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 Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has just released the first results of their investigation into online privacy policies, as part of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network Internet Privacy Sweep, whatever the hell that is. The OPC found some interesting stuff. As they say in their blog post, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Major Canadian corporations with crappy privacy policies? Well obviously they need to hire a decent internet lawyer. (call me!)
Not in the cards. For now.
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.
So earlier this week Bell announced that it would stop its practice of throttling (or to use the telecom euphemism, Internet Traffic Management Practices, ITMPs) of their customers using peer to peer software starting March 1, 2012. This has been seen as a victory for the consumer and the open internet. That’s bullshit. After the jump I’ll explain why.
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
There was a big win today for the open, free internet we’ve come to know and love. The United States Senate rejected a law that would have overturned the net neutrality rules established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year. The vote was completely along party lines, with all the Democrats voting to reject, so that should tell you what side of this debate you should be on.
Now, I’m supposed to be talking about internet law in Canada around here, so after the jump I’ll figure out some way to bring this all back home.