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Cogeco Warns Against Online Video Services Undermining Canadian Sovereignty in BTLR Submission

Cogeco Warns Against Online Video Services Undermining Canadian Sovereignty in BTLR Submission

Cogeco, the fourth largest cable operator in Canada (and number two in Ontario and Quebec), warns the broadcast and telecommunications legislative panel about the dangers of unregulated video services such as Netflix to national sovereignty in its previously secret submission. Obtained under the Access to Information Act (much like the previously discussed Bell and Shaw submissions), the Cogeco submission opposes new digital consumer protections and net neutrality rules but strongly supports increased regulation for online video services.

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May 31, 2019 3 comments News
美墨加签署新版自贸协定 汽车关税措施即刻生效 by 禁书 网 https://flic.kr/p/2dgik2V (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Canada Introduces USMCA Implementation Bill…Without a General Copyright Term Extension Provision

The Canadian government tabled Bill C-100 yesterday, the bill to implement the Canada-US-Mexico Trade Agreement. I will have future post on the key provisions, which include new criminal provisions on trade secrets and tampering with rights management information. The bill also features several provisions related to copyright term but notably does not touch the current general copyright term of life of the author plus an additional 50 years. There are several new terms included in the bill with extensions for anonymous works, performances in sound recordings, sound recordings, and cinematographic works. The bill expressly states that none of the extensions are retroactive which means that the works that are currently in the public domain will remain there even after the new terms are established.

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May 30, 2019 5 comments News
Shaw Go Wifi by Mack Male (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/hbkTu1

No Mandated Netflix Cancon Payments: Shaw Argues Success Lies in More Regulatory Flexibility in BTLR Submission

Yesterday’s post on the still-secret broadcast and telecommunications review submissions obtained under Access to Information focused on Bell, which proposed extensive new regulations for Netflix that would result in hundreds of millions in payments that could spark a trade battle with the United States. The major Canadian communications companies are not united on this issue, however.  While there are similarities on wireless (most oppose mandated MVNOs), the broadcast perspectives differ significantly. This post reveals some of the details in Shaw’s submission to the BTLR, also obtained under ATIP.

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May 29, 2019 5 comments News
BELL CANADA 2016 by Jose de Francisco https://flic.kr/p/GJHtQW (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Self-Serving in the Extreme: Bell’s Broadcast and Telecom Submission to the BTLR Revealed

The government’s expert panel on broadcast and telecommunications law reform is expected to release its preliminary report on the results of its public consultation next month. The panel has remarkably kept the submissions to the consultation secret, rejecting an open and transparent policy making process that the government insists is essential to good policy development. I filed an Access to Information Act request for some of the more notable submissions (some have been made available and are posted online by the FRPC). An interim release of that request just arrived in my inbox and I’ll have a couple of posts on point over the next few days.

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May 28, 2019 21 comments News
Press Conference: Meet the Co-Chairs by World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/JqKwT9

The Foundation of Canada’s Digital Charter: Privacy Law Reform Focused on a Data-Driven Economy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans last week for a new Canadian digital charter featuring penalties for social media companies that fail to combat online extremism. While the just-released proposed charter does indeed envision increased regulation of the tech sector, my Globe and Mail op-ed argues its foundation is not content-regulation but rather stronger rules on how companies use data. Leading the way is a promised overhaul of Canadian privacy law to ensure it is better suited to the challenges posed by a data-driven economy.

The proposed privacy law reforms seek to strike the balance between supporting an innovation-led economic agenda heavily reliant on access to data with mounting public concern over the use of that data without appropriate safeguards or consent. If enacted – the digital charter includes a detailed background paper on privacy law reforms that suggests legislative action will only come after the fall election – the changes would constitute the most significant privacy law amendments in decades.

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May 22, 2019 4 comments Columns