The Rogers astroturf lobby campaign
against a spectrum set-aside, which sneakily
uses people interested in a notification on when LTE may be available in their market, foreshadows a major battle over the rules on the 2012 spectrum auction. Much like the 2007 battle over the AWS auction, the incumbents will argue that the market is already sufficiently competitive and that any set-aside will unfairly advantage new entrants. The 2007 battle included submissions from Rogers and Bell
that insisted that Canada was already “extremely competitive” and that consumer prices for wireless services very low. For example, Rogers argued
Canadian consumers are very satisfied with their choice of Canadian providers, pricing plans and technology options. Consumers are the first to object in the face of poor competition among service providers, yet surveys indicate the exact opposite sentiment.
The company added that “contrary to many statistics that are used and quoted irresponsibly, Canadian consumers fair very well when compared to other countries. Canadian carriers offer
some of the most competitive rates in the world.”
The government rightly rejected the incumbent arguments and established a set-aside that led to new entrants such as Wind Mobile and Mobilicity.
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The copyright lobby's BalancedCopyrightforCanada.ca astroturfing site has added a new mandatory requirement for all users that want to participate in the Take Action items. According to a site user, the site now requires users to send a form letter to their relevant Member of Parliament. There are two letter options – one letter for entertainment industry employees and one general letter.
Surprisingly for a site claiming to support creativity and copyright, the letters do not provide users with the opportunity to even use their own words – the form letter cannot be edited. This is particularly striking given the earlier criticism from some of the same groups on a CCER form letter service that offered users complete control over the substance of their letter and merely served as a delivery channel. Notably, the site has already been subject to gaming from non-Canadians as a random search of members turned up at least one U.S. based record company executive with Warner Music.
The site user reports that the site briefly offered a third form letter for consumers. That letter has apparently been removed, perhaps because it adopted positions expressly opposed by Canadian creator groups. While the site purports to protect creator rights, the letter supported format shifting without levies (opposed by groups such as ACTRA) and educational reforms to fair dealing (opposed by writers groups). The consumer letter included the following:
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