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CNM Update

News | 03/26/2003 5:00 am EST

Bill C-11 now law of the land
Bill C-11, an Act to amend the Copyright Act, came into force March 21 as expected (CNM, March 6/03). The law makes it illegal for companies operating under the CRTC's 1999 New Media Exemption Order to take advantage of compulsory licensing to retransmit over-the-air television signals over the Internet. In a media release announcing the measure, Canadian Heritage minister Sheila Copps is quoted as saying: "Starting today, Canadian broadcasters and producers of Canadian programs can count on the clear provisions in the Copyright Act. In a constantly changing technological environment, the government of Canada has ensured that the Act will contribute to widening Canadians' experience and enhancing their cultural diversity, while offering fair remuneration to creators." With the bill now law, companies hoping to set up an Internet alternative to cable or direct-to-home satellite television distribution will either have to negotiate with broadcasters to carry their signals, or seek a licence from the CRTC to operate as broadcast distribution undertakings.

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