Having discussed the format shifting exception, this series now turns its attention to the time shifting provision (Section 29.23). It should be noted that the legalization of recording television shows is long overdue – I argued for it last year and Canada is more than 25 years behind the United […]
Post Tagged with: "Broadcast Flag"
Engadget reports that some Canadian cable providers, particularly Rogers and Shaw, are activating the broadcast flag onto a questionable amount of content. The site says that "users who are trying to record said programming via their own Windows Vista Media Center setup are receiving all sorts of errors and messages […]
My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) uses the recent French Parliament law involving interoperability and Apple's DRM as the basis for a discussion of governments that tinker with technology through regulation. The law should be understood as a logical reaction to mounting consumer frustration with technological limitations on their purchases and a desire for balance in copyright.
Although the French law may appear to be unique, many governments regularly tinker with technology through regulation. For example, the Liberal government last year introduced "lawful access" legislation that would have required Internet service providers to dramatically overhaul their networks by inserting new surveillance technologies. Similarly, the U.S. established "broadcast flag" requirements that would have mandated the inclusion of copy-controls within a wide range of electronic devices (a court struck the requirements down as unconstitutional).
Moreover, experience demonstrates that the private sector may not respond to consumer demands to offer compatible products. The satellite radio market provides a recent example, with the two major providers – XM and Sirius – steadfastly refusing to offer a device that supports both services despite the fact that they have jointly developed just such a product.
With government intervention looming as a possibility and the private market unlikely to resolve compatibility concerns, what principles should regulators adopt to provide all stakeholders with greater certainty about the appropriate circumstances for lawmakers to tinker with technology?
Professor Geist's latest Toronto Star Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, HTML backup article, homepage version) assesses recent comments from an Industry Canada official that Canada is likely to move quickly to import the broadcast flag by July 2005. The column argues that it is essential that Canada craft its […]