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sad phone by Ron Bennetts (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/9pu8uT

More Steps Needed: Government Commissioned Report Shows Canadian Wireless Pricing Remains Among Highest in the Developed World

The Canadian government released the 2018 price comparison of wireless pricing just before the holidays, promoting the report with a press release trumpeting “greater competition leads to reduced mobile wireless price plans for Canadians.” Despite the optimism from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, a closer look at the data shows that Canadians continue to pay some of the highest wireless prices in the world. In fact, a comparison of pricing changes since the Liberals won the 2015 election reveals that Canada lags badly behind peer countries in the reduction of pricing of common wireless plans.

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January 8, 2019 6 comments News
Design 2019 2018 To Reach New Year Happy New Year by Mohamed Hassan (CC0) https://pixabay.com/en/design-2019-2018-to-reach-new-year-3315253/

Looking Back at 2018: My Top Ten Posts

With 2019 nearly upon us, many sites are taking a moment to reflect back on the past year and the posts and issues that attracted the most attention. On my site, the top issues are easy to spot: the Bell coalition website blocking proposal, wireless costs, copyright reform, and digital trade dominate the top ten. My top ten new posts published in 2018:

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December 27, 2018 5 comments News
Universally ignored gas pump warning.. from a time when cell phones were scary by Emerson Wiggins https://flic.kr/p/nKfVUS (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Consequence of Uncompetitiveness: Canadians Ration Wireless Data As Monthly Usage Ranks Among the Lowest in the OECD

The CRTC released its overdue 2018 Communications Monitoring Report for the telecom sector yesterday, providing fresh data that confirms what millions of consumers already know: the Canadian wireless sector remains uncompetitive, leaving a dominant big three providers whose subscribers use less data than consumers in most other OECD countries. While the carriers long ago shifted away from arguments on price toward one of “quality” (ie. Canada may not be cheap for wireless but you get what you pay for), the data strongly suggests that high prices leave consumers worried about using those networks.

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December 21, 2018 5 comments News
Voices in the Park 2012 by Maurice Li Photography https://flic.kr/p/dcxotL (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Bryan Adams Warns Canadian Heritage Committee on Copyright Term Extension: Enriches Large Intermediaries, Not Creators

Canadian artist Bryan Adams captured headlines earlier this year when he appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and urged reform to the reversion provision that seeks to remedy the bargaining imbalance between creators and music labels/publishers by reverting the rights many years later. Adams noted that creators never experience the benefit of reversion since it applies decades after their death. Instead, he proposed a 25 year reversion rule, which he argued was plenty of time for copyright to be exploited by an assignee.

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December 21, 2018 9 comments News
My first ever royalties cheque! by Tama Leaver https://flic.kr/p/bxRoZJ (CC BY 2.0)

Copyright and Culture: My Submission to the Canadian Heritage Committee Study on Remuneration Models for Artists and Creative Industries

The Canadian Heritage committee study on remuneration models for artists and creative industries, which was launched to support the Industry committee’s copyright review, wrapped up earlier this month. I appeared before the committee in late November, where I focused on recent allegations regarding educational copying practices, reconciled the increased spending on licensing with claims of reduced revenues, and concluded by providing the committee with some recommendations for action. My formal submission to the committee has yet to be posted (the committee has been slow in posting submissions), but it expanded on that presentation by focusing first on the state of piracy in Canada, followed by an examination of three sectors: (i) educational copying; (ii) the music industry and the value gap; and (iii) film and television production in Canada. The full submission can be found here.

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December 20, 2018 12 comments News