MP:

Could he explain to the House how, in the absence of effective technical protection measures, that industry could continue to flourish in the province of Quebec?

Calandra regularly referenced the 14,000 jobs in the industry and suggested that they would be put at risk with “weak” TPM measures. Given the focus, it is important to examine the evidence that supports claims that jobs are at risk.

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December 14, 2011 20 comments News

Louis C.K.’s DRM-Free Experiment

Comedian Louis C.K. posts on a recent experiment to offer a DRM-free video as a $5 download. The result: $500,000 in revenue and $200,000 in profit in three days.

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December 14, 2011 9 comments Must Reads