Archive for May, 2014

The Copyright Board of Canada Music Streaming Decision: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Copyright Board of Canada Music Streaming Decision: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Copyright Board of Canada issued its long-awaited music streaming decision late last week, setting royalties to be paid by Internet music streaming services such as Pandora for non-interactive and semi-interactive streaming for the years 2009 to 2012. This covers passive Internet radio services and services that allow users to influence what they listen to. Given that Pandora left the Canadian market over high tariff rates, the outcome of the decision was destined to be a key determinant over whether many of the missing Internet music streaming services enter the Canadian market.

For fans of Pandora or similar services, the decision brings good news. The board largely rejected the arguments of Re:Sound, the collective responsible for the tariff and settled on rates close to what the Internet services were seeking. While the collective argued for rates similar to those found in the U.S., the Board ruled that the U.S. was not a suitable comparison. 

Moreover, it rejected arguments that this form of music streaming cannibalizes music sales, concluding that exposure to music through non-interactive and semi-interactive streaming may increase sales:

Read more ›

May 21, 2014 4 comments News
Google Main Search by MoneyBlogNewz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/92t8FA

European ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Ruling Fails to Strike Free Speech – Privacy Balance

The European Court of Justice shook up the privacy and Internet world last week by ruling that European data protection law includes a right to be forgotten with respect to search engine results that are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant.” As a result of the decision, search companies such as Google will be required to remove results from its index that meet this standard upon request.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that as people flock to remove content from the Google search index – reports indicate that the company began receiving removal requests within hours of the ruling – there remains considerable uncertainty about how to implement the decision, whether it will migrate to Canada, and if a new right to be forgotten will serve the cause of privacy protection or harm free speech and access to information.

Read more ›

May 20, 2014 8 comments Columns

The Right to be Forgotten Ruling Fails To Strike Speech – Privacy Balance

Appeared in the Toronto Star on May 17, 2014 as ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Ruling Lacks Balance The European Court of Justice shook up the privacy and Internet world last week by ruling that European data protection law includes a right to be forgotten with respect to search engine results […]

Read more ›

May 19, 2014 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Competition Bureau Recommends New Regulations To Address Wireless Competition Concerns

The Canadian Competition Bureau has filed a submission to the CRTC’s wholesale mobile wireless services review in which it reaffirmed its view that the Canadian wireless market is uncompetitive and would benefit from regulation.  The Bureau finds that a more competitive market would deliver $1 billion annually in benefits to the Canadian economy:

incumbents appear to have the ability and incentive to profitably raise the rates they charge their retail competitors for wholesale roaming services, and potentially other wholesale arrangements, above competitive levels. The incumbents’ wholesale customers may be passing these price increases on to retail customers. These retail price increases may be harming competition in retail mobile wireless services markets in Canada. In particular, more competitive markets could deliver approximately $1 billion in benefits to the Canadian economy.

Read more ›

May 16, 2014 12 comments News
europe infinite copyright by Jose Mesa (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/amMHBV

Has Canada Caved on Copyright Term Extension in the TPP?

The Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations resume next week and while an agreement does not appear imminent, reports from Japan indicate that the copyright term issue may have been resolved.  Japan and Canada are two of several TPP countries whose term of copyright protection is life of the author plus 50 years. According to the Japan News, those countries (which also include New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Brunei) are prepared to cave to U.S. pressure to extend the term of copyright to life of the author plus 70 years:

Among the 12 countries, Japan, Canada and four other countries protect an author’s copyright for 50 years after their death, the United States and four other countries for 70 years and Mexico for 100 years. Following the agreement, Japan will extend its duration by 20 years.

Read more ›

May 16, 2014 11 comments News