Archive for September, 2014

What is on Television Tonight by Trey Ratcliff (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/t1pU6

The CRTC’s Future of TV Hearing: “There is No Such Thing as Too Much Choice”

Rogers Communications unveiled its plan for streaming more than 1,000 National Hockey League games on the Internet last week. Having invested billions of dollars to obtain the Canadian broadcast and Internet rights to NHL hockey, the cable giant pointed to the future of broadcast by embracing consumer demand for making games available online.

As part of the launch, Rogers Media president Keith Pelley responded to questions about the approach by stating “there‚Äôs no such thing as too much choice. Let the consumer decide what they want to watch.” Pelley was speaking about hockey streaming, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes his comments should resonate loudly this week in a broader context as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission opens its much-anticipated public hearing on the future of television in Canada.

The CRTC hearing has already generated thousands of advance comments from major stakeholders and individual Canadians. It has also unleashed considerable angst from established broadcasters, broadcast distributors, and content creators, who fear that the broadcast regulator will overhaul the current system by implementing changes such as mandatory pick-and-pay channel selection for consumers and reforms to longstanding policies such as simultaneous substitution (which allows Canadian broadcasters to substitute Canadian commercials into U.S. licensed programming).

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September 8, 2014 3 comments Columns

“There is No Such Thing as Too Much Choice”

Appeared in the Toronto Star on September 6, 2014 as The Takeaway for the CRTC’s Future of TV Hearing Rogers Communications unveiled its plan for streaming more than 1,000 National Hockey League games on the Internet last week. Having invested billions of dollars to obtain the Canadian broadcast and Internet […]

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September 8, 2014 1 comment Columns Archive
Vice President Biden Swears in Bruce Heyman as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada by Department of State (U.S. Government Work) https://flic.kr/p/muidu1

Why U.S. Pressure Is Behind the Stalled Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Bill

Last year, the federal government trumpeted anti-counterfeiting legislation as a key priority. The bill raced through the legislative process in the winter and following some minor modifications after committee hearings, seemed set to pass through the House of Commons. Yet after committee approval, the bill suddenly stalled with little movement throughout the spring.

Why did a legislative priority with all-party approval seemingly grind to a halt?

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) suggests that the answer appears to stem from the appointment of Bruce Heyman as the new U.S. ambassador to Canada. During his appointment process, Heyman identified intellectual property issues as a top priority and as part of his first major speech as ambassador, singled out perceived shortcomings in the anti-counterfeiting bill.

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September 2, 2014 7 comments Columns

Why U.S. Pressure Is Behind the Stalled Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Bill

Appeared in the Toronto Star on August 30, 2104 as Why Dutch Guards Holding Indian-Made Drugs Bound for Nigeria Sends a Warning to Canadian Legislators Last year, the federal government trumpeted anti-counterfeiting legislation as a key priority in its Speech from the Throne. The bill raced through the legislative process […]

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September 2, 2014 1 comment Columns Archive