Controversial Bill C-48, amended by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to include an express Internet carve-out, passed third reading yesterday in the House of Commons (CNM Special Update, June 18/02). The Senate won’t approve the bill until this fall when Royal Assent will make the legislation official. Parliamentarians amended the bill to specifically prevent Internet companies that take advantage of the CRTC’s new media exemption order from benefiting from a compulsory licence to retransmit over-the-air programming via the Internet subject only to a tariff. Section 31 of the Copyright Act will stand as is until Royal Assent is given, meaning the same grey area in the law that JumpTV.com Canada Inc. and iCraveTV.com identified as a loophole to begin retransmitting signals on their web sites remains for the time being. There is no indication that Jump intends to do so, however. The possibility remains that JumpTV will ask the CRTC for a broadcast licence outside of the exemption order, something not dealt with by the new legislation (CNM, June 14/02). Canadian NEW MEDIA will have more details in its next issue.
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