Canadian Law

Parliament May Be On Break….

But your local Member of Parliament‘s office should still be available to receive letters and emails in regards to the digital locks provisions in Bill C-11 and Lawful Access until Parliament resumes in late January.

Over 80 thousand Canadians signed the OpenMedia.ca petition against Lawful Access, including yours truly.

Please consider signing this petition. Thank you.

Cloud Computing & The Patriot Act

It appears that some non-American cloud services are warning people to avoid US based cloud services because of the Patriot Act.

According to Politico.com, some companies have been claiming that this anti-terrorist legislation may enable the US government to access data stored on U.S. cloud computing providers like Google and Microsoft. And this is hindering the adoption of these services in some countries.

click here for the article

It Makes You Think, Again !

It appears that the pending lists affair is not over.

In January 2011, the major labels in Canada had settled a class action lawsuit against them for the unauthorized use and distribution of recordings, as well as unpaid mechanical and video royalties.

EMI Music Canada Inc., Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. had later in May 2011 agreed to pay approximately $50.2 Million dollars to songwriters and music publishers that had not been compensated the use of their works in certain compilations and live recordings.

Well, Universal Music Group and Universal Music Canada is now suing the National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, their insurer, for their share of the settlement and other related expenses in the Supreme Court of the State of California in Los Angeles.

According to their November 8th, 2011 complaint found on HollywoodReporter.com, Universal Music Group had paid $14.4 million in damages and approximately $1.06 million in attorney fees and costs.

CRTC Rules Against Caps

The CRTC has ruled against the capping of wholesale bandwidth.

Under the CRTC’s new capacity-based approach, large telephone and cable companies will sell wholesale bandwidth to independent ISPs on a monthly basis. Independent ISPs will have to determine in advance the amount they need to serve their retail customers and then manage network capacity until they are able to purchase more. Alternatively, large companies can continue to charge independent ISPs a flat monthly fee for wholesale access, regardless of how much bandwidth their customers use. Both billing options give independent ISPs the ability to design service plans and charge their own customers as they see fit.

The CRTC has decided there should be two wholesale pricing models, neither of which include “provisions that would require independent ISPs to impose bandwidth caps on their retail customers“.

The first is a “Capacity-based model”, would contain a monthly access rate for each of the independent ISP’s retail customers, a monthly capacity charge, offered in increments of 100 megabits per second, and any applicable ancillary charges, such a monthly interface charge and associated service charges.

The second is the existing “Flat-rate model”, would of course contain a monthly access rate for each of the independent ISP’s retail customers, and any applicable ancillary charges, such a monthly interface charge and associated service charges.

Astral To Launch Online Service In December

Astral Radio will be launching a online music service in December, which will be followed by a mobile compatible service in January.

The bilingual on demand streaming music and music video service will feature major and independent recordings and will be compatible with the major social media sites.

Additional information on this service can be found on this press release.

Bill C-11 Debate Scheduled For Today

Bill C-11 is scheduled to be debated in the House Of Commons today, apparently under time restraints according to the Projected Order Of Business.

Hopefully the questions on the technological protection measures will be blunt and to the point :

  • In what manner are artists and copyright owners harmed by private copying from copy protected works ? And why does this harm not exist in private copying from works that are not copy protected ?
  • In what manner are film makers harmed by the private viewing of legally purchased films that failed to be distributed in Canada ? And does the sale of this material to Canadians by legitimate retailers and distributors not imply consent to their private use by Canadians ?

The Private Copying section of our Copyright Act distinguished private use from piracy and in my opinion the technical protection measures provisions in Bill C-11 are a step back.