Canadian Law

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.

Associations Against Digital Locks

Here is a short list of Canadian groups that are against the technological protection measure provisions in Bill C-11 :

All of the parties in opposition in Parliament had voiced concerns about these provisions on November 2nd, 2010.

Lawful Access = Higher Internet Fees

There’s no way around it. Lawful access will be costly to consumers in Canada.

The internet providers do not have the necessary technology and manpower to give law enforcement in Canada real time access to internet communications, especially the smaller internet providers. And these extra expenditures will be passed on to Canadians.

We are talking about technology used to distinguish criminal activity from normal internet traffic and according to Statistic Canada‘s Canadian Internet Use Survey, 79% of Canadian households accessed the internet in 2010.

The task is not only overwhelming but could possibly be open to abuse and security breaches.

After all, we are talking about individual internet providers here, some of which use different technologies to secure their networks. And I’m sure there are plenty of identity thieves that would love to access the weaker of these networks, some of which are probably tied to the criminal organizations our law enforcement is trying to expose with this legislation.

The 2011 Canadians and Privacy Survey conducted by Harris/Decima for The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada found that 8 out of 10 Canadians opposed this legislation because of numerous concerns about privacy and security. And in 2009, Statistics Canada found that 48% of Canadian consumers were concerned about credit card purchases online.

Is this really the time to make consumers nervous about security and privacy online ?

CRTC Will Not Regulate Online Film Rentals

The CRTC will not regulate online film rental companies and broadcasters.

These online broadcaster will not be forced to subsidize Canadian TV content, the CRTC having found no evidence that their activities hurt conventional broadcasters.