Competition / anti-trust issues.

If Software Companies Ran the Country (1987)

I was recently pointed to this essay from Whole Earth Review #57 (Winter 1987) by Jay Kinney. I think it is useful for people to go back 20 years to realize that many of the things we are now debating are not new problems, but predicted before they happened. This was written 2 years after the founding of the Free Software Foundation, long before the nastiness of the backward-facing 1995 USA NII, 1996 WIPO treaties, or the 1998 USA DMCA.

Why "pirating" Windows hurts Linux more than it hurts Microsoft..

While I have written about this topic in the past, I never wrote something as extensive as Dave Gutteridge on the topic The impact of pirated software on free software.

In addition to the points made in his article, I would want to add two important details. The first is that Microsoft has already admitted that they consider infringement of their software to be a benefit to them. (See: Microsoft's Jeff Raikes says : If you must pirate, use counterfeit Windows)

Ongoing debate about the proposed levy on audio devices by CPCC.

The Globe and Mail has an article discussing the levy on audio devices such as portable music players, cell phones, and eventually any digital device capable of storing and/or outputting audio.

The music industry won the right to charge small levies on blank CDs and DVDs in the 1990s, arguing that those products were used primarily to copy music and therefore artists deserved a slice of the sales. But the debate over iPods and digital music players is messier, and Canadian laws are partly to blame for muddying things.

While the bureaucrats put "clarifying and simplifying the Act" as the lowest priority in their Section 92 review of the Copyright Act, it should be clear that this should have been the first priority and a key test for all other revisions. Unfortunately the Liberal C-60 went in the opposite direction making things even more complex and impossible to interpret.

Consumers Denied Right to Sue

Drew Wilson of Slyck News has a good summary of the recent supreme court decision denying consumers the right to sue. See also: PIAC press release, and CIPPIC press release (PDF)

Should you be concerned about the sale of CHUM Limited to CTVglobemedia Inc.?

An article in The Straight by Charlie Smith talks about many of the issues with the possible sale of CHUM Limited to CTVglobemedia.

Commissioner of Competition Comments on Government's Decision to Deregulate Local Telecommunications Sector

A number of press releases today about the de-regulation of the local phone market. I suspect this will be harmful for competition and consumers as de-regulating a market that is dominated by monopolies tends to allow those monopolies to exert worse market influence.

The following press release indicates that the Competition Bureau will at least be following this closely.

Parliamentary Press Gallery shuts down blogger?

An interesting article by blogger Stephen Taylor (Who calls himself a "Conservative Party of Canada Pundit") about a recent event on parliament hill where the legacy media outlets seem to have abused security to have this blogger removed.

If security on the Hill is the responsibility of the Speaker, and if I have been granted access to most non-privileged areas of the Hill by the Speaker, what authority does an official of the PPG have in calling in the guard to have me removed from perhaps the most public area of the Hill?

I'm a Green, Hedy Fry is Blue, Nickie is a Space Cadet, lets hang out in the Tiki Bar

(Also carried by p2pnet)
There have been a number of ideas that have been bumping around my head the past few weeks that need to be pushed out onto this BLOG after listening to This Week in Tech Episode #92. The episode was about user generated content, which included the Vancouver based hosts of the Tiki Bar. What they were talking about reminded me of my recent meeting with the Honourable Hedy Fry, the Member of Parliament for Vancouver Center.

Canadian broadcasting community seeks greater regulation of (non-Broadcast) new media.

Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the growing push from the Canadian broadcasting community to revisit the CRTC's 1999 New Media decision, in which Canada's broadcasting regulator took a hands-off approach to the Internet. The support for greater regulation is often couched in Canadian content terms, but he argues that the current changes have the potential to dramatically alter Canadian content production from one mandated by government regulation to one mandated by market survival.

Maybe Google Wanted to be Sued: YouTube and Plan B

I want to draw attention to an interesting BLOG article by Michi Kono that talks about how Google knew that the lawsuits against YouTube, and likely bought them to ensure that it was Google defending YouTube and not the smaller YouTube defending YouTube.

There are critical questions of law that will be decided in this case, and anyone who cares about the future of the Internet for Peer Production and user generated content should be thankful that it is Google that is taking this on.

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