Archive for July, 2014

comcast_six_strikes_alert by aaron_anderer (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dYokuc

Notice the Difference: Canada’s Internet Provider Notice-and-Notice Rules and the TPP

Last week, negotiators from around the world gathered in Ottawa for negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. I was fortunate to be asked to meet with many of the intellectual property negotiators as part of a side session sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on the copyright implications of the agreement.  EFF’s Jeremy Malcolm and Maira Sutton write about the event here, which also included Howard Knopf and Open Media’s Reilly Yeo.

My presentation
, embedded below, focused on the Canadian notice-and-notice rules for Internet service provider liability. The government recently announced that notice-and-notice will take effect in January 2015. I explained the background of the Canadian approach, how it differs from the U.S. notice-and-takedown system, and how experience demonstrates its effectiveness.

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July 18, 2014 2 comments News
Rogers on the corner of Robson and Seymour by Jeffery Simpson (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/hZGAN

Rogers Releases New Policy on Disclosing Subscriber Information: Come Back with a Warrant

Rogers has updated its approach to responding to law enforcement requests for subscriber information to reflect last month’s Supreme Court of Canada Spencer decision. The company will now require a warrant for access to basic subscriber information (with the exception of life threatening emergencies), a policy that effectively kills the government’s Bill C-13 voluntary disclosure provisions. The government wants to provide full immunity for voluntary disclosure of personal information, but Canadian Internet providers and telecom companies are unlikely to provide such information without a court order given the recent decision. The Rogers update:

After hearing your concerns and reviewing the Supreme Court ruling from last month, we’ve decided that from now on we will require a court order/warrant to provide basic customer information to law enforcement agencies, except in life threatening emergencies. We believe this move is better for our customers and that law enforcement agencies will still be able to protect the public.

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July 16, 2014 10 comments News
Forgotten television by the autowitch (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/nUaS

The Future of Television Review is the CRTC’s Make or Break Moment

When Canada’s broadcast regulator embarked on the third and final phase of its consultations on the future of television regulation earlier this year, it left little doubt that a total overhaul was on the table. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) raised the possibility of eliminating longstanding pillars of broadcast regulation by creating mandatory channel choice for consumers, dropping simultaneous substitution and genre protection, as well as allowing virtually any non-Canadian service into the market.

For the growing number of Canadians hooked on Netflix or accustomed to watching their favourite programs whenever they want from the device of their choosing, none of this seems particularly revolutionary. Indeed, policies that reduce options, increase costs, or add regulation run counter to a marketplace in which public choice determines winners and losers.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the CRTC seems to understand that this is a make-or-break moment since policies that worked in a world of scarcity no longer make sense in a marketplace of abundance. Yet the first batch of responses from Canada’s broadcasters, broadcast distributors, and creator community suggests that most see the changing environment as a dire threat to their existence and hope to use regulation to delay future change.

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July 16, 2014 1 comment Columns

The Future of Television Review is the CRTC’s Make or Break Moment

Appeared in the Toronto Star on July 12, 2104 as The CRTC’s Make or Break Moment When Canada’s broadcast regulator embarked on the third and final phase of its consultations on the future of television regulation earlier this year, it left little doubt that a total overhaul was on the […]

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July 16, 2014 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive
Our Beloved Phone Company by Dennis S Hurd (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8v9Mm9

CRTC Report Confirms Yet Again: Canadian Wireless Prices Among Most Expensive in G7

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission yesterday released the latest Wall Communications Report comparing prices for wireline, wireless, and Internet services in Canada and with foreign countries. While some initial reports focused on the increased wireless pricing for light wireless users (150 minutes per month with no data or texting) that was attributed to the shift from three-year contracts to two-year contracts, the bigger story is that Canadian wireless pricing is ranked among the three most expensive countries in the G7 in every tier.

The report measures four different baskets of users and for every usage Canada is one of the three most expensive countries in the survey (other countries include the US, UK, France, Australia, Japan, Germany, and Italy).

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July 15, 2014 10 comments News