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Bad News From Canada On NetTV And Media Levies 392

Posted by timothy
from the where's-the-line-for-cat-scan dept.
twilight30 writes "Canadian regulators ruled Friday that it is illegal to put broadcast TV signals onto the Internet without permission, dashing the hopes of entrepreneurs hoping to create new Net TV businesses. An alternate link to the original at CNet is here." And Dr Caleb writes "In response to this Slashdot story I emailed my Member of Parlament. He responded to me today to say that "Despite strong opposition by the Canadian Alliance to these and other aspects of the bill, the Minister of Canadian Heritage won the day and Bill C-32 Copyright Legislation is now law." And further to say "The law assumes guilt that everyone who buys a blank tape or CD is pirating music - but anyone who uses CDs for data storage, for instance, knows that's not true!" Distressing that the bill has passed, but refreshing that my MP 'gets it'!"
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Bad News From Canada On NetTV And Media Levies

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  • makes sense to me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by empee (219598) on Monday January 20, 2003 @09:57PM (#5123418)
    I don't understand why this is such a shock. I mean, did you really expect that it would be LEGAL to rebroadcast television over the internet without proper permission? Do you think that would be "right"?
    • by Blkdeath (530393) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:09PM (#5123508) Homepage
      I don't understand why this is such a shock. I mean, did you really expect that it would be LEGAL to rebroadcast television over the internet without proper permission? Do you think that would be "right"?

      That was the first thing that crossed my mind when I read this story. The fact that it's combined with the blank recording media levy is disingenuous on the part of the submitter/editor responsible for posting it.

      The media levy sucks, but quite honestly I can't find sympathy for companies who want to earn a living on the backs of the work of major networks. For commodity hardware at an expense of no more than $500, I could re-broadcast network television to the Internet. That's just not right.

      • by debrain (29228) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:41PM (#5123718) Journal
        FYI, it is legal in Canada to rebroadcast television channels so long as it is not modified. (I don't recall any stipulations to that) There are special exceptions to the non-modification clause in that Canadian channels are permitted to play localized advertising over foreign content, as long as the same program is played. For example, we never see U.S. Superbowl commercials. We get the same game. But Canadian commercials.

        So rebroadcasting over the internet is perfectly legal, perhaps immoral, but certainly legal in Canada, up until this latest decree. As someone noted elsewhere, Cable companies in Canada get money from customers for the method of distribution, not the content.
        • Canada has been cracking down on TV "piracy" lately. First we lose the right to pirate foreign signals, and now we lose the right to rebroadcast signals over the 'net. The RCMP is treating people who choose to associate their media choice with America as nothing but dirty criminals, and the supreme court just lets it happen. This classism must end.

          I have already made a solemn vow to myself over this: I will NEVER for the rest of my life vote liberal in Canada (local, provincial, or federal). My political leanings are certainly towards what their party should stand for, but the thug they have kept in as the leader of the party for the past three terms has tainted the party permanently for me.

          I really hope other Canadians will follow me on this. It's time to overthrow this government of opression.

          My best choice right now is the Freedom Party [freedomparty.ca], but I know all too well voting for them is probably a lost cause. It'll definately be a VERY difficult choice at the next election, not due to too many choices, but a lack of them. Expect what happened during the last US election to happen in Canada this time.
      • by Bishop (4500) on Monday January 20, 2003 @11:01PM (#5123817)
        It is not combined with the blank recording media levy. The submitter was smokeing crack. Read Bill C-11 [parl.gc.ca]. C-11 deals with internet rebroadcasting only. There is no Bill C-32 as referenced. We are only up to bill C-23 (there are many more private member bills starting at 200). In fact there is no pending legislation for a blank recording media levy.
      • So what I'm hearing is that for $500 dollars ANYONE could get into a new market distributing television over the internet... interesting that. So there's a whole market out there of eyeballs that can be reached on the cheap and the geniuses at the major networks are wasting their time influencing government instead of doing their due diligence and capitalist duty by exploiting that market. They should all be shot.
        • by Blkdeath (530393)
          So what I'm hearing is that for $500 dollars ANYONE could get into a new market distributing television over the internet... interesting that. So there's a whole market out there of eyeballs that can be reached on the cheap and the geniuses at the major networks are wasting their time influencing government instead of doing their due diligence and capitalist duty by exploiting that market. They should all be shot.

          I'm afraid you've missed my point.

          I was speaking strictly of re-broadcasting pre-assembled signals. Vis; the major networks pay for casting, crew, locations, scripts (writers), makeup, wardrobe, lighting, equipment, and broadcast. Afterwards, I take this signal and, using comodity hardware/software combination I encode it and re-transmit the signal.

          That has the effect of stealing their work without any due compensation. Even in the case where someone might re-broadcast with the comercials intact, this isn't a valid form of compensation. Sponsors don't pay to merely have their comercial shown; they pay for a timeslot in a particular broadcast at a particular date and time, aimed towards a specific demographic. Re-broadcasting a primetime show's commercials at three o'clock in the morning to a global audience may benefeit the sponsors, but it doesn't benefeit the network.

          This has nothing to do with due dilligence and everything to do with people overstepping their bounds. Much as television content isn't terribly stellar nowadays, I'd hate to see networks remove the ability for people to receive that content without a subscription system.

          • by nhavar (115351)
            No I did understand your point and I agree.

            What I'm trying to say is that here is a market, an additional area that these supposedly cash strapped networks have known about for years now. This same market has an extremely low cost of entry. As you said $500 for the equipment. It's an area where the networks can do some "value added" services for their customers the "sponsors" and possibly steal away some business from competitors who don't offer the "service". The point really is that instead of the networks themselves jumping into a new growth market, they continue to combat each other over the same demographics in the prime time crowd. They also wait for someone else to make the break into internet broadcasting and yet sue anyone attempting to break in using their content. Right now it's a lose lose situation for the networks because they're too focused on sitting back and waiting for something to happen, for someone else to do something.

            Yes there are people out there willing to steal others stuff to make a buck - they learned that behavior from the networks, just take a look at programming. It's just the internet crowd is a little more blatent and a little less defensive about what they do and how they do it.
    • by Jason1729 (561790) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:16PM (#5123556)
      This is how the cable companies got started. They set up big receiving antennea, and rebroadcast the signal for a fee. They didn't get permission from or pay the broadcasters. It was perfectly legal 30 years ago. Why does the fact that this involves the internet change anything?

      Up until today, as long as you didn't modify it (like trimming out commercials), it would be perfectly legal to retransmit a broadcast signal. The whole point of broadcast is that it's freely put out over the public airwaves for anyone who wants to view it.

      Jason
      ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
  • Blame Canada! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by n1ywb (555767) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:01PM (#5123431) Homepage Journal
    They legalize weed but label everyone who buys CD-Rs a pirate? I've burned lots of CDs to backup my personal documents, stuff on which I own the copyright.

    We should start pirating media via more esoteric mediums, like DLT or mercury delay line, and start doing data backups on VHS, just to fuck with them.
    • Not only Canada (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Pieroxy (222434)
      I'm French and actually the same kind of law passed one year ago. Blank CD's did reach the (affordable) price of .1Euro when they added this 1Euro tax to it. The justification was that these blank media (as well as blank audio tapes for example) was "stealing" money from the music artists.

      Most of the backup-related companies heavily based on CD-R media either moved to belgium or switzerland (or anywhere else) or simply got out of business.

      Maybe that's some crazy stuff related to french speaking people ;-)
    • They legalize weed but label everyone who buys CD-Rs a pirate? I've burned lots of CDs to backup my personal documents, stuff on which I own the copyright.

      Exactly. I've burned countless CDs containing downloads, home movies, digital camera pictures, etc..

      I commented on this awhile back [slashdot.org].
  • Dashed Hopes? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Devil's BSD (562630) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:02PM (#5123439) Homepage
    ...it is illegal to put broadcast TV signals onto the Internet without permission, dashing the hopes of entrepreneurs hoping to create new Net TV businesses.

    Why would this dash hopes? All they need to do is obtain permission, if they want to create a 'net TV station. Your local TV station also has to obtain permission before they can broadcast too. They're funded by local advertisements, and so the internet TV would just be funded by banner ads and pop-unders (shivers).

    Just a question: Would it be acceptable, according to the definition of 'fair use' to stream movies from your own hard disk so that you could watch them remotely?

    • Re:Dashed Hopes? (Score:3, Informative)

      by topham (32406)
      Under Canadian law it was LEGAL to rebroadcast television without permission. That is how the cable companies in Canada started operating in the first place, but now that they are entrenched and everybody is happy with the status quo they flipped the decision when it is applied to the internet.

      (by the way, it was perfectly legal to rebroadcast via radiowaves, so geographical local was irrelevent.)

      But don't worry, regulators don't read legislation anyway.

    • Would it be acceptable, according to the definition of 'fair use' to stream movies from your own hard disk so that you could watch them remotely?

      Wrong country. Canada doesn't have "fair-use" protection the way the US does.
  • by Theatetus (521747) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:02PM (#5123442) Journal
    The United States National Association of Broadcasters, which assisted in the IcraveTV case and filed comments with the Canadian Commission, welcomed the decision.

    "We regard this decision as a major victory for consumers in the protection of free, over-the-air television signals and programming," the group said in a statement.

    Free? Since when is broadcast TV free? I pay for it every time I buy something that is advertised on television, since product sales are how those companies make back ad costs.

    So, currently, every time I buy something I'm paying for broadcast TV which, except for PBS and some of the few remaining local stations, is absolute unmitigated crap. I also pay for basic cable, and then pay again for the stuff that's advertised on basic cable; I'm paying to watch ads.

    OTOH, in practice I applaud anything that will stop the gradual slide of the Internet towards a broadcast-like, producer/consumer relationship.

    • by shadowj (534439) on Monday January 20, 2003 @11:07PM (#5123852)
      Time and time again I see people squawking loudly about their shows being cancelled, pre-empted, or just fucked with. There will be a call for a letter-writing campaign, loud declarations that the TV execs "just don't get it", and much lamentation.

      Television isn't free. Every minute of commercial TV is a transaction exactly equivalent to buying a loaf of bread. What people don't seem to get is that the purpose of TV isn't to entertain the masses... the purpose of TV is to sell audiences to sponsors. The sponsors are the consumers; the audience is just part of the product.

      Once you understand this, all the seemingly stupid decisions about cancellations and the like become much clearer. OK, they still suck, but at least they're clear.

      • So what's to stop a show whose fan base is large enough to outright buy the show, or purchase the syndication rights, and put up a streaming station? Say, a Star Trek channel, funded by fan contribution, and incidentally selling Star Trek merchandise, etc., broadcasting every Sunday night between 9 and 12, with reflectors and p2p load distribution in order to minimize bandwidth costs. Instead of interrupting the show with commercials, you could just bookend each episode, like they do with PBS.

        Seriously, enough geeks banded together to open up the source to Blender3D, and that was no trivial chunk of change (100k euros.)
  • by valmont (3573) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:02PM (#5123448) Homepage Journal
    While this story mainly concerns canadians, let's keep an eye on the issues at hand and leverage the Internet to communicate with our government. I've found a particular site to be very useful: Capitol Advantage. [capitoladvantage.com]

  • by Rackemup (160230) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:04PM (#5123467) Homepage
    I emailed my Member of Parlament. He responded to me today to say that "Despite strong opposition by the Canadian Alliance to these and other aspects of the bill, the Minister of Canadian Heritage won the day and Bill C-32 Copyright Legislation is now law."

    The bill may or may not have passed (still trying to find some confirmation on the various government websites), but the actual hearing on the "proposed" amounts to be charged for the levies on blank media for the 2003-2004 period is just starting (tomorrow actually).

    I'm on the official objectors list for the proposed levy, and there is some pretty convincing evidence being presented at the hearing that the proposed levies are WAY too high and should be struck down.

    It will be interesting to see the outcome. If it passes the market for blank media and mp3 players in Canada will be hit hard.

    • by ashitaka (27544)
      What is nice to see are some retailers like London Drugs [londondrugs.com] are supporting the end users in the fight against the levy.

      It could be though, that they realize that an increased levy would mean less people buying CD-R's, MP3 players etc....
      • If you actually read the rates proposed, it will drive portable mp3 players, and eventually subnotebook computers completely off the market. Remember that hard drive capacities double every two years or so. The mp3 player manufacturers are not going to keep making 5 GB hard drives for iPods forever, they are just going to use whatever is in notebook computers. Your 60GB nomad - add $1000 to the list price. Within 10 years the levy on a portable mp3 player could easily be $10^6. Granted it's Canadian dollars, but still.
      • Future Shop [futureshop.ca], too.

        And, just in case any of our American friends are ever looking for some political support for consumers in the future, I should point out that "Future Shop stores are a division of Burnaby-based Best Buy Canada Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Best Buy Co., Inc."

      • Pardon my French, but how the hell are London Drugs supporting the fight against the levy? I mean, I like London Drugs a lot, but the last time I bought MiniDiscs from them they more or less openly tacked on a $4 surcharge under the title "Media Levy" (plus tax). $4 on a $15 box of MiniDiscs! No place else that I've bought MDs from has done this, and it was sort of irritating. Now maybe the gov't-required levy had gone through already, but I was under the impression that it wasn't to go through until Jan 1st, 2003 (I bought them in 2002).

        Too bad all my MP is good for is getting kicked out of the Canadian Alliance and wasting paper sending me chain letters about how he's calling other people racist when he himself is arguably so. Too bad that out here they would elect a handicapped monkey if it ran under the CA banner.
    • by alfredw (318652) <alf&freealf,com> on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:35PM (#5123681) Homepage
      The bill may or may not have passed (still trying to find some confirmation on the various government websites), but the actual hearing on the "proposed" amounts to be charged for the levies on blank media for the 2003-2004 period is just starting (tomorrow actually).

      Whoa... Slashdot is giving folks the wrong impression. Bill C-32 was given royal assent (ie: became a law) in 1997!

      The bill can be viewed online. [parl.gc.ca]
      Use the dorky little right-arrow thing to read it.

      What the MP meant was that copyright levies are already in place. This was done with C-32, and has been in effect for five years. What is new is that the Canadian Copyright Board [cb-cda.gc.ca] is holding hearings on whether or not to increase the existing levies to the astronomical level which /. readers are acquianted. This is not a bill before parliament - it is a request before an unelected board of civil servants and "community leaders." Those hearings begin tomorrow.

      So, in other words: CALM DOWN. NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
      • Just so people don't get the wrong impression, the Canadian Copyright Board is not a bunch of dimwits or lackeys. They are former judges and civil servants. The current levy (which the recording industry is lobbying to increase) is $.21 /disc. As I recall, the recording industry lobbied for a much higher amount, but was turned down for lack of evidence, and that fact that the board "didn't think their request was reasonable".
        • the Canadian Copyright Board is not a bunch of dimwits or lackeys

          I know the copyright board didn't pass the law, but the CCB are the ones who allowed the current ridiculous scheme to be put in place. I don't care if they reduced the amount requested by the record companies - the fact that I have to pay a flat-rate levy on CD-Rs and the money just disappears into a black hole is a farce.

          If the CCB wants to show that they aren't a bunch of lackeys, they will turn down the current proposed increases, and repeal the previous levy too. From what I understand, this is within their power.

          I wrote my (Canadian Alliance) MP about this issue, and he replied that they will be opposing the increases. Hopefully they have enough clout to do something about it.

          More information on what is wrong with this whole levy system can be found here [ccfda.ca]. If you want to check out the propoganda put out by the record industry group, you can check out their website [www.cpcc.ca] too, where they freely admit that they have taken in $28M of our money, but have not give a cent out to any of the artists that are supposed to benefit from this screwed-up system. Nice, isn't it?

          • I know the copyright board didn't pass the law, but the CCB are the ones who allowed the current ridiculous scheme to be put in place.

            Actually the law stipulates that this levy will be paid, they can not abolish it. Also, setting it to zero or some similiar tactic would be viewed as an attempt to abolish the levy, when the board has no authority to do so.
      • That's why the "C-32" seemed familiar... they passed it back in 97 and THEN started charging the levies on blank media.

        yeah the MP must have meant that the new proposed levy rates had passed, which is wrong because the hearings havent even started yet. An MP wrong about something? I know, shocking.

        I still dont agree with these stupid levies... they treat me like a criminal because of what the media MIGHT be used for, make the fees top-heavy so that later technology gets more and more expensive, and you've killed the Canadian market for those items. Government at work.

  • by On Lawn (1073) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:05PM (#5123475) Journal

    For me its much more usefull to find old shows online then live broadcasts. My TV bandwidth is much greater then my internet bandwidth, and I get better clearer pictures.

    Instead, I'm more interested in legality of sharing old broadcasts. Some of the best shows (like "Probe") will never be shown again or offered in DVD. We recently threw away boxes of tapes of old "Fall Guy" episodes, and it would be great to watch "Barney Miller" again.

    In the case of copyright, Eldred makes my favorite point. That copyrights sould be renewable but for an exponentially higher fee every year. That way the pomposness of the Disney's of the world that still make millions off of 70 year old charectars would not block out the rare but good old shows that have been abandoned.

    _________________________
    OnRoad [onlawn.net]: Tempering Detroit iron with our own hot air since, well, last week.
  • Impied Purchase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Foxxz (106642) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:06PM (#5123479) Homepage
    So since you purchase CD-Rs with the extra tax, your purchase also implies you have the right to burn music to them? If the RIAA taxes ISP for allowing filetrading then it is implied that I have bought that music and I now "own" or at least have "leased" it. Such as in the way that the US government taxes me which implies that I have the right to "lease" the use of the roads even though they are owned by the government.

    Maybe I should be able to redeem my CD-R receipts at a music store for music purchses if I dont use them for musical purposes right?

    This all makes me think.

    -Foxxz
    • Thats not the way it works. It's still illegal, even though you are paying a levy because of it. You must be one of those people that thinks that because you hand over money, you get something in return. You obviously haven't dealt with government that much, or for that matter, the criminals which work "on behalf" of artists.
      • Re:Impied Purchase (Score:5, Interesting)

        by FreezerJam (138643) <smith AT vex DOT net> on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @12:00AM (#5124129)
        As a matter of fact, that is EXACTLY how it works. There is a statement from the Copyright Board to this effect.

        There are couple of small wrinkles. You are allowed to copy an original sound recording on to levied media for your own use. You are NOT allowed to copy the recording and give it to a friend - that would be distribution.

        But - there is no restriction on HOW you get the original recording. Any legal method should be allowable. You can...

        * borrow from a friend
        * borrow from a library
        * buy, copy, and return to the merchant

        The last one only works if the merchant allows returns. HMV stopped allowing returns because this was getting to be too common. However, to HMV's credit, in all the announcements and press releases and interviews at the time, nowhere did HMV state that what the customers were doing was illegal - which is good, because it wasn't illegal.
    • Re:Impied Purchase (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zspdude (531908)
      That is exactly the case in Canada. It is *not* a copyright infringement, or illegal, to make a copy for *personal* use of any musical album. I think this situation(in Canada) is fairly reasonable and acceptable.

      People pay the government (in Canada and the US)all the time for services they never use. It's a way of life. If this media levy is the biggest concern to be found, people really aren't looking hard enough. Grab a copy of the budget and start searching for some real injustices!

  • No big suprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by k-rammy (256669)
    Well to those of you that are confused, the Minister of Heritage is the elected official in Canadian Government (below our Prime Minister) responsible for (amongst other things--like buying millions of Canadian flags and giving them away for free) intellectual property.

    Now for the record, this wouldn't have happened if she didn't have party support, however I must say our Minister of Heritage is a bumbling IDIOT.

    Sure, sure... makes sense that we shouldn't be able to rebroadcast TV signal... that's not what I'm arguing. I'm still absolutely LIVID about the CD/Tape tax BULLSHIT.

    Shiela Copps rott in hell. Oh and for those of you that have no clue who the "Canadian Alliance" are -- they are the governments official opposition (a political party over here in the great white North).

    Anyhow.. my first actual non-anon-coward post in a LONG time...

    Mark
    • our Minister of Heritage is a bumbling IDIOT.

      Not to mention the PM, he's actually brain-damaged...sigh, our government is depressing.
      • You think you've got problems, at least you don't have Deputy John as your PM.
      • I heard a reporters comment on Canada Tonight this evening. She was talking about Saddam Hussein being given the opportunity to step down and seek asylum in a neutral country, for which he wouldn't be charged for war crimes. She related that statement to the Iraqi people's point of view, like someone asking for our PM to step down and seek refuge in another country, and I was like - YEA! DoItDoItDoItDoIt!

  • by nuggz (69912) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:08PM (#5123499) Homepage
    Each riding (electoral area) elects 1 representative to the federal government, each elected person is a Member of Parliment (MP).

    The political party with the most seats is the governing party, the second most is the opposition.
    The other parties don't have official titles.

    From the ruling party (generally) all the departments/minitries are run by an MP, the opposition gets their critic for each.

    Then they get in a big room, and argue with each other.

    That is the house of commons.
    • Ahh the joys of the Westminster system, we run the same system down here in Australia. Mind you its got to be better than some other systems.
    • Wait a sec, there are other parties in Canada?! Oh, you mean PQ. Whew, for a second there I thought we had a two-party system...

      But in all seriousness, I always thought that the Westminister System had better checks&balances than the American System -- because if the leader of the government went crazy, the other MPs could easily throw him out. But lately I've realised that it's not that the US's checks&balances don't work, it's that most possible opponents worship the Govenor^H^H^H^H^H^H^HPresident.

  • by kruetz (642175) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:10PM (#5123510) Journal
    From the article:

    "The law assumes guilt that everyone who buys a blank tape or CD is pirating music"

    Okay, that's NOT true, but the RIAA believes it is and the RIAA is the be-all and end-all unfortunately.

    But with DRM and copyright extension laws, etc, everyone who uses a blank tape or CD WILL BE PIRATING whatever they put on the tape/CD, because the way we're heading we won't have the right to create backups/copies of anything except what WE create by ourselves. So backing up your ogg collection (ripped from your copy-protected CDs) may end up being considered "pirating". Making a copy of that software CD because it's starting to get a bit scratched and then having to get a crack to ignore the CD-serial check may be considered pirating. Hell, in the end, using computers for anything but content CREATION may be pirating.

    Okay, that's a pretty extremist view, but think about the situation we had 10 or 15 years ago - copy-protection? inability to create legal backups? paying a tax to cover alleged piracy as reported by an organisation that can't count CD burners? Where will it end?

    • Okay, that's a pretty extremist view, but think about the situation we had 10 or 15 years ago - copy-protection? inability to create legal backups? paying a tax to cover alleged piracy as reported by an organisation that can't count CD burners? Where will it end?

      It isn't that shocking that CD sales are being taxed. In 1992, President Bush Sr. signed into law the Audio Home Recording Act, which included royalty payments by digital audio equipment and media manufacturers. So this has actually been reality for some time.

      The RIAA is only the be-all and end-all because people don't get off their asses and go vote. It's very simple. Write your congresspeople, senators, etc, and tell them that the RIAA makes you sick. You don't care WHAT the legislation is, you just want to see the RIAA and MPAA eat it. You tell your congressperson that if they vote for anything you remotely interpret as pro-RIAA or pro-MPAA, that you will vote against them in the next election cycle. If you donate to political causes, note that your donations go with your vote. Then follow through. Register, vote against them, and donate to the other guy if he'll pledge to take a stand.

      Next time political causes come up, mention the mickey mouse copyright extension act, or the home recording act, and tell other people how congress gets bought off by the music and movie industry, and how they should express their dissatisfaction with their representatives.
  • by Dominic Shrimp (604002) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:11PM (#5123527)
    Don't think for a minute that he actually "gets it". As a member of the official opposition his opinion becomes the exact opposite of everything the government says. If the Alliance ever won an election they'd be jumping in bed with whatever lobbiest was paying the most, just like any other politician.
  • DirectTV in the US has the same problem. The FCC won't let them broadcast network feeds to a person unless the broadcast the same feed as the local affiliate. Therefore, if you live in the middle of nowhere, you can't get FOX, for instance, over satellite because they don't want to waste their bandwidth on your particular version of FOX
  • As a Canadian... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheTomcat (53158) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:26PM (#5123633) Homepage
    yeah, it sucks to have to pay the levy, but we DO get some benefit from it:

    http://neil.eton.ca/copylevy.shtml [neil.eton.ca]

    Basically, since I'm paying the levy, and guilt is assumed (and the penalty for such guilt is the fee incurred by the levy), I can't be charged for being "more guilty" so I'm allowed to copy music that I have not licensed (bought), in some circumstances.

    S
    • Geez, after reading that, you Canadians ought to copy as many CDs as you can! Wouldn't want to be paying for something you're not using! That's it, after watching "Bowling For Columbine" and hearing that weed's almost legal, I'm moving to Canada, bringing a shit load of U.S. purchased CD-Rs with me, and having a field day.
    • Argh!!! Personal copying is FAIR USE. You already have the right to make personal copies, including media-shifting, backups, whatever else.. You've always had that right, although the pigopoly is doing their absolute best to make it impossible.

      I can't believe this crap. The pigopoly is doing their absolute most to prevent fair use, and they're trying to brainwash the world into believing fair use doesn't even exist.

      You have the RIGHT to make backup copies. You have the RIGHT to make personal compilations. You have the RIGHT to transfer music you purchased into whatever format is most convenient for you, and listen to it wherever the fuck you want.

      The pigopoly didn't grant you these rights; you always had them. The pigopolists have NO RIGHT to be collecting money in return for personal copying, and they have NO RIGHT to be compensated for 'piracy' from anyone but actual pirates, after obtaining a conviction and through the usual process of law.

      Fuck it, I'm excercising my +1 bonus on this one too...
  • Ignorant Leaders (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Typhon100 (641308) on Monday January 20, 2003 @10:32PM (#5123667)
    And further to say "The law assumes guilt that everyone who buys a blank tape or CD is pirating music - but anyone who uses CDs for data storage, for instance, knows that's not true!"
    Remember how people used to have to pass a literacy test to vote? People in Congresses/Parliaments should be required to know something about what they're passing laws about. I mean honestly, this law is ridiculous.

    -Typhon

  • The loophole... (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheBishop613 (454798)
    For anyone who cares, since the article is awful short on facts and information...

    The loophole that has been closed was the right for anyone to re-broadcast a radio or television signal (not cable, we're talking from the airwaves) even without the permission of the originators or owners of the copyright of said material. I do believe there were certain guidelines which had to be followed, the re-broadcast couldn't be edited, and I'm not sure about whether it had to be in near real time or not. Basicly I think it was intended such that a given broadcast could be passed along independant repeaters so that it would have a further range into more remote areas of Canada so that more Canadians could take advantage of the programming.

    The bright minded start up companies realized that this might mean they could capture the tv signals their antennas pick up and then re-broadcast those on the net. Incidentally, this included broadcasts from cities close to the US/Canadian border.

  • Ouch! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stratjakt (596332)
    59 cents per CD-R may be livable, but did anyone else notice the 21$ per gig for an MP3 player with a non-removable HDD?

    So you get a 20 gig iPod, thats 440$ bucks on top of the price of the unit.

    Yowza.
    • Re:Ouch! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rackemup (160230)
      That's right, hence the huge outcry. They charge a "per gigabyte" fee on those mp3 players instead of a "per device" nominal fee. meaning that as the hard drives get bigger they make more money, at your expense.
      • Though a post above indicated that the levy applies only to 'blank' media. Technically under the law, so long as the manufacturer bundles several tracks along with the player, it shouldn't fall under the levy's jurisdiction. I love lawyers.
  • Surely there's some point in law that says that you can't make an activity illegal on one hand and fungable on another.

    I mean, if they charge us a fee for music copying onto cdr's doesn't that mean they sanction it?

    The record companies can't ban something AND get paid for it as well can they?

    Real lawyer advice needed here (I'm sure there's a phrase in Latin for this...)

    • The record companies can't ban something AND get paid for it as well can they?

      Oh come on -- the recording industry is a law unto itself.

      Remember the Dutch(?) taxi-drivers who have to pay a fee if they use their car-radios when carrying passengers?

      We have the same setup here in NZ where a cafe or restaurant playing a radio where the customers can hear it have to pay an annual fee to the music industry.

      So the radio stations have paid a fee for broadcasting the music, the restaurant owner pays another fee (for the same music) to have that radio going for his customers, and you can bet that some of those customers will already own the CD containing the track that's being broadcast.

      As a result, the music industry gets THREE bites of the same apple!

      In any other industry this would be called profiteering or unfair trading. However, when you're one of the largest industries on the face of the planet and have some very slick and highly paid lobyists then you can get away with murder right?
    • by DarkFyre (23233)
      I can't answer your question in general, but I'd like to point out that Canadians HAVE purchased the right to copy music CD's with this levy.

      See http://neil.eton.ca/copylevy.shtml for details, if you're Canadian. It basically boils down to the fact that you can make copies of recordings for yourself, even if you don't own the original. The copy has to be for 'personal use,' so you can't give it to a friend, but you can lend that friend your CD, your computer, and a blank CD and let them go nuts.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday January 20, 2003 @11:35PM (#5124004)
    "In response to this Slashdot story I emailed my Member of Parlament."

    Canada is a bilingual country, which gives you two correct ways to spell the name of your legislature. That right there isn't either one of them.

    In all seriousness, I hope you ran your e-mail through a spell-checker, at least if you expect your message to be taken seriously. In fact, you should probably splurge the $0.48 for a real letter.
  • "Regulators said they were wary of undermining traditional producers and distributors..."

    Says it all. Our duly elected public servants are always wary of undermining commercial interests, but completely okay with undermining the public domain, as we've seen recently in the Lower 48.

    Repeat after me: "Democracy is not like pro wrestling. Democracy is not like pro wrestling."
  • Anyone who wants to put TV programming on the web ought to create original programming, rather than stealing content from someone else.

    If someone grabbed, say, CNN, off satellite and rebroadcast it without permission, how long would it take for the lawyers to show up?

    If someone grabbed the New York Times page layouts off the satellite feed to the paper's regional printers and put it on the street under another name, guess what would happen?

    This action has nothing to do with stifling innovation (at this point, streaming media onto the net is not innovative) or restricting someone's freedom. The web gets no special deals just because its the web.
  • .....for an update of our copyright laws. I don't like the mandatory levies, but there are NO anti-circumvention provisions, and fair use (fair dealing) right are pretty well affirmed.

    It could be a LOT worse!!!
  • Wired article [wired.com]

    People [www.cpcc.ca] who want to enforce it (with exact amounts listed)

    People [ccfda.ca] who want to stop it

    So, can I borrow your cd's? I want to burn a couple 100 since I just bought a big whack of blanks and have already paid for the right to do so!
  • Here it is [cb-cda.gc.ca] (PDF page 7). Not yet final, but might as well be.

    *sigh*...

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