Culture

Whether free culture allowing all citizens to fully participate, or centrally owned/communicated/controlled culture, at the root of much of the debates are very different ideas on cultural policy.

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.

Next steps for the art resale right?

The first amendment moved during clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-11 was an NDP amendment to introduce resale rights (See March 12 minutes for exact wording). This is a policy that the Liberal party has supported in the past. The chair ruled the amendment inadmissible as it was a new concept that is beyond the scope of Bill C-11.

Before proponents of the resale right take that as a failure, the process needs to be looked at more closely. This is also a good time to more publicly discuss the policy being proposed. Multiple bills on the same topic are not admissible within the same session of parliament. When the chair ruled the amendment inadmissible, he was effectively also ruling that tabling that policy as a private members bill would be admissible within this session.

Would an art resale right be good policy?

Theme emerging at the C-11 legislative committee

I have noticed a theme emerging at the C-11 committee.  Copyright law impacts other areas of policy, including cultural policy and with the type of Paracopyright policy in C-11 we see impacts on property, contract, eComerce and other areas of (primarily provincial) law.

While the governing Conservatives have the copyright policy right, they have the non-copyright policy wrong.  The official opposition NDP have the non-copyright policy right, but have the copyright policy wrong.   The lonely Liberal is just doing what he can to get a question or comment in from time to time.

Copyright restrictions must make sense for entire term of copyright

One of the other topics that my friendly archvillain Jason J Kee and I touched on via twitter on Friday was the term of copyright.

I remembered that when he was in front of the C-32 committee he claimed that the format shifting aspects of C-32 (Now C-11) didn't apply to video games. He started to make similar claims in our discussion, started by the claim that "by definition, software is never platform neutral", and later that there is "no reasonable consumer expectation to format shift games".

If you only consider the few months after a video game is released, when the most money is currently made by the game developer, Jason's suggestions my appear reasonable. Games tend to push the limits of the hardware they are designed for, and thus are tied to that hardware for the time when those limits still apply.

Unfortunately, the government granted monopoly of copyright last far more than a few months or a few years.

A short lived celebration

I celebrated Public Domain Day by sending a letter to my MP (David McGuinty in Ottawa South) and Senators for Ontario and Ottawa to highlight the public domain and the separate problems of Paracopyright.

Meera Nair wrote an article on how this may be a short lived celebration in that there is a desire as part of Trans-Pacific Partnership to extend the term of copyright from death+50 to death+70 years.

So little, so late: Canada’s Gear and New Media Envy

I was interviewed for an article by Mike Vardy that discusses barriers in Canada to content and technology. While referencing the comparative strength of US and Canadian law (Hint: US is more lax), I also referenced current CANCON rules.

“I think everybody sits around and complains but no one figures out why,” suggests McOrmond, who is based in the nation’s capital. “The problems are coming from inside Canada. We are actively refusing content. CanCon rules should not apply to retail. Why should CanCon rules apply to Netflix but not to WalMart? It’s these silly rules.”

Anti-competition everywhere in Canadian telecom/broadcast sectors.

I'm not a proud Canadian these days. It seems that everywhere I look I see some monopolist trying to wipe out free markets in Canada, and not enough government intervention to protect the market. There are individuals in the current cabinet who appear on the surface to share some ideas, but who are sending mixed messages. I also don't get the impression that there is enough support elsewhere in cabinet, with other parliamentarians and parties, or with the larger bureaucracy who should be working for us.

Rethinking out loud about Margaret Atwood

Earlier this week I listened to (MP3) an interview of Margaret Atwood by Spartan Youth Radio reporter Madeline Lemire. I found I agreed with some of the views of Ms. Atwood. This surprised me because I was aware of some of her views on Copyright, and because of this I had become wilfully ignorant of her work. I did not want to financially support someone I felt was a political opponent.

Read full article on IT World Canada's blog >>

CES and the future of television

I normally don't follow the Consumer Electronics Show, but this year is different. The way in which it is different for me is also part of the story of the show.

I've been watching coverage of the show via the live stream from This Week in Tech. As well as this, I have Rhythmbox (an Audio/Video tool that supports RSS) automatically downloading both the MP3 audio and the Video downloads for their TWiT Live @CES.

Full article on IT World Canada's blog >>>

How local TV could really matter: end of antiquated phone and cable companies

I suspect most Canadians have seen the advertisements from the Local TV Matters campaign from broadcast networks CTV (and the 'A' Channel), CBC, and Global (and Chek News). This includes some of the PSA's and songs they (ironically) make available through YouTube. You may also have seen the material from the Stop the TV Tax campaign brought to you by re-broadcasters (cable/satellite/etc companies) Bell (and Bell Aliant), Cogeco, EastLink, Telus and Rogers.

As a Canadian citizen you may feel stuck in the middle of a battle between massive television networks and massive communications (phone and cable) companies . This fee for carriage debate may turn out to be good news to Canadians in the long run as it may allow us to finally modernize our communications infrastructure.

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

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