Archive for February 4th, 2020

Registration desk sign by NHS Confederation (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/9YxwXp

Weak Walk-Back: Why Steven Guilbeault’s Reversal on Government Licensing News Sites Still Leaves a Huge Regulatory Structure in Place

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault yesterday attempted to walk-back comments from the weekend in which he said regulating news sites “was no big deal.” Guilbeault now says the government does not intend to require licences or registration from “news agencies.” When asked repeatedly how to draw the line between “news agencies” (which is not a term used in the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel report) and other news sources, Guilbeault was unable to provide a clear answer. Despite the lack of specifics, Guilbeault maintains that he still intends to introduce legislation within months.

While the decision to reject mandatory licensing or registration of some news services is a good step, it is nowhere near enough. The BTLR envisions a massive regulatory structure with the CRTC empowered to regulate Internet sites and services worldwide. There are few limits to what is covered: social media services, online streaming services, news aggregators, communications services such as Skype, podcasting sites, app stores, operating systems, and device manufacturers are all somehow considered part of the “system” and potentially subject to regulation and mandated payments.

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February 4, 2020 10 comments News
President Donald J. Trump at the G20 Summit by the White House https://flic.kr/p/R8swU7 Public domain

Conservative MP Dan Albas on Copyright Term Extension in USMCA: Government Needs to Mitigate Damage to Copyright Law

The House of Commons has been debating Bill C-4, the implementation bill for the US-Canada-Mexico (USMCA) Trade Agreement. The copyright term extension has begun to attract attention. Green MP Paul Manly called it an “unnecessary change” and Conservative MP Dan Albas, who participated in the copyright review, used his time to make a strong case against extension. Albas’ comments are a must-read as he warns of the danger of term extension, welcomes the chance to mitigate the harm, and encourages the government to use the copyright review as its road map for the issue:

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February 4, 2020 5 comments News