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Protest: FCC Chairman's Dinner by Eleanor Goldfield/Art Killing Apathy (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/HmwbH4

Net Neutrality and NAFTA: Canadian Government Says It Will Address U.S. Policy Should Harms Arise

The Canadian government has released its response to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics report on net neutrality. The report featured a strong endorsement of net neutrality and raised concerns with Bell’s site blocking proposal. The government response emphasizes its support for net neutrality, highlighting the current legal framework. While the response does not directly address the site blocking proposal (noting it would inappropriate to comment on a case currently before the CRTC), it reiterates that it has the power to vary, rescind, or refer a CRTC decision back for reconsideration, perhaps a signal that a CRTC decision favouring site blocking could face a government response to rescind or review.

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June 22, 2018 1 comment News
Jack Valenti by Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/jiHqg

Site Blocking, The Sequel: After Telling Courts They Can Issue De-Indexing or Blocking Orders, Movie Industry Calls for More in Copyright Act

Representatives of the motion picture association appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology this week as part of the copyright review and called on the government to ensure the law permits site blocking and search result de-indexing rules to address piracy concerns. The representatives, who acknowledged under questioning from Liberal MP David Graham that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Motion Picture Association Canada (MPAC) are the same organization, also argued to increased liability for Internet intermediaries.

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June 21, 2018 22 comments News
Doors Open Toronto: George Brown Waterfront Campus by Karen Stintz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/nJPdtW

How Did George Brown College Come to Support the FairPlay Site Blocking Plan? Docs Show Bell Lobbied the School’s President

How did George Brown College President Anne Sado come to write a letter in support of the Bell coalition website blocking plan?  Given the prior reports on Bell’s internal astroturfing campaign and the pressure on a Brock University executive (subsequently distanced by the University) it will come as little surprise to learn that the origins stem from direct Bell lobbying. According to documents obtained under provincial access to information laws, Mark Milliere, TSN’s Senior Vice President and General Manager (part of Bell Media) relied on the same playbook as with Brock University, citing its support for the college and urging it to write in support to the CRTC. The request included sample letters from Brock and Ryerson University (more on Ryerson in a forthcoming post).

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June 20, 2018 14 comments News
Phone by Mike Stach (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/qWcisH

CRTC Rebuked: Government Signals Frustration With the Commission Prioritizing Carriers Over Consumers

Telecom issues were in the spotlight yesterday with the government ordering the CRTC to “examine claims of aggressive or misleading sales practices concerning telecommunications services, the prevalence and impact on consumers, as well as potential solutions.” The Order-in-Council, which was accompanied by a request to the Competition Bureau to provide assistance, follows CBC reports on misleading sales tactics from companies such as Bell and Rogers and the CRTC’s rejection of a request to conduct an inquiry into the matter. The announcement from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains is a welcome development, signalling the government’s frustration with a CRTC under new chair Ian Scott that has seemingly abandoned consumer interests.

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June 15, 2018 2 comments News
VEVO Tv by Sean Davis (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/nasVo7

Music Canada at the Copyright Review: “Illegal Content is Drifting Away”

Music Canada was one of several witnesses that appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology this week as part of the copyright review. The group continued its campaign on the so-called value gap, largely ignoring huge increases in streaming revenues with claims about legislative reforms that bear little resemblance to the Canadian experience. While those arguments will be old news to the committee members, it was the discussion of piracy and government handouts that merit attention.

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June 14, 2018 8 comments News