Competition / anti-trust issues.

Sent input on updated IPEG to Competition Bureau

I made a submission to the competition bureau as part of their request for input. This was based on a submission I had made in 2003, updated to reflect new issues in the last decade including the passage of the C-11 Copyright bill.

C-11's "technological measures" components are presumed to protect encrypted media, which is better understood in a competition rather than a copyright sense. While there is no credible evidence that these measures help reduce copyright infringement, there is considerable evidence that they are being abused to manipulate separate markets as well as harm competitors in the same market.

I'm of two minds on CRTC mandatory carriage hearings

As I read The Wire Report and Michael Geist's blog reporting on the CRTC's mandatory distribution hearings, I am of two minds.

On one hand I've intervened in front of the CRTC in the past to state that I believe that broadcasters have to choose between mandatory carriage and fee for carriage, with the CRTC never granting both. The only channels that should be mandatory on BDU's (cable, satellite) are those which have no carriage fees. The CRTC may mandate that the channels be offered in an a-la-carte fashion, but never part of the basic package.

On the other hand, I think increasing the price to the point that more people disconnect from BDU's can only be a good thing in the long run.

Not so special 301 report

The yearly joke from the USTR of their so-called "Special 301 report" came out yesterday. Not surprisingly, they kept Canada on their Priority Watch List in order to keep up their special interest lobbying efforts.

Does this mean Canada is a "piracy haven"? Not in the slightest.

It only means that the USTR continues to echo the unfounded lobbying rhetoric from the IIPA which isn't as interested in promoting the rights and interests of creators and innovators as they are protecting their members from legitimate competition.

My impressions of the DyscultureD Canadian audio blog

I am a big fan of audio blogs. Some people call them Podcasts because Apple iPod users seem to claim responsibility for making them popular. Leo Laporte over at, a large audio/video blogging network with a long history in broadcasting, tried to convince people to call them Netcasts as they were simply broadcasting over the Internet. While I'm a listener to a few shows, and a few other non-Canadian shows, I have always been looking for Canadian shows that cover some of the technology and political stories from the uniquely Canadian perspective.

IIPA would rather people "pirate" than switch to legal competitors

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) tipped their hand a bit in this years submission to the “Special 301" report process. While they again attacked Canada for having strong copyright law that is different than the USA, the most telling was their opposition to policies encouraging legally free of charge Open Source in their submissions for Brazil, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Encouraging legally free software is by far the best policy instrument to reduce software copyright infringement for the less financially rich countries and individuals of the world. For the vast majority of the worlds population the only viable options are to infringe royalty-based software or switch to royalty-free alternatives. The fact the IIPA is encouraging countries to have policies which increase infringement rather than have people switch to competing software is telling about their actual goals.

This is consistent with what past Microsoft business group president Jeff Raikes previously stated, "If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else".

CRTC’s online consultation on television services.

The CRTC has launched a site.

Note: They are using the Disqus commenting system, so my comments show up at

My submission to the CRTC Re: Local TV Matters

I took the form at as well as the CRTC form and sent the following intervention. The topic was the connections between convergence and the future of television, including local television. (See also: Michael Geist)

CRTC claims transparency sufficient in an anti-competative marketplace

A CRTC press release from the CRTC seems to indicate that they didn't understand the traffic management issue before them. While they separate retail and wholesale in name, they don't in policy. They did not separate the phone and cable companies which see the Internet as a competative threat to their legacy services from the ISPs who seek to offer Internet services.

Copyright Consultation: Strange bedfellows and the not so Special 301 report

There are now only 4 days left to make your voice heard in the 2009 copyright consultation.

I was about to write about the policy and statistical laundering which can be seen with not only the 1996 WIPO treaties but also the Special 301 report. This is a report which special interest groups have managed to convince the United States government to abuse to pressure other countries into making radical backward-facing changes to their Copyright law.

I then read an article about a statement by Bell Canada about policy which I agreed with. Given I disagree with the phone and cable companies on most things, it is pretty special for me to find an area where I agree.

>> Read full article on the IT World Canada blog.

Google Inc. Terminates Advertising Agreement with Yahoo! Inc. in Canada

Read full press release from the Competition Bureau:

Yahoo! Inc. and Google Inc. have confirmed that they are abandoning a proposed search advertising agreement in Canada, resolving any potential Competition Bureau concerns about the impact of this proposed deal on Internet search advertising in Canada.

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