Fair Dealing by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dRkXwP

Fair Dealing by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dRkXwP

Copyright

VPN Green by Richard Patterson (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/27XFNrt http://www.comparitech.com/

Bell Urged Canadian Government To Ban Some VPN Services in NAFTA Submission

Last year, Bell and its supporters denied that its “Fairplay” site blocking plan would apply to virtual private networks (VPNs). Yet as first reported by the Wire Report (sub required), Bell asked the Canadian government to target some VPNs in its submission on the NAFTA re-negotiations. Throughout the site blocking debate, many cited concerns that the Bell coalition plan would expand beyond certain websites to VPNs. For example, I posted:

Once the list of piracy sites (whatever the standard) is addressed, it is very likely that the Bell coalition will turn its attention to other sites and services such as virtual private networks (VPNs). This is not mere speculation. Rather, it is taking Bell and its allies at their word on how they believe certain services and sites constitute theft. The use of VPNs, which enhance privacy but also allow users to access out-of-market content, has been sore spot for the companies for many years.

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January 28, 2019 17 comments News
Healthy Food Guide by Annie Seikonia (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ekgg5n

The Updated Canada Food Guide: New Advice, Old Restrictive Copyright Rules

The Canadian government released a new Canada Food Guide yesterday, the first major update in 12 years to what is reported to be one of its most-requested publications. The guide is viewed as very influential, with copies often found in medical facilities, schools, and other community spaces. Yet despite the demands for distribution, the government has disappointingly adopted a restrictive copyright approach with respect to its reproduction, adaptation or translation. The guide is subject to crown copyright rules and public uses that extend beyond fair dealing require government permission. In fact, Health Canada has posted a lengthy permission form that asks for the following information for those seeking to reproduce, translate or adapt the guide:

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January 23, 2019 6 comments News
internet by j f grossen (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4obWYe

All About the Internet: My Submission to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel on the Future of Canadian Communications Law

The deadline for submissions to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel closed on Friday with a handful of organizations such as the CRTC, CBC, and Friends of Canadian Broadcasting posting their submissions online. My full submission can be found here.  I argue that Canada’s regulatory approach should be guided by a single, core principle: communications policy, whether telecommunications or broadcasting, is now – or will soon become –  Internet policy. This emerging communications world is mediated through the Internet and communications regulatory choices are therefore fundamentally about regulating or governing the Internet. My submission identifies four goals that should guide Canadian communications law and regulation:

1.    Universal, affordable access to the network
2.    Level regulatory playing field
3.    Regulatory humility
4.    Fostering competitiveness in the communications sector

The executive summary on each of the four issue is posted below, followed by a list of 23 recommendations contained in the submission. In the coming days, I’ll have posts that unpack some of the key issues.

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January 14, 2019 5 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
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