Do you like your internet service? You probably don’t. But the CRTC is going through a massive process to find out the answer. Yesterday they dropped the mic with the results of a huge study of Canadians’ opinions about their internet services. Let’s dive in!
The CRTC (admittedly not the government per se) is accepting public consultations, via internet! Since my readers evidently use the internet, and most likely are beholden to some evil Bell or Rogers contract, they may be interested in this. Here’s the background from the CRTC:
The CRTC decided to develop a mandatory Wireless Code to help consumers make informed choices about wireless services. Once completed, the Wireless Code will provide a clear and consistent list of terms and conditions that wireless companies will need to include in their contracts.
So what they’ve done, in the throes of their new consumer-friendly ‘tude, is to to develop a spiffy new website (well, not really spiffy, kinda boring actually) so that you can give them your opinion about wireless contracts. They may even listen! So go tell them your contract sucks.
Good news for a Friday! Well, unless you’re a fan of media conglomeration I guess. The CRTC has flat out rejected Bell’s request for approval of their planned buyout of Astral. Not hemming and hawing like they usually do, but just stone-cold giving Bell the finger. But Bell won’t take this decision lying down, they’ve got plans! Evil, nefarious plans!
THE FUTURE IS BEING DECIDED THIS WEEK, PEOPLE!!! Ok, that’s a bit hyperbolic, as is my habit. But the CRTC hearings on the Bell purchase of Astral Media that are happening this week in Montreal are extremely important for the future of broadcasting in this country. And more importantly for me, they will undoubtedly have a massive impact on the internet for computers. Let’s break down the hearings with the handy FAQ format that all the kids love.
Well hello there. We’ve come to I guess what would be part 3 of my coverage of the pentalogy of Supreme Court cases on copyright. It will most likely be the final post, as the other two cases deal with non-internet stuff (education and movies, yawn) so really, who gives a crap? But Rogers v. SOCAN is chock full of plump internet juiciness, so let’s dive in!
In all the hubbub over the SOPA/PIPA protest last week, we missed a story that dropped Friday that is pretty important. Turns out that Rogers is throttling. Big surprise! And the CRTC does not like it one bit. Deets after the jump.
This week at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) is a HUGE one for copyright, and by extension for internet law. Today and tomorrow, appeals are being heard in five cases that will shape copyright law for years to come. Or until C-11 gets passed and that mess makes it to the Court. ANYWAY, Geist has a basic summary for you about some of the issues that are being heard. Here’s another one. And another. Sure, one more.
The big cases for the internet are SOCAN v. Bell, where the Court will decide if iTunes snippets for preview are fair dealing or not, and if they aren’t they then would be subject to a tariff (payment to the artist). There’s also Rogers v. SOCAN about streaming music and whether it’s “communications to the public” under the Copyright Act (which is important because it would then be protected as copyright in that stream, and subject to royalty payments). Finally, ESAC v. SOCAN (sensing a trend here?) will decide if music in video games downloaded over the internet should be subject to, you guessed it, royalty payments. (The other two cases are about copying works for use in the classroom and remuneration for music in movies and TV. Yawn.)
These are such an important two days in the copyright and internet law world I thought about live blogging the hearings. But I’m not insane (well…). You can watch the hearings here. Yay for an open Supreme Court! But dammit they need some onscreen graphics or something. Even I’m kind of clueless as to who’s who, or even what case is being heard.
UPDATE – good Tweeters to follow along the hearings: Geist, Hayes, Glick, me. #SCCcopyrightpentalogy
Allen Mendelsohn is me. I am a lawyer specializing in internet law working out of Montreal, though sometimes I do it in front of the U.S. Capitol. That should tell you what you need to know about internet law in Canada. I also warp young legal minds at the Faculty of Law at McGill.