A little over a month has passed since Bill C-61 was introduced by Industry Minister Jim Prentice in the House of Commons. The bill generated considerable negative media attention and a remarkable outpouring of concern from tens of thousands of Canadians. We are now also seeing those concerns played out […]
Archive for July 15th, 2008
61 Reforms to C-61, Day 17: TPMs – No Exception for Court Cases, Laws, and Government Documents
In order for the public to know their legal rights and obligations, access to the law is widely viewed as essential. Yet there is real danger that these kinds of materials – court decisions, legal statutes, and other government documents – could end up locked down using digital rights management. Other countries have recognized the danger of mixing digital locks, anti-circumvention legislation, and legal materials. For example, Sweden's implementation of anti-circumvention legislation tries to ensure access court cases and government documents that are subject to TPMs. Article 52f provides that:
Competition Bureau Warns CRTC Against New Media Intervention
The Canadian Competition Bureau has waded into the CRTC's new media regulation debate with a submission that pretty clearly sides with a no-intervention approach. While couched in language that gives the CRTC some flexibility, the Bureau is at pains to note that no intervention may be needed, that regulation carries […]
WIPO Pressures India To Join Internet Treaties
Reports out of India indicate that the World Intellectual Property Organization is pressuring India to sign and ratify the 1996 Internet treaties.
Canadian ISP Alliance Forms For New Media Fight
Canada's leading telecommunications and cable companies have formed the Canadian ISP Alliance as they gear up for the forthcoming fight at the CRTC over a potential new levy on ISP services. The ISP Alliance, which includes all the major Canadian players (Quebecor, Rogers, Cogeco, Telus, MTS Allstream, Shaw, Sasktel, Eastlink, Bell, and Bell Aliant) argues that the CRTC's plans to revisit the 1999 new media exemption order is unnecessary. While the ISP Alliance is not alone in making that argument (the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and ITAC reach the same conclusion), their submission is noteworthy because it includes a legal opinion that argues that the CRTC does not have the legal authority under the Broadcasting Act to impose a new levy on ISPs (the levy is being promoted by several groups including ACTRA).
The legal opinion from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin first tries to make an analogy to satellite services, which similarly transmit video and audio content, yet have not been regulated as broadcast undertakings. The opinion also notes the functional separation between telecommunications and broadcast regulation, arguing that it was the clear intent of Parliament to regulate broadcasters in the Broadcasting Act and telecom companies in the Telecommunications Act.
While the legal opinion makes no reference to net neutrality, the issue could ultimately play a pivotal role.