Competition / anti-trust issues.

Geist: The Internet on Cable becomes the Internet as Cable

Michael Geist's weekly technology law column (Homepage version, Ottawa Citizen version) focuses on how what was once characterized as the Internet on cable is fast becoming the "the Internet as Cable" as broadcasters, Internet service providers, and cultural groups steadily move toward the delivery of content online that bears a striking resemblance to the conventional cable model.

How Big Media's Copyright Campaigns Threaten Internet Free Expression

Cory Doctorow's latest InformationWeek column describes why artists should be less alarmed by piracy and more alarmed by copyright enforcement systems that raise the cost of publication to the advantage of the established players and the detriment of new companies that might offer a better deal. Forget the iPhone, unlock everything!

Mike Elgan writes in ITBusiness about the economic and other harm caused by phones being locked against the interests of their owners. In this case this is an anti-competitive lock to a specific phone provider, and is above the two inappropriate locks involved in "DRM".

Apple might be even more of a "control freak" than Microsoft.

An article by Kevin Tolly discusses how the iPhone has suggested that Apple may be more of a control freak than Microsoft. This isn't surprising to anyone who has been a long-time observer of the Industry, as many developers and consumers moved from Apple to Microsoft in the late 80's and early 90's because Microsoft provided the comparatively more open platform.

Competition Bureau Clears Teachers-BCE Transaction

The following is a press release from the Competition Bureau, which is announcing it not be challenging the acquisition of Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. (BCE) by the bidding group composed of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC and Providence Equity Partners Inc.

What I find interesting about this is the same type of thing I find 'interesting' about the investment arm of the Gates Foundation which has been criticized for its lack of ethical investment criteria. (See: LA Times: Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation. Something not noted in this article is that there is evidence that there is direction from the Gates foundation on opposing generic drugs and any other situations where the marginal price of knowledge is allowed to approach the natural marginal cost of zero)

Freelance Work and Organized Labour : PWAC Presents

At the 2007 PWAC National Conference & AGM in Vancouver, PWAC presented the esteemed Dr. Vincent Mosco, Canada Research Chair in Communications and Society as one of our luncheon speakers. Dr. Mosco spoke to the gathered writers about how freelance work and organized labour have begun to come together in North America. (to audio on

IBM to offer derivative free in challenge to Microsoft's line

An article by Steve Lohr of the The New York Times discusses the recent moves by IBM to further embrace as a way to promote the OpenDocument file format standard.

This is an attempt by various vendors to force a market correction to deal with the Microsoft Office monopoly. This is something that governments should be doing by properly including anti-trust/competition policy goals within PCT revision.

Any inroads IBM and its allies make against Microsoft, analysts say, will not come easily. "Three major players--IBM, Google and Sun--are now solidly behind a potential competing standard to Office," said Rob Koplowitz, an analyst at Forrester Research. "But it's a tough road. Office is very entrenched."

This article didn't adequately credit Novell which has also been a major contributor to the codebase.

SCO FUD almost over...

What confused people into thinking that Linux was on loose legal ground is slowly ending with SCO filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware (The inside-US version of the "Cayman Islands" used to hide assets). See Groklaw for ongoing details. This is soon after it was found by a court that Novell, not SCO, owned the copyrights that were the basis of SCO's lawsuits.

Millionaire monopolist Jim Shaw tries to tell us all what TV is worth watching and funding..

Dwight Williams passed me a note alerting me to how Jim Shaw is trying to manipulate the Canadian Television Fund to match his vision of television. See two BLOG articles by Denis McGrath: Jim Shaw: Fatuous Gasbag, Cultural Warrior, The WGC (Writers Guild of Canada) weighs in on Jim Shaw.

Labour day thoughts: tangible/real economy vs "intellectual property" economy

As Canadians celebrate Labour Day tomorrow, I wanted to remind people about an article that Canadian Science fiction author wrote titled How Hollywood, Congress, And DRM Are Beating Up The American Economy, and how it is specifically relevant to this day. As those in the labour movement mourn the ongoing loss of manufacturing jobs it is important for them to realize just what types of policies are at the heart of this change, and Cory does a great job of explaining it.

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