NDP MP Charlie Angus introduced his private member's net neutrality bill in the House of Commons this afternoon. The short bill seeks to add transparency, neutral network management, and open devices to the Canadian telecom law framework: Network operators shall not engage in network management practices that favour, degrade or […]
Archive for May 28th, 2008
A former Conservative organizer speaks out.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, Ottawa Citizen version, Vancouver Sun version, homepage version) notes that earlier this month, some fans of the NBC television programs American Gladiators and Medium found themselves unable to digitally record the shows on their personal computers. The reason for the blocked recordings raises important technical and legal questions about the rights of consumers to "time shift" television programs in the digital era. The blocked recordings affected people that record television programs on their personal computers using the Microsoft Windows Vista Media Centre. Most people are unaware that Microsoft has inserted a feature that allows a broadcaster or content owner to stop the digital recording of a show by triggering a "broadcast flag" that specifies its preference that the show not be recorded. When the user tries to record it, Microsoft’s software recognizes the flag and issues a warning that the program cannot be recorded.