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C-11 heads to Senate, over Conservative objections, after passing third reading in the House of Commons

Media | 06/21/2022 6:15 pm EDT

With the NDP and the Bloc Québécois supporting the Liberals, the House of Commons has adopted Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, at third reading, despite a request by the...

UPDATED: Conservatives reject new C-10 charter statement

Media | 05/13/2021 2:21 pm EDT

The Conservative Party Thursday accused the Liberals of “trying to hide behind a smoke screen,” calling the Justice Minister David Lametti’s new charter statement on Bill C-10, a revision to the Broadcasting Act, nothing more than a letter.   “Although the...

Feds, 4 provinces not looking at COVID-19 phone tracking

telecom | 03/24/2020 12:39 pm EDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the federal government isn’t...

BTLR recs could see U.S. tariff levies under USMCA: Geist

Media | 02/20/2020 11:36 am EST

OTTAWA — Any content levy on internet giants, as the telecom and...

TekSavvy files appeal against site-blocking order

telecom | 11/25/2019 4:19 pm EST

Internet service provider TekSavvy Solutions Inc. has appealed a Federal Court order requiring ISPs to...

‘Competition’ definition key to impact of new CRTC directive: experts

telecom | 02/27/2019 6:08 pm EST

The new policy direction for the CRTC announced by the federal government...

Bell asked gov’t to ban some VPNs: documents

Media | 01/23/2019 4:40 pm EST

BCE Inc. urged the federal government to make virtual private networks (VPNs) used to circumvent copyright illegal, ahead of the renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). VPN services, normally offered at a monthly rate, mask users' real IP...

Utilities, cities clash with telecoms over infrastructure jurisdiction

telecom | 01/15/2019 7:35 pm EST

Electrical utilities and municipalities have arched their backs over...

More consumer groups say they won’t participate in CRTC internet code proceeding

telecom | 11/30/2018 3:59 pm EST

The list of consumer groups that say they won’t take part in the CRTC’s...

Former CRTC commissioners criticize Harnessing Change report

Media | 11/07/2018 7:15 pm EST

TORONTO —  The idea of cross-subsidization of industries did not find...

As CRTC rejects FairPlay, proposal could move to legislative reviews

Media | 10/02/2018 11:20 am EDT

The CRTC has no jurisdiction to implement a system to block websites...

New NAFTA allows Super Bowl simsub ahead of SCC review

Media | 10/01/2018 7:18 pm EDT

The new trade pact forged by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to replace the...

Senators asked to champion net neutrality in comms laws review

Media | 09/18/2018 6:38 pm EDT

OTTAWA -- Lawmakers need to make net neutrality a major priority and...

Big concessions on NAFTA cultural exemption unlikely, experts say

Media | 09/07/2018 2:40 pm EDT

As cultural protection emerges as a last-stretch NAFTA sticking point,...

Court nixing Que. site-blocking ‘helpful’ against FairPlay: advocates

Media | 07/24/2018 5:59 pm EDT

The Quebec Superior Court has ruled against a plan by the Quebec government...

ACTRA backs Music Canada asks on copyright reform

Media | 06/13/2018 5:14 pm EDT

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) asked a parliamentary committee reviewing the Copyright Act to take action on the so-called “value gap,” and seconded a trio of reforms put forward by Music Canada. Both groups appeared in front of...

Experts to ‘find solutions’ in broadcast, telecom review: Joly

Media | 06/05/2018 8:10 pm EDT

OTTAWA — The expert panel appointed by the federal government to...

U.S. trade report blasts Canada on IP, copyright

telecom | 05/02/2018 3:16 pm EDT

An annual report evaluating whether trade partners are implementing favourable policies to the United States — traditionally dismissed by the Canadian government — has sunk Canada’s record on piracy this year because of what...

FairPlay regime ineffective, counter to Telecom Act: opponents

Media | 04/05/2018 4:39 pm EDT

A proposal to implement a website-blocking system to fight piracy has drawn...

Analysts welcome regulatory certainty after WiFi MVNO decision

Media | 03/23/2018 4:12 pm EDT

The CRTC decision Thursday not to mandate roaming for WiFi-first mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) brings predictability for large telecoms, financial analysts said. “At the highest level,...

Equustek case back in B.C. court over internet jurisdiction

Media | 03/12/2018 4:35 pm EDT

A British Columbia court will not delay hearing a challenge brought by Alphabet Inc. against a worldwide search result ban a previous court ordered, in a case that law professor Michael Geist says could have implications for how the courts deal with jurisdiction issues when...

Bell asking employees to support FairPlay at CRTC: report

Media | 02/21/2018 12:53 pm EST

BCE Inc. is allegedly encouraging its employees to submit comments to the...

Canada touts wins on copyright, culture in TPP deal

Media | 01/24/2018 3:17 pm EST

The Canadian government announced Tuesday it has reached an agreement with 10 other countries taking part in the negotiations of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It said it had...

Government needs to move quicker, do more on telecom issues: panel

Media | 11/08/2017 6:13 pm EST

TORONTO — The federal government and the CRTC must pick up the pace and...

Google doesn’t have to comply with SCC order: U.S. court

telecom | 11/03/2017 4:56 pm EDT

Alphabet Inc.’s Google does not have to comply with an order from...

Expand statutory damages to other collectives: copyright groups

Media | 11/01/2017 5:43 pm EDT

Just over a week before Parliament is set to embark on its five-year review...

Bring border privacy issues under NAFTA: Geist

telecom | 10/02/2017 3:23 pm EDT

Because some aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) raise privacy concerns, the...

Bell copyright ask draws criticism, as others point to precedent

telecom | 09/26/2017 6:03 pm EDT

BCE Inc. has said it thinks Canada can tackle piracy by mandating that...

Canada risks U.S.-EU trade conflict on data flows: Geist

telecom | 09/19/2017 3:30 pm EDT

OTTAWA — Canada should be cognizant of a potential multi-jurisdictional...

Copyright rules could hinder AI development: Geist

Media | 08/17/2017 3:13 pm EDT

Canada’s “restrictive” rules around copyright could make it more difficult for those working on artificial intelligence technologies to test and bring them to market, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist said in a document filed to the government’s consultation on its intellectual property strategy. Geist noted that artificial intelligence machines learn by being fed data and then “scanning, reading, listening or viewing human created works.” Restrictive copyright laws might limit the data sets that can be used in this way, he said. “Given the absence of a...

Google turns to U.S. courts over Equustek decision

Media | 07/25/2017 12:58 pm EDT

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is challenging the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) to order...

Civil society groups take aim at Five Eyes on encryption

Media | 06/30/2017 3:51 pm EDT

More than six dozen civil society organizations and individuals have come out to reiterate support for stronger data encryption in a letter addressed to a quintet of the world’s intelligence...

Supreme Court’s Google search ban could have global implications

Media | 06/28/2017 10:07 am EDT

OTTAWA — In a landmark ruling, Canada’s top court dismissed an appeal...

SCC sets Canadian jurisdiction in Facebook privacy case

Media | 06/23/2017 4:50 pm EDT

OTTAWA — Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that British Columbia has...

Privacy improvements in Bill C-59, but some concerns remain: experts

telecom | 06/22/2017 5:16 pm EDT

In their initial impressions of the government’s biggest attempt to reform national security legislation in decades, privacy experts said they have some worries about the...

Appeal court rules ISPs can’t charge for disclosing customer info

Media | 05/11/2017 4:15 pm EDT

The Federal Court of Appeal has granted Voltage Pictures LLC its appeal challenging the costs Rogers Communications Inc. was asking for to disclose customer information in...

Cultural exemptions at risk in NAFTA renegotiations: Nantel

Media | 05/04/2017 8:42 pm EDT

NDP heritage critic Pierre Nantel is raising the alarm that cultural protection could be on the chopping block if a wholesale renegotiation of the country’s trade agreement with the United States and Mexico occurs, and is asking the heritage minister to take a stand. In an opinion piece published in French-language...

NAFTA renegotiation could affect privacy rules on Canadian data: Geist

Media | 03/22/2017 5:24 pm EDT

The upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could include pressure to change rules requiring some information to stay in Canada, University of Ottawa law professor...

Court orders $12.7M in damages in 1st digital lock rules case

Media | 03/08/2017 8:46 pm EST

A Federal Court judge ruled last week that a defendant must pay damages for selling products that allowed users to bypass another company’s technological protections, in the first such ruling in Canada. The case sets a precedent that will have a ripple effect on other industries, including media, according to...

Any CanCon ISP tax should consider ‘economic consequences’: CNOC lawyer

Media | 11/09/2016 10:33 pm EST

TORONTO — The heritage ministry and the CRTC should engage in a more balanced discussion on what to do about taxes in support of cultural content, as both seem to be moving in...

Improve Internet access to help news media, committee hears

Media | 10/06/2016 6:44 pm EDT

OTTAWA — Raising the level of broadband Internet service for Canadians would go far in levelling the playing field for both media producers and consumers, a House of Commons committee...

Court OKs disclosure of customer info in Voltage case

Media | 07/28/2016 10:13 pm EDT

Rogers Communications Inc. must disclose the personal information of a customer accused by Voltage Pictures LLC of violating its copyright, according to a court decision that experts said clarifies the...

Copyright-term extension bill introduced

Media | 06/20/2016 8:59 pm EDT

A private members’ bill introduced on the last day of Parliament’s session seeks to extend the current copyright terms for authors and composers, from 50 years after their death to 70 years. Peter Van Loan, the...

SCC decision backs Rogers, federal jurisdiction in telecom

telecom | 06/16/2016 5:39 pm EDT

A nearly nine-year spat between Rogers Communications Inc. and a Quebec municipality over the location of a wireless tower came to an end Thursday, with the Supreme Court of Canada handing the company a victory and bolstering the federal government’s authority over telecommunications matters. The court’s unanimous decision sided with Rogers’ argument that the siting of radiocommunications infrastructure was under federal jurisdiction and that Châteauguay, a Montreal suburb, had acted unconstitutionally by issuing a notice of land reserve establishment that kept Rogers...

Quebec online gambling law would have ‘huge’ costs for ISPs: CWTA

telecom | 05/26/2016 9:57 pm EDT

New Quebec legislation forcing Internet service providers (ISPs) to block certain online gambling websites from being accessed in the province could put smaller ISPs out of business, industry reps...

Canada won’t see another company like RIM under TPP: Balsillie

Media | 05/05/2016 9:59 pm EDT

OTTAWA — Former BlackBerry Ltd. co-CEO Jim Balsillie doubled down on his dire warnings against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and what he calls its failure to support Canadian...

Voltage launches class-action piracy lawsuit

Media | 04/28/2016 7:52 pm EDT

Voltage Pictures LLC is seeking certification in Federal Court for a class-action lawsuit against respondents who illegally file-shared its content. The document, filed Tuesday, asks the court to declare that the respondents...

Copyright term extension necessary for investment: Music publishers

Media | 12/08/2015 9:24 pm EST

OTTAWA — Extending copyright terms from 50 to 70 years after the death of the author is necessary to boost investment in creative industries, Robert Hutton, executive director of the Canadian...

Quebec introduces website-blocking legislation

telecom | 11/13/2015 4:32 pm EST

The Quebec government has introduced legislation that would require Internet service providers (ISPs) to block some online gambling websites. “The Société des loteries du Québec shall oversee the accessibility of online gambling. It shall draw up a list of unauthorized online gambling sites and provide the list to the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, which shall send it to Internet service providers by registered mail,” Bill 74, introduced Thursday, stipulates. Under the new rules, an ISP that received that list of unauthorized sites would...

Liberals’ infrastructure plans could extend to telecom: lawyer

Media | 11/12/2015 1:44 am EST

TORONTO — The newly elected Liberal government has indicated infrastructure will be a priority, and that could include telecom infrastructure, said lawyer Chris Tacit during a panel...

TPP text shows ‘positive change’ regarding Internet blocking: Geist

Media | 11/05/2015 8:34 pm EST

The full text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, published Thursday by the government of New Zealand, shows that the agreement will place limits on rules around blocking Internet...

TPP includes provisions for ISPs to block content: WikiLeaks

Media | 10/09/2015 7:34 pm EDT

Online information leaker WikiLeaks published on Friday what it said were parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that reveal provisions for Internet service providers to block access to content...

TPP ‘consistent’ with Canadian copyright law, government says

Media | 10/05/2015 8:57 pm EDT

Details about provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that could affect Canada’s media and telecom industries remained scant Monday as the government announced the conclusion...

No-link rule removed from Pan Am website

Media | 07/13/2015 8:23 pm EDT

The website for the Pan Am Games, underway in Toronto, has had a rule indicating a ban on unauthorized links removed. On Friday, the following quote appeared on the terms-of-use section for the website Toronto2015.org:...

Bill S-4 passes in House of Commons

telecom | 06/18/2015 7:55 pm EDT

Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act, received royal assent and has become law, Industry Minister James Moore said in a press release Thrusday. The bill is an update to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents...

Tap streaming services to fund Canadian productions: CMPA

Media | 05/22/2015 8:06 pm EDT

OTTAWA — Streaming video services like CraveTV and Shomi can and must be regulated as broadcasting entities in order to ensure funding for Canadian programming, the Canadian Media Production...

Comp watchdog seeking experts for Google case: report

Media | 04/22/2015 1:43 pm EDT

The Competition Bureau is looking for experts in the fields of online search and advertising, and experts say it's likely related to its probe into Google Inc.'s advertising practices, the Financial Post reported....

Telecom and broadcasting converge as legislation remains separate

Media | 03/31/2015 5:38 pm EDT

A case involving BCE Inc.’s mobile-TV service that’s currently winding its way through the Federal Court of Appeal is just one example of how the lines between telecommunications and broadcasting are becoming blurred. The main issue in that case is whether Bell can exempt the service from data caps. The company is challenging a decision by the CRTC forbidding it from doing so, and one of the main arguments hinges on whether the services in question are broadcasting distribution or...

Ont. government spent months developing OTT regulation stance: Geist

Media | 03/10/2015 3:53 pm EDT

The Ontario government spent months preparing its position on regulating streaming services like that offered by Netflix Inc., according to documents cited in a blog by University of Ottawa law...

Is broadcasting heading for more litigious environment?

Media | 03/09/2015 5:00 pm EDT

BCE Inc.’s appeal of a CRTC decision to ban the use of simultaneous substitution for the Super Bowl in future years could be a sign of more conflict and court challenges to come as the...

Rogers denies exec called for ban on VPNs

Media | 02/27/2015 6:56 pm EST

Rogers Communications Inc. said Friday that David Purdy, its senior vice-president of content, did not call on government to ban virtual private networks (VPNs) during a media-industry conference in Toronto on Thursday, despite...

Canada agrees to 20-year copyright extension: report

Media | 02/04/2015 3:41 pm EST

Canada has agreed to extend the copyright term to 70 years after the death of the author as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade deal currently under discussion, the Japanese Broadcasting Corp. reported Feb. 2....

Videotron’s copyright notices contradictory: Geist

Media | 01/14/2015 7:53 pm EST

Quebecor Inc.'s Videotron has been sending out copyright-infringement notices to customers, as directed by federal government's new notice-and-notice copyright requirements, that falsely tell users that the rights holder that has alleged a breach cannot be identified, University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist said on his website on Wednesday. Geist, the university's research chair in Internet and e-commerce law, on Wednesday published what he said was the text from a notice Videotron had sent one of his readers. Below a section that listed Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. as the complainant and included its phone number and address, the notice said: "Because of privacy concerns, we cannot give any information regarding the plaintiff, as we do not provide any...

ISPs prepping for increase in copyright infringement notices

Media | 01/12/2015 10:11 pm EST

After "significant" investments in time and money to prepare for the notice-and-notice regime that went into effect this month, independent Internet service providers Teksavvy Solutions Inc....

NDP wants government to close notice-and-notice ‘loophole’

Media | 01/09/2015 8:53 pm EST

The federal NDP issued a statement Friday calling on the government to prohibit false claims in copyright infringement letters sent under the new notice-and-notice regime. “The Conservatives...

Telecoms said intercept capabilities would be standard: Geist

telecom | 12/12/2014 8:23 pm EST

Canadian telecom service providers told the government that surveillance capabilities would soon become a normal feature of their networks, according to an Ottawa academic. Quoting documents obtained...

Government blamed for CRTC predicament on Netflix

Media | 09/29/2014 2:49 pm EDT

The federal government’s pursuit of a consumer-driven broadcasting policy instead of a more comprehensive digital strategy has left the CRTC in a difficult position when it comes to regulating Internet video services, says...

Inaction against VPN usage ‘may speak volumes’: lawyer

Media | 07/22/2014 9:35 pm EDT

Users of Netflix Inc.’s Canadian feed who feel like watching a few episodes of 30 Rock, Louie or Les Revenants will find themselves out of luck. But in a world where Canadians know these shows...

Rogers changes privacy policy due to customer ‘concern’

telecom | 07/16/2014 9:10 pm EDT

Rogers Communications Inc.’s decision to change its privacy policy to require law enforcement agencies to provide a warrant or court order to obtain subscriber information was made partly due to...

Rogers received over 170,000 sub-info requests in 2013

telecom | 06/05/2014 8:08 pm EDT

Rogers Communications Inc. said Thursday it received 174,917 requests for information on subscribers from government agencies last year, though it did not say with how many it complied. The company...

Bill C-13 needs amending: Geist

telecom | 05/29/2014 9:13 pm EDT

Law professor Michael Geist called on the government to strike out parts of the lawful-access provisions in its so-called cyberbullying bill at an appearance on Parliament Hill on Thursday, saying that Bill C-13 should be amended...

Canada capitulates on TPP copyright terms: report

telecom | 05/16/2014 6:50 pm EDT

Canada is among a dozen countries that agreed to a demand from the United States to extend copyright protection for music and written works to 70 years after the death of the author as part of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal, Tokyo-based English-language newspaper, the Japan News, reported on Thursday. The 70-year term would be an extension of the current 50-year terms in Canada and Japan and would represent a shift for Canada from November, when documents leaked by Wikileaks showed the country was at odds with the U.S. position. “If true, the extension...

Two-tier Internet would face ‘tough regulatory road’ in Canada: Geist

telecom | 04/28/2014 6:09 pm EDT

Canada’s net neutrality rules could provide a “competitive advantage for Internet companies seeking a market without paid prioritization,” Michael Geist, Canada research chair in...

Jury out on what Digital Privacy Act does to privacy, copyright

Media | 04/15/2014 5:09 pm EDT

The Digital Privacy Act, the government’s most recent attempt to update the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), has experts disagreeing about the effect it...

CRTC idea could violate net neutrality: experts

Media | 03/03/2014 3:53 pm EST

A question posed by the CRTC in its review of television services, focusing on exempting over-the-top (OTT) services from Internet data caps, could have implications on net neutrality, according to some industry experts. In an...

TekSavvy ordered to turn over subscriber info to Voltage

Media | 02/21/2014 9:44 pm EST

A Canadian Internet service provider is being required by court order to give information on its subscribers linked with illegal filesharing to a Hollywood production company, and advocates on both...

Academics ask telcos about information disclosure to government

telecom | 01/22/2014 7:49 pm EST

A group of academics have written to Canada’s leading telecommunications-service providers to ask them about the sharing of customer information with government agencies. The academics sent letters to BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Cogeco Cable Inc., Telus Corp. and several other providers of mobile, home-phone and/or Internet service. The letters — a draft of which was obtained by The Wire Report — included questions about: the number of times a government agency requested customer information in 2012 and 2013; how many times the requests were made on the grounds of...

Bill C-8 passes committee with some amendments

Media | 12/06/2013 9:04 pm EST

The Conservative government’s new anti-counterfeiting bill passed committee stage with amendments and was referred back to the House of Commons for further debate, a parliamentary committee said. In a report published...

Cyberbullying bill will not resurrect Bill C-30’s most costly provisions: experts

telecom | 11/22/2013 9:44 pm EST

Anti-cyberbullying legislation introduced by the government in the House of Commons this week resurrects many of the lawful-access provisions previously included in its so-called Internet surveillance bill, Bill C-30, though it does not include two aspects that would have been the most costly for telecommunications...

Canada, U.S. ‘battle’ over ISP liability in TPP negotiations: Geist

telecom | 11/14/2013 9:23 pm EST

Canada and the U.S. are in a “battle” over ISP liability in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, Michael Geist, the Canada research chair of Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, said in a blog post Thursday. On Wednesday, WikiLeaks posted a 95-page draft of the intellectual property...

Government outlines ‘modest’ plans for intellectual property

Media | 06/20/2013 8:16 pm EDT

The Conservative government’s response to the House of Commons industry committee report offered some indications of new plans for intellectual property reforms. On Wednesday, the government responded to an earlier committee report on Canada’s intellectual property regime. Michael Geist, the Canada research...

ACTA bill debated at second reading

Media | 05/31/2013 8:01 pm EDT

Bill C-56, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act, moved into second reading debate on Thursday in the House of Commons. Michael Geist, the Canada research chair in Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, said in...