Earlier this week, Denis McGrath noted that Internet users should be remember that the same Canadian creator groups being criticized over the new media hearing, will be supportive of arguments for net neutrality. Several submissions to the CRTC's net neutrality proceeding from leading creator groups such as CFTPA, DOC, Canadian Conference of the Arts, and the CBC confirm their support for net neutrality and emphasize the importance of P2P as a distribution technology. For example, the CFTPA says:
while P2P applications are undeniably used for the distribution of unauthorized content (as are email, newsgroups and the web), they also are increasingly serving as the foundation for new business models that will enable independent producers to make full use of broadband as a delivery vehicle for Canadian audio-visual programming. Consequently, the CFTPA is concerned that discriminatory traffic throttling may inhibit the development of new applications that would facilitate the ability of independent producers and other content providers to better monetize their content – whether self-distributed, distributfinds its way onto the Internet.
It therefore submits that the CRTC "require as a condition of service that ISPs refrain from employing any traffic management practice that discriminates on the basis of application or protocol."
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The CRTC opened the new media hearings today with considerable media coverage and live blogging from the Globe and Mail. Today's discussion cut directly to the most controversial issues – new media regulation and an ISP levy. Interestingly, CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein wasted little time asking the Canadian Conference of the Arts why it emphasized the link between new media regulation and net neutrality, indicating that he did not see the relationship.
Throughout the hearings, I'll be teaming up with Carleton professor Ira Wagman to offer up a full summary of the day's events as we'll have students carefully taking notes on all the presentations and discussions. My thanks to Samantha Montreuil for attending today's hearings and compiling the following review of the day's events.
Welcome from Chair Konrad von Finckenstein
In 1999, the CRTC became one of first regulators in the world to examine new media and the question of if and how it should be regulated. Ultimately, the CRTC decided to exempt new media from regulation for three main reasons:
- Licensing and regulation would not help the development of New Media.
- A lack of regulation of new media would not impede the ability of other media forms from fulfilling their duties
- The Commission felt that New Media needed more time to become competitive.
Today, Canadians are one of the populations that spend the most time online. Since new media has developed rapidly within the last 10 years, the CRTC feels that it is time to re-examine the question of regulating broadcasting within new media platforms; these hearings are to examine strictly broadcasting in new media and nothing else. The commission also seeks to examine the question of how to measure content and consumption of new media in order to implement any eventual regulatory measures.
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The CCA puts out two documents (1, 2), which acknowledge that a key driver behind the bill is "unrelenting pressure from the United States and the mass media interests who regard Canadian copyright law as harmful to their economic interests. (This despite the fact that the World Economic Forum rates […]
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