Post Tagged with: "amazon"

Canadian Rules Rain on Cloud Music Parade: Why New Services Unlikely To Come To Canada Anytime Soon

Apple has once again captured the attention of the Internet world with the unveiling of the iCloud, an online backup system that will allow users to instantly store their content on Apple computer servers so that they can be accessed anywhere from any device.

The most notable element of the iCloud is the iTunes Match service that gives users cloud-based access to their full digital music libraries. This includes songs purchased on iTunes as well as any other music files, which will be identified by Apple and made available without the need to upload the copy. Itunes Match has obtained the blessing of the major record labels, who will reportedly receive the lion’s share of the service’s US$24.95 annual fee.

The Apple announcement comes on the heels of newly launched music cloud services from Internet giants Amazon and Google. The Amazon Cloud Player allow users to upload their own music to Amazon’s computer servers and to stream it to any device, while Music Beta by Google similarly involves uploading music files for streaming access. Neither Amazon nor Google obtained licenses for their services, relying instead on their users’ fair use rights to shift their music to the “cloud.”

While the licensing approaches differentiate Apple from its competitors, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues all three cloud music services share a common characteristic when it comes to Canada – none are likely to be available here anytime soon.

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June 14, 2011 69 comments Columns

Federal Court Open Door to Business Method Patents

The Federal Court of Canada has overruled the Patent Appeal Board in concluding that business method patents can be approved in appropriate circumstances.  Coverage from the Globe and QMI.  I wrote about the issue last year.

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October 15, 2010 5 comments Must Reads

Government Approves Amazon Distribution Centre

The government has granted approval to Amazon to establish a Canadian distribution centre.  The online seller agreed to a series of conditions including new investments in Canada, increased availability of French language content, and increased visibility for Canadian books on Amazon.ca.

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April 13, 2010 3 comments Must Reads

Bookseller Restrictions About Competition, Not Culture

Eight years ago, the federal government faced a hot-button cultural policy issue as online retail giant Amazon.com, which was already selling millions of dollars of books to Canadians from its U.S.-based site, sought entry into the Canadian market.  Canadian investment regulations posed a significant barrier, however, since the law required government approval for foreign investment in the book publishing and distribution sectors.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Amazon was ultimately granted a form of non-entry entry.  The company established Amazon.ca, but did not set up shop in Canada.  Instead, it outsourced distribution to Canada Post, enabling the government to rule that the company’s plans fell outside the book distribution restrictions.

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March 17, 2010 34 comments Columns

Debating Amazon and Canadian Culture Laws

Yesterday I appeared on CBC Radio’s Q to debate the issue of Amazon and its plan to establish a distribution centre in Canada.  This podcast is no longer available online.

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March 17, 2010 Comments are Disabled Must Reads, News Interviews, Tv / Radio