The Telecom and Copyright Policy Review?

Reply comments in the Telecommunications Policy Review were due on Thursday and the deadline brought yet another avalanche of submissions.  The first round generated over 100 submissions (mine here) and thousands of pages of reading material.  I decided to skip providing a reply since just reading all the submissions seems like a full-time job.

While the usual suspects re-affirm their positions, the reply round brought a surprise submission from the Canadian Recording Industry Association.  What does CRIA want with the telecom policy review?  It seems that it is frustrated that the CRTC declined to address its copyright concerns as part of the satellite radio process.  In response, it now argues that "the perceived inability of the CRTC to address copyright issues that are raised in connection with the regulation of broadcasting undertakings under the Broadcasting Act or telecommunications common carriers under the Telecommunications Act is now increasingly problematical."  To address this issue it wants to ensure that "copyright finds its 'rightful place' in the calculus not only of the CRTC but for all policy makers in establishing the appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks for the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors."

Hopefully the review panel will follow the CRTC's lead by ignoring this transparent attempt to further skew the copyright balance by building copy-control protections into virtually everything.

One Comment

  1. Sara Bannerman says:

    In the final Telecom Policy Review report of March 2006 the panel addressed copyright briefly. On page 11-12 the report observes that the CRTC is split into two branches with two mandates. “Neither ‘branch’ of the Commission has developed any real expertise in dealing with the intellectual property issues that are becoming increasingly important in regulation related to content provided over both broadcasting and telecommunications networks, especially over the Internet and other IP-based platforms.” Further down the page: “the proposed review of Canadian broadcasting policy should examine the following issues: … better coordination of the copyright-related functions of government with its ICT policies and regulations, including a consideration of possible consolidation of the regulatory functions carried out by the Copyright Board with the communications regulatory functions of the CRTC.”