Internet Usage Based Billing To Stay

As you may know the CRTC ruled that Internet Usage Billing was fine on Tuesday, provided that a 15% discount be given to the smaller internet providers.

Unfortunately this means that unlimited internet access will likely disappear, as soon as March 2011 in some cases, reducing the customer’s ability to rent High Definition films and concerts online.

Yes, it is possible to change the settings on Netflix to only watch material in Standard Definition, and to only rent films on iTunes in SD. But most people who have invested in HD televisions and the nessesary internet compatible equipment had expected accesibility to the higher quality video and audio formats.

I, for one, am quite content watching DVD quality films and concerts. But even Standard Definition film streams add up so I will likely continue renting films at the local store or from a mailing service, both of which are owned by one of the larger internet providers mentioned in the CRTC ruling.

I just hope that more automated movie dispensers will make their way into Canadian neighbourhoods to drive the price of rentals down because the prices of HD rentals on my cable box are ridiculous. I refuse to pay $7.99 when I can rent it from a store for two dollars less.

As you can tell I am getting quite annoyed with my cable company, especially now that I know they’ll be raising my rates in March. I am serioulsy considering ending my 20 year relationship with them and going for IPTV or OTA television.

Actually “relationship” isn’t really the most apt word to describe it. After all, I had no real choice but to be subjected to their excessive, stock value padding rate hikes until satellite came in, which has its drawbacks as well. But I digress.

I knew unlimited internet wasn’t going to last in Canada as soon as the broadcasters started posting their material online. This distribution is a threat to the television distribution monopolies of this country, who could cry foul and call this downloading illegal prior to this transition.

They had also resisted digital television in Canada via the networks they own, claiming the analog to digital television expendatures were too great. They’ve even managed to delay the transition for some of their stations beyond the August 31st, 2011 deadline set by the CRTC.

Internet usage based billing will be subject to the same consistant hikes we saw in cable and satellite fees, as the monopolies transition from their traditional distribution to an on demand service.

I believe they are raising their cable and satellite fees as quickly as possible to establish high rates to then sell the illusion of savings to the Canadian consumers who are not aware that we are already paying significantly higher than average rates for internet access according to a October 2009 study by the Berkman Center For Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Copyright Reform In Canada

Just thought i’d bump an interesting collection of articles on copyright reform in Canada : From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda

The individual articles found at the above mentioned link are in the PDF format are are downloadable in respect to the Creative Commons Legal Code.

“Money For Nothing” Censored In Canada ?!?

Don’t bother requesting the unabridged version of “Money For Nothing” in Canada, it has been censored.

That’s right, this Dire Straits classic has been banned from the airwaves in Canada because of a decision by the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council that found that because the song included the lyric “faggot” that it violated their Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code.

Appearently a listener had complained after hearing the song on OZ FM, a station based in St. John’s, Newfoundland that broadcasts through-out Newfoundland and Labrador ; On February 1st, 2010.

I find it rather interesting that this chart topping, Grammy Award winning single had aired on radio since late 1985 without a complaint. It took nearly 25 years for someone to be so offended as to result in a complaint.

A music video featuring the unabridged version of this song also aired quite frequently on Much Music and Musique Plus in the 80’s and 90’s.

Also interesting is the fact that Elton John performed this song with Mark Knofler, Sting, Phil Collins and Howard Jones at The Prince’s Trust concert in 1986.

Canadian Labels Settle Lawsuit

Four of the major labels in Canada have 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. have agreed to pay approximately $47.5 Million dollars to songwriters and music publishers that had not been compensated the use of their works in certain compilations and live recordings.

The class action lawsuit alledged that the labels had distributed over 300,000 works without authorization or compensation, fifty of which whose copyright is owned or partly owned by the estate of Chet Baker, the renown jazz trumpet player, arranger and composer.

According to January 10th, 2010 press release, the settlement will be distributed to the plaintiffs via the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), and Société du droit de reproduction des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs au Canada (SODRAC).

What the ?!

I was browsing my email and found a year old email with new information for my Music/Video/Book Download listings, that I completely missed for some reason.

These listings are now updated. And I think i’ll need to do something to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Argh !

There is NO Official Limewire Replacement !

I just read a CAUCE notice that someone is claiming they are an “official” replacement for Limewire in unsolicited commercial emails.

Limewire has issued a statement warning their users that this spam is in no way associated to them, as they have been ordered to cease their operations in October 2010 :

We have very recently become aware of unauthorized applications on the internet purporting to use the LimeWire name. We demand that all persons using the LimeWire software, name, or trademark in order to upload or download copyrighted works in any manner cease and desist from doing so.”