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PCH memo on Netflix, obtained under ATIP, https://www.scribd.com/document/383336048/PCH-Memo-Bell-Netflix

Government Memo Suggests Netflix Outspends Canadian Private Broadcasters on Canadian English Scripted Programming

Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly view of cultural policy shifted gears in recent months with her emphasis on the need for all players to contribute and rhetoric on “no free rides”, a position that could lead to taxes on Internet services. While Netflix has been a popular target for many Canadian cultural organizations, according to documents released under the Access to Information Act, Canadian Heritage officials appear to have evidence that Netflix spends more on Canadian English-language scripted programming than the Canadian private broadcasters. The revelations come in a June 2017 internal memo to Graham Flack, the Canadian Heritage Deputy Minister, which respond to correspondence from BCE’s Mirko Bibic. Bibic met with Flack in April 2017 and was concerned with department comments about Netflix outspending Bell.

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July 6, 2018 6 comments News
OECD, Mobile data usage per mobile broadband subscription (Dec. 2017) http://www.oecd.org/sti/broadband/1.14-MobileDataUsage-2017-12.xls

The Consequences of High Wireless Costs: OECD Data Confirms Canadians Lag Behind in Data Usage

The OECD released the latest data on broadband usage this week highlighting yet again that the high costs of Canadian wireless services have real world consequences when it comes to consumer data usage. Earlier this month, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association President Robert Ghiz told an industry conference:

Consumption of mobile data – through all kinds of apps and every flavour of streaming content – continues to grow at an astounding rate in Canada. Mobile data traffic in our country increased by 41% between 2015 and 2016 alone.

Yet the OECD comparative data tells a far different story. First, OECD data indicates that Canada is at the low end of countries when measured by mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, ranking well below the OECD average and ahead of only six other OECD countries.

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June 29, 2018 25 comments News
Open government by Descrier http://descrier.co.uk https://flic.kr/p/pVRYzB (CC BY 2.0)

Canada’s Access to Information Open Data Fail: Departments Months Behind Posting Summaries of Completed Requests

The Liberal government has emphasized the importance of open data and open government policies for years, yet the government has at times disappointed in ways both big (Canada’s access-to-information laws are desperately in need of updating and the current bill does not come close to solving its shortcomings) and small (restrictive licensing and failure to comply with access to information disclosures).

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June 26, 2018 0 comments News
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 2 comments 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 37 comments News