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Stop ACTA 21 by Martin Krolikowski (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bs3Yxp

Regulate Everything: The CRTC Goes All-In on Internet Taxation and Regulation

For two decades, a small collection of cultural groups have been pressing the CRTC to regulate and tax the Internet. As far back as 1998, the CRTC conducted hearings on “new media” in which groups argued that the dial-up Internet was little different than conventional broadcasting and should be regulated and taxed as such. The CRTC and successive governments consistently rejected the Internet regulation drumbeat, citing obvious differences with broadcast, competing public policy objectives such as affordable access, and the benefits of competition. That changed today as the CRTC released “Harnessing Change: The Future of Programming Distribution in Canada“, a difficult-to-read digital-only report (as if PDF is not digital) in which the CRTC jumps into the Internet regulation and taxation game with both feet.

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May 31, 2018 26 comments News
How WIPO Can Contribute to Achieving the Right to Education, May 30, 2017 event

Separating Fact From Fiction: The Reality of Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing, and Education

This week, I had the honour of speaking at a packed event at the World Intellectual Property Organization titled How WIPO Can Contribute to Achieving the Right to Education. The panel featured speakers from around the world focusing on the copyright-related education issues. My talk, which used emerging data from the copyright review, focused on the reality of Canadian copyright, fair dealing, and education. A recording of my remarks embedded into my slide presentation is posted below in a YouTube video.

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May 31, 2018 7 comments News
Green Spin by rwhitesi37 https://flic.kr/p/2bkmgn (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Who Needs an iPhone Tax: Canadian Music Industry Instead Calls for $40 Million Annual Handout

As the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology continues its copyright review, the Canadian Heritage committee has launched its study on remuneration models for artists and creative industries. Yesterday, Music Canada’s Graham Henderson appeared before the committee to make his case for copyright reform (the organization will presumably make the same case in the coming weeks at the Industry committee). The industry is garnering record-setting Internet revenues, but it reverted to claims of a “value gap” that doesn’t fit within the Canadian legislative experience and demands for a copyright term extension that would cost Canadians millions of dollars and that was rejected by the government in the TPP.

Most notably, after privately lobbying for a new tax on all smartphones and other devices, the group is shifting toward an even bigger cash haul. Rather than apply a tax on all smartphones, the industry is spinning for a tax on everyone by simply calling for a $40 million handout:

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May 30, 2018 8 comments News
trust? by Jo Morcom (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4vzUvT

A Matter of Trust: What Is Happening at the CRTC?

As the term of former CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais came to an end, I wrote a post arguing that he left behind an enviable record, commenting that “a new commissioner may bring a different perspective, but there is no reversing a more open, accessible CRTC.” Less than a year later, it is becoming increasingly clear that I was wrong. Apparently, reversing an open, more accessible CRTC was entirely possible.

Blais understood at least two things with respect to Canada’s communications laws and the CRTC. The first was that in the digital environment the commission should eschew protectionism in favour of a regulatory approach premised on competition. The second was that the CRTC would never gain the trust of the public unless it was seen to operate in the public interest in a transparent manner that offered everyone an equal opportunity to shape Canadian policy.

New CRTC chair Ian Scott has only been in the position since last September, but it feels as if both principles are under threat.

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May 28, 2018 6 comments News
BCOER Librarian by BCcampus_News (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/pSL8XM

Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Four: Fixing Fair Dealing for the Digital Age

My series on Canadian copyright, fair dealing, and education has explored spending and revenue data at universities and publishers, explained the diminishing value of the Access Copyright licence, and conducted a detailed analysis of site licensing on Canadian campuses which demonstrates the foundation for accessing works are the site licences that offer greater flexibility and value than the Access Copyright licence. The series has also shown how some of the publishers who have been most critical of fair dealing are also the ones that have benefited the most from licensing their e-books to educational institutions.

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May 25, 2018 0 comments News