Unedited (except for space) comments to PN 2002-38, Sept. 13/02, submitted by iCraveTV.com Inc. founder William Craig.I was the founder, principal executive and part owner of ICraveTV.com. This is my personal reply to your request for comments on Internet retransmission and not those of anyone else. ICraveTV from December 1999 to February of 2000 retransmitted some 16 over the air TV stations from it’s headend in Richmond Hill, Ontario. All signals were freely available VHF and UHF television stations from the Toronto area. Six signals were from the US and 10 were licenced by the CRTC. We had budgeted to pay copyright fees to the Canadian Copyright Board as a percentage of revenues as required under the Copyright Act for redistribution to appropriate rights holders. The television stations were streamed live in their entirety onto the Internet at no charge to viewers after a user selected a specific channel. Only users who reported a Canadian postal code and agreed to conditions that they were located in Canada were allowed access to the site. ICraveTV sold banner advertising on the opening TV guide page and below the TV picture of the streaming player. This retransmission of television broadcasting stations to Canadians within Canadian law, met with wide acceptance by the public but consternation principally by the U.S. program suppliers. The US suppliers were correctly concerned that their programs were being distributed to US homes that fraudulently entered ICraveTV’s site. The MPPA and other US program suppliers apparently contacted Canadian broadcasters to help frustrate iCraveTV’s ability to operate. Most of the stations carried by ICraveTV were Canadian. The irony here is that ICraveTV principally agreed with all parties on retransmission. We wanted a service for Canada only and acted accordingly within the technical capability of the Internet at the time. We wanted to pay appropriate copyright fees to compensate rights holders. We wanted to pay through the Canadian copyright board as do the cable and DBS industries. The program suppliers wanted us to negotiate with each of them separately or collectively on their terms. But after threatened and actual legal action by the MPPA et al, ICraveTV, in an agreement with about 12 broadcasters and program suppliers, decided to cease operation until such time as someone else is clear to operate. The chase by the legal hounds was too exhausting... There are techniques to isolate retransmission to specific territories ranging from viewer address qualifying techniques to physical ISP isolation to credit card qualifying approaches. All have varying degrees of reliability. Any system is breachable with enough effort which a most would not go to. It is a matter of striking an economic balance. We don’t need a regulatory Fort Knox, just reasonable levels of territory protection. Waiting solely for the programmers in an open market to strike that balance is to see no true development. The Internet is stuck in a quagmire of rights issues, especially in the US. When you ask for Internet rights they can not typically be given because the writers, producers, musicians, performers, directors and broadcasters are all arguing over who has the affirmative Internet rights. It’s a mess. Remember, copyright holders have historically fought changes to distribution; which is understandable because they are very cautious about their hard work and its product. Live musicians opposed phonograph records; television broadcasters opposed cable television; movie companies opposed pay-tv; movie companies opposed in home VHS recording. Today these objectors are major beneficiaries of the very technological innovations they opposed. This is also the case with Internet retransmission. Rights holders will get over change created by the Internet, make sure their rights are protected as best they can and then become major beneficiaries of Internet retransmission. The World Wide Web was conceived as being borderless and is at odds with rights holders who are used to a 70-mile radius of a TV transmitter. Cable services are confined to their respective licenced territories that are clearly within Canada. Satellite transmission while not very precise are designed to service full or regions of a specific nation. Indeed, the CRTC’s mandate is not intended to extend beyond Canada’s boundaries. But classic World Wide Web Internet services can easily transmit all over the globe unfettered. Like shortwave radio stations and border broadcasters, do Internet transmissions from Canada that "waft" unintentionally into other countries become a concern? Apparently the ICraveTV experience says that the US program suppliers are most concerned. To assuredly establish copyright territorial protection to allow for greater rights flexibility, the CRTC should look at creating a national Country Area Network (CAN) licence that would network together Canadian ISP’s to provide video and audio retransmission and specialty channels to computers confined to Canada. A CAN licence would have wider reach than LAN’s (Local Area Network) which are clearly unlicensed local Internet transmission but would be less extensive than the World Wide Web. Does it make sense to create such a class of licence for retransmission on the Internet where the CRTC would approve signal carriage and insure the site is focused on Canadian needs? If such CRTC "permission" were granted, then all parties could participate (including US interests) in the regulatory conditions. Balances could be struck in the licensing process so that the Canadian public could be brought the considerable benefits of CAN Internet services that would be more assuredly confined to Canada. The whole issue of protecting The United States of America from a Canadian service could also be sensibly addressed.