ExpressVu unfairly singled out, TV piracy an industry-wide concern: Bell president

Bell Canada president and COO John Sheridan says the broadcasting industry should stand united in its fight against television signal piracy rather than singling out Bell’s satellite TV unit. The comments come in the wake of recent media reports questioning the security of Bell ExpressVu LP’s encryption system.

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Abolish foreign ownership restrictions in cable industry, cable leaders tell committee

There is still room under existing foreign ownership rules for foreign companies to invest in Canadian cable companies, but the cable industry claims a complete removal of existing rules is needed. That was the message delivered last week in Ottawa by the leaders of Canada’s largest cable companies to the Parliamentary committee reviewing the Canadian broadcasting system. The review is currently focused on media consolidation and restrictions on foreign ownership.

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CNM Update

Canadian Heritage earmarks millions for copyright portals
Canadian Heritage will spend $2.7 million to develop online copyright clearing portals in conjunction with three organizations: Access Copyright (formerly CanCopy), COPIBEC and Alberta-based RightsMarket Inc. The funding will go toward a sophisticated new online system to facilitate access to and use of existing copyrighted works. Access Copyright will receive $962,889, COPIBEC $868,876 and RightsMarket $914,765. The funding is a second round for RightsMarket, which received $787,392 last winter to develop a prototype system for the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (CNM Update, March 13/02). That trial system is now up and running.

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RoW Update

Industry Canada close to finding chair for tower committee
Industry Canada will soon be reviewing candidates to chair the committee that will lead a review of the cell phone tower antenna policy, Report on Wireless has learned. Candidate proposals are flowing into the department, and the government hopes to make its selection and release it publicly before the holidays. Industry minister Allan Rock announced the review at the end of October, which is scheduled to begin early next year with the release of a consultation document (RoW Update, Nov. 4/02).
Earl Hoeg, acting senior director of spectrum management operations at Industry Canada, tells Report on Wireless that the department should be in a position to issue a contract for the chair before the holidays.
Some industry observers have suggested that Rock’s announcement was simply to curry favour among the Canadian public for his run at the leadership of the federal Liberal party. But the current policy dates back to 1995 and it is time to review the seven-year-old policy, Hoeg states. He explains that like any other organization, the department is looking at ways to improve its way of doing things.
"Certainly there have been changes in the way we do licensing. We’ve moved more towards spectrum licensing with the auctions and that type of licensing regime is not all that well articulated in that procedure," he says.

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NL People

John A. MacDonald is the new president/COO of AT&T Canada Corp. He has served as president/CEO of NBTel, president/COO of Bell Canada and president/CEO of Leitch Technology Corp. The Cape Breton native succeeds Harry Truderung.

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NL Short Takes

Radwanski blasts government’s lawful access proposals
George Radwanski, the privacy commissioner of Canada, sent a letter to three Cabinet ministers attacking the government’s lawful access proposals (NL, Sept. 23/02). He said the monitoring of private communications "is a highly intrusive activity that strikes at the heart of the right to privacy."

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