Archive for October 30th, 2008

CRTC Releases Broadcast Review Decision

The CRTC has released its much anticipated broadcast review decision.  The Commission:

  • rejects (again) the request from over-the-air broadcasters for a new fee-for-carriage payment (ie. payment for over-the-air signals).
  • establishes a new fund for local programming that will cost cable and satellite subscribers about 50 cents per month.  The new fund sparked two dissenting opinions.
  • concludes that time shifting (in this case carrying multiple versions of the same network) should be compensated and calls for negotiations to establish a price.
  • continues to move toward greater deregulation by dropping regulation for smaller broadcast distribution companies (under 20,000 subscribers), removing "genre protection" in competitive areas (which for the moment are sports and news), and provides greater flexibility in packaging channels.
  • opens the door to new forms of targeted advertising (ie. closer examination of viewing profiles and interests) with a hearing on the matter scheduled for next year.

While this suggests a mixed bag, it ultimately leaves consumers paying more (the new fund and time shifting fees), though not quite as much as some broadcasters were hoping for.  Interestingly, the Internet and new forms of broadcast scarcely merit a mention in the entire decision with those issues slated for review in the new media hearings next February.

Update: A Canadian Press reporter asked for my views on whether today's decision would change broadcasting in Canada by 2011.  My response:


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October 30, 2008 4 comments News

The Fight for Canada’s Digital Future

Last week, I had the pleasure of delivering talks in Vancouver and Edmonton that reflected on the last year and the Canadian battle over copyright reform.  A podcast of the Vancouver talk has been posted online. Update:  A podcast of the Edmonton talk is now also available.

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October 30, 2008 5 comments News

Canadian Government To Create Internal Wikipedia

The Government has announced plans to create an internal wikipedia, called GCpedia, that will allow federal employees to post, comment, and edit articles.

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October 30, 2008 4 comments News

The Cabinet Shuffle

New Ministers at both Industry and Canadian Heritage — Prentice is out and Tony Clement in at Industry; Verner out at Heritage and James Moore is in.  As I noted last week, copyright should not be a top priority issue (notwithstanding the campaign commitment to re-introduce legislation) given the bigger […]

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October 30, 2008 9 comments News