Telecommunications

Telecommunications policy

CRTC wireless code: Canadians still charged fees to unlock own devices

The CRTC has issued a new wireless code. Much of the talk is about contracts, which weren't what concerned me, but there are also details about non-owner device locks.

Devices must be able to be unlocked, but a fee is still allowed. I know that Fido previously offered unlocking at a $50, which meant that when we travelled to Europe before I got my new Nexus 4 that we purchased an additional $40 unlocked flip-phone rather than unlocking a phone I already owned.

Canadians rally for day of action against Bill C-11 (Internet Lockdown)

Press release below. See for more details.


For Immediate Release

Canadians rally for day of action against Bill C-11 (Internet Lockdown)

Public Outcry Heats up Against Legislation that threatens Internet Freedom

February 10, 2012 – Today, public outcry will grow to new proportions for what many are calling “the Internet Lockdown”. People across Canada plan to come together online and offline to rally against Bill C-11, known as the Copyright Modernization Act.

The Canadian public outcry comes in the wake of the fervor surrounding SOPA—a hotly contested copyright bill that millions of Americans and make websites like Wikipedia and reddit successfully came together to defeat.

Is Bill C-11 related to SOPA/PIPA?

Probably the claim you will read most often in recent weeks from my friendly archvillain Jason J Kee on his twitter feed is that, There is NO COMPARISON b/t #C11 & SOPA. While he is playing with words when he makes this claim, I think it is useful to discuss the narrow way in which he is correct as well as the ways he is trying to distract people from the similarities.

Players or pawns: Big Copyright's war on technology?

One of Canada's best technology journalists, Jesse Brown, interviewed Techdirt.com editor Mike Masnick on the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act. While I agree with most of the discussion, I want to challenge some of the conclusions made at the end of the interview. It was discussed how "big copyright" had a history of lobbying, while tech firms were part of a start-up culture and until recently didn't play that game. This was behind why "big copyright" has been so successful at pushing forward laws which break some of the best features of modern technology, while at the same time not helping copyright holders.

This is based on the idea that there is only one tech sector involved, and that "big copyright" are in control of this game rather than being pawns of a more powerful player.

Re: CRTC 2011-344: Fact-finding exercise on the over-the-top programming services

I am making an informal submission to the CRTC as part of their so-called "Fact-finding exercise on the over-the-top programming services in the Canadian broadcasting system". I authored on Google Docs (Document URL, HTML version).

The general message is a repeat of ones I have made elsewhere: With digital convergence we need to modernize regulation towards treating all services built on top of the raw data networks fairly. I discussed what I felt were the correct and incorrect scenarios to apply CANCON related regulations and cross-subsidies. I also discussed the need to mandate vendor neutral interoperable communications standards.

Included below is an HTML version of the submission

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.

Heritage committee to study vertical integration

The minutes of the Heritage Committee meeting of Thursday, October 21, 2010 includes the tabling/debate and approval of the following motion tabled by Charlie Angus:

That given the dramatic ownership changes in the private television sector and the increasing move towards digital, mobile and next-generation viewing platforms that the Heritage committee examine: 1) the implications of increasing vertical integration between large content providers and ISP-mobile phone carriers; 2) the role and viability of small and independant television broadcasters; 3) the role of the CBC in an increasingly changed media viewing landscape; 4) the role of the CRTC in ensuring diversity of voices in a changing media landscape and; 5) the role of the Canada Media Fund and other funding mechanisms in ensuring the success of new programming on next generation media platforms.

I believe the committee must become aware of real-world "technical measures" alleged to protect copyright, which are in fact a less understood form of vertical integration.

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 TWIT.tv, 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 TWIT.tv 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.

CRTC’s online consultation on television services.

The CRTC has launched a television.askingcanadians.com site.

Note: They are using the Disqus commenting system, so my comments show up at http://disqus.com/russellmcormond/.

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