Post Tagged with: "pvr"

Study Finds DVRs Help Broadcaster Ratings

The NY Times reports that contrary to fears, DVRs are proving to increase ratings and that many viewers still do not skip commercials.

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November 3, 2009 2 comments Must Reads

James Moore’s TV Habits

Canwest runs a story that picks up on Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore's comments yesterday that he watches more television on his iPod or through his PVR than he does on a conventional television set.  I am quoted in the piece, noting that many of the Moore's viewing habits may […]

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March 10, 2009 18 comments News

Bell’s PVR Legal Woes the Tip of the C-61 Iceberg

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) picks up on last week's story involving the Bell commercial touting a new digital video recorder that features an external hard drive permitting users to "record forever." The archiving functionality may sounds enticing, yet last week several media reports noted that Industry Minister Jim Prentice's Bill C-61 forbids Canadians from recording television programs for archival purposes. Indeed, the new "time shifting" provision in the Prentice bill contains at least a dozen restrictions that could leave consumers facing significant liability for those that fail to comply.  Innovative businesses do not fare much better as they will also be forced to shelve potential new services if the bill becomes law.  For example, Bill C-61 explicitly prohibits a network-based PVR that Telus has considered introducing into the Canadian market.  

These restrictions leave Canadians trailing the United States, where consumers have enjoyed the legal right to time shift for more than two decades without the statutory restrictions that Prentice has proposed.  Moreover, earlier this month a U.S. court ruled that Cablevision, a leading cable provider, can legally offer its network-based PVR. While it is tempting to focus on the need to improve the bill's PVR provisions, the reality is that the spotlight on Bell's promotion highlights a pervasive problem within Bill C-61.  Surprisingly for a political party that typically promotes "market based solutions," the bill introduces a complex regulatory framework for everyday consumer activities and represents an unprecedented incursion into the property rights of millions of Canadians.  

Just how far beyond restrictive television recording does Bill C-61 go?

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August 18, 2008 18 comments Columns

Bell’s PVR Legal Woes the Tip of the C-61 Iceberg

Appeared on August 18, 2008 as PVR, Bill C-61 Might Soon Make You An Outlaw Canadians watching the Olympic coverage from Beijing can hardly have missed the Bell commercial touting a new digital video recorder that features an external hard drive permitting users to "record forever." The archiving functionality may […]

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August 18, 2008 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Canwest Covers Bell PVR and C-61 Issue

Canwest covers the Bell "record forever" PVR issue and the effect of Bill C-61. Update: Additional coverage from Le Journal de Montreal. 

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August 13, 2008 4 comments Must Reads