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Technology law column by Michael Geist

Forget a Netflix Tax: How The Digital CanCon Review Can Shake Up the Status Quo

Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly’s digital CanCon consultation is likely to spark calls from the cultural establishment for new levies and taxes to fund the creation of domestic content. The Internet will be the primary target with demands for a Netflix tax along with legislative reforms that would open the door to additional fees on Internet providers.

The Digital CanCon Review: Be Wary of Old Whine in New Bottles

Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly surprised culture and Internet watchers last week by announcing plansfor a comprehensive review of Canadian content policies in a digital world.

Why Federal Leadership on Universal Broadband is a Need, Not a Want

With one week still remaining in the federal telecommunications regulator’s hearing focused on the state of Internet access in Canada, the process has taken a surprising turn that ultimately cries out for leadership from Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development.

Canadian Copyright Bill for the Blind in Need of Fine Tuning

As the political world was focused on the Liberal government’s inaugural budget last month, Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, introduced his first bill as minister by quietly moving ahead with plans to reform Canadian copyright law to allow for the ratification of an international treaty devoted to increasing access to copyrighted works for the blind.

Why Universal, Affordable Internet Access is a Job for Everyone

The future of Internet access in Canada takes centre stage this week at a major hearing focused on whether it’s time to update the rules associated with universal access to communications services. Canada has long had regulations in place that ensure that basic telephone service is available to everyone, using a funding model that subsidizes higher costs in rural communities.

Ontario Music Fund Oversight Hits Sour Note: Gov Docs Discuss “Breach of Integrity”

The Canadian music industry gathered in Calgary last weekend for the Juno Awards, the industry’s biggest awards gala that has grown into a week-long event. While the award show is the public face of the Junos, behind the scenes are years of negotiations with governments to provide millions in public funding.

Canada’s Innovation Challenge: Keeping The Billion Dollar Club At Home

From the moment the Liberal government took office last fall, it left no doubt that innovation was going to be a top priority. Gone was Industry Canada, replaced by the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, with Navdeep Bains, a close confidant of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, installed as the responsible minister.

Canadian TPP Consultation Launches As U.S. Certification Looms in the Distance

The Trans Pacific Partnership, a massive trade deal that covers 40 per cent of the world’s GDP, has mushroomed into a political hot potato in the United States. Presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders are all expressing either opposition or concern with the agreement. With the deal in doubt in the U.S., the Canadian government is using the uncertainty to jump start a much-anticipated and long-overdue public consultation.

Copyright Board Ruling Strikes Fair Balance in Heated Education Fight

The role of copyright within the Canadian education system has emerged as a contentious issue in recent years as the Internet and digital technologies have transformed how schools provide students with access to materials. At the centre of the fight are a series of Supreme Court of Canada rulings that establish the boundaries of “fair dealing”,  which permits copying of reasonable portions of materials without the need for permission or further compensation.

Giving Pick-and-Pay a Chance: Why Skinny Basic Is Just the Start of More Competitive TV Pricing

Canadians appear to have become so accustomed to an uncompetitive cable and satellite market typified by frequent price increases and restrictive options that many are failing to recognize the arrival of greater consumer choice.


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