×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bad News From Canada On NetTV And Media Levies

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the where's-the-line-for-cat-scan dept.

Television 392

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'!"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

392 comments

Bad News from Canada (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123409)

I got first post.

More bad news! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123413)

The first post you so covet has been taken!

makes sense to me. (5, Insightful)

empee (219598) | more than 11 years ago | (#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"?

Re:makes sense to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123427)

It's possibly illegal, but I don't see the problem. They can't tell how many people watch X show (unless you have the box), and you presumably still see the ads. Who cares?

Re:makes sense to me. (2, Insightful)

empee (219598) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123461)

For one thing, it could hurt local revenues immensely. Say that the NYC major networks are rebroadcast on the 'net (I know this story is for Canada, but it applies anywhere). Now when Jane Q. Public in Nowhere, Texas, starts watching the networks online, the local affiliates in Nowhere TX are SCREWED out of local ad revenues. There's one big problem.

Re:makes sense to me. (1)

empee (219598) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123488)

note: this comment was supposed to be a reply to the comment beneath my original, refuting my original point.

Re:makes sense to me. (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123634)

It's possibly illegal, but I don't see the problem. They can't tell how many people watch X show (unless you have the box), and you presumably still see the ads. Who cares?

The people who care are the broadcasters and the people responsible for the original programming, both of whom are deprived of potential revenue.

If Channel XYZ is being streamed over the internet then there is no incentive to viewers to subscribe to XYZ. (Most people won't pay for something that they can get for free, irrespective of whether it's legitimately free or not.)

Additionally, a drop in subscribers means a drop in measureable viewers. As advertising revenues are closely tied to viewing figures (because the more people watching a given ad, the more it's worth to the advertiser) fewer viewers means less income that way too.

So, unauthorised internet streams hurt a TV channel by depriving it of both subscription (assuming it's not a free to air channel) and ad revenue.

Similarly, if a programme is freely available online then fewer people will watch it on TV or buy it on VHS or DVD. The reduced TV audience will mean a less valuable product in terms of TV rights (programme makers sell their shows to the channels and, again, the value of a show will increase if it attracts more viewers) and the VHS and DVD sales will take a hit as fewer people buy the programmes on those media because they can get it for free elsewhere.

Please note, I'm not attaching any morality to unauthorised internet streaming. I'm just trying to explain (for the benefit of this AC and others who may wonder) why it hurts broacasters and the original content creators.

(Personally, I do believe that such streaming is wrong, for the reasons outlined. At the end of the day, if something costs x and you don't want to pay that price for it then that's your choice. But just because you think it's only worth x/2 or whatever that doesn't give you the right to take it for nothing. Regardless of whether it's legal or not, it sure isn't morally right.

That's my personal view and, frankly, I know it's one that a small minority of /. readers will never be able to understand. Well, at least until it's their income that's being hit - then they'll be crying blue murder.)

Re:makes sense to me. (5, Insightful)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123508)

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.

Re:makes sense to me. (4, Informative)

debrain (29228) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123718)

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.

Re:makes sense to me. (5, Interesting)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#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]

4th post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123419)

biaatch!

I'm not very hip (0, Offtopic)

handsomepete (561396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123422)

"Despite strong opposition by the Canadian Alliance to these and other aspects of the bill, the Minister of Canadian Heritage won the day "

Would someone please explain how the Canadian Alliance and this Minister relate? I'll gladly admit my ignorance as to how Canadian government works in order to get an answer. Is this one individual overruling a lobbying type group or a governmental group? Or something else? Who represents what?

Re:I'm not very hip (3, Informative)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123454)

The Canadian Alliance is the opposition party at the moment. The Minister of whatever is from the governing party. The governing party determines who is prime minister, finance minister, etc.

Canadian Alliance (-1, Troll)

angelkey (590280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123466)

I am Canadian and thought I'd give you a little information. The Canadian Alliance is am extreme-right wing faction bent on taking over Canada and then the world. They are much like what you would call the 'Republicans'.

Re:Canadian Alliance (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123502)

You are a fucking dumb ass. Thank you and goodnight.

Re:Canadian Alliance (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123577)

He is right. For some reason beyond me they want to turn canada into the united states

Re:Canadian Alliance (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123643)

Perhaps it's because Canada is frigging gay, and the US actually knows its head from its ass.

and you must be alliance or republican? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123601)

Perhaps you could say goodnight to the planet after you are through destroying it and all of it's peoples' futures.

Re:and you must be alliance or republican? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123657)

You missed, you fucking leftie moron. Next time reply to the post you're replying to, not its fucking parent.

Re:I'm not very hip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123472)

The Mminister is the member of the party in charge and the Canadian Aliance is one of the opisition party.The official opposition, meaning that they were the non winning party having the most people at the national assembly.

Someone talking about Canada... (0)

angelkey (590280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123491)

and spelling like an American to do it.

Re:Someone talking about Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123514)

English is not my first language sorry if my spelling offend you :P

Quick info (-1)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123483)

Canadian Alliance is a political party which makes no effort to hide it's origin and likely funders - they're the kings of American style right-wing mud-slinging.

Now there's nothing wrong with mud slinging or American political parties, in America, but this is Canada, where we'd prefer Canadian political parties.

That being said, I cannot disagree with their position on levies - they're dumb, dumb, dumb.

I find it hilarious that most modders are american (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123630)

and censor everything they don't like to hear. Free speech indeed. Hear this mods, Canadians are better informed and educated than you could even hope to be.

For the record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123647)

Not sure what you were trying to point out, but the parent to your post posts at -1 by default. He wasn't modded down (and has a pretty spot on description, IMHO). HTH. HAND.

Canadian Politics explained (2, Informative)

arrogance (590092) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123485)

The Canadian Alliance is the official opposition. The Minister, in this case responsible for culture/heritage and a member of the Liberal party, championed the bill for "artist's rights" (I guess) and with the support of the Liberal party, which has a majority, pushed it through. I guess the Liberals also miss the point that independent artists (well, OK, NO artists as of now) are getting any money from the levy.

Unfortunately, we live in a not so benevolent dictatorship where one guy rules the roost. In a majority government, there are no real checks and balances: the Senate is pretty toothless here. Ever read Piet Hein? Majority Rule [fairvote.org] is a pretty cool poem.

I'm sure that Stand On Guard [standonguard.com] will give you a better perspective on Canadian politics.

Re:Canadian Politics explained (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123541)

It should be added our senate is not elected like in the USstates, but it has no real power. Think of itmore as a think tank than anything else. Some think it should be an elected senate, some think it should remain, and some think it should be abolished. The Canadian Alliance wants it elected.. the party basiclly wants to turn Canada into the United States.

America isn't a democracy either... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123566)

It's a republic by law. Also, what were you saying about democratic representation? I think the rest of world would disagree with that being the case in the US. Do you think we don't notice the vote-rigging, assasinations, stolen bio-weapons, oil wars, secret tribunals, no access to lawyers and general bullying?

Re:I'm not very hip (4, Informative)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123498)

The Canadian Alliance is a political party that is not in power right now. The Minister of Heritage is a member of the party in power now (the Liberals). Since it's a majority government, the party in power can do whatever they want, and the other parties can just slow things down a bit.

There is no viable alternative to the Liberals, so they can and do whatever they want.

For example, a vet got his benefits cut off due to a government error. His representitive (who happened to be Liberal)said "you didn't vote for me, why should I help you?" The prime minister backed up the representitive and basically said they shouldn't have to do anything since they're in charge.

There's hundreds of examples, but Canada is basically being run as a tyranny now, and this new law being muscled through is just another example.

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:I'm not very hip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123506)

Well, my political science is a little rusty, but I can give you the general idea...

The Canadian Alliance is a right-leaning political party. They currently hold the 2nd-most number of seats in Parliament and are thus officially known as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, or something to that effect.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage, Sheila Copps I believe, is the person in charge of the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, a branch of government (like MInistry of Health and Ministry of Finance) to which this ruling applies. She is a member of the left-leaning Liberal party, who hold the most number of seats and are thus form the Government. I am not sure but I believe that she was championing the bill so this would be a victory for her and her party.

Re:I'm not very hip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123513)

Canadian Alliance = Opposition Party in Canada
Canadian Heritage Minister = Minister appointed by the Prime Minister

A comparative statement: "Despite strong opposition by the Democrats to these and other aspects of the bill, the Secretary of Defense won the day."

Re:I'm not very hip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123675)

That's right, but you've got the polarity backwards. The Alliance is the right-wing party, whereas the Liberals who are in power are the left-wing party.

Re:I'm not very hip (1)

myamid (179896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123531)

Well they don't really relate at all except for the fact that they are both members of parliement. The ruling party is the Liberal party which has a majority of the seats in parliements. The Heritage minister (which is the minister responsable for say... culture, the nationnal broadcast system CBC, etc...) is an MP (member of parliement) in the liberal gov.

The Canadian Alliance is the official opposition (ie: party with 2nd most number of seats.)

Each MP is elected to represent a certain area (circonscription) and each of these has roughly the same number of constituents. So ou MP is either part of the government or of the opposition.

To put it clearly, The executive and legislative branches of gov are both in parliement. Hypothetically it's as if the Majority Leader in the US was president, all Secretaries would be elected members of congress...

Re:I'm not very hip (How CDN Gov't Works) (5, Informative)

shadowspark (634482) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123590)

I'm Canadian, and I know there are lot of Canadians who also share the same ignorance/lack of information on how our Canadian government works but I hope this helps:

The Canadian Alliance [canadianalliance.ca] is the "Opposition party" or the group of elected individuals in our House of Commons (sorta like the House of Representatives in the states). The difference in our elected officials is that we have more than just two large parties. There's the Liberal Party of Canada [liberal.ca] , NDP [www.ndp.ca] , PC Party of Canada [pcparty.ca] and other parties like the Green Party, The Communist party, etc. (I don't have their URLs, but I'm sure google would help)

To better understand Canadian government, check this out: Structure of the Government of Canada [canada.gc.ca]

The Minister of Canadian Heritage [pco-bcp.gc.ca] is this person named Sheila Copps who is in charge of keeping Canadian Culture 'Canadian'. A lot of people don't like what she does as a lot of times it removes freedoms from the people of Canada and makes things more expensive (our taxes pay for her position and her policies/ideas).

To answer your actual question: Is this one individual overruling a lobbying type group or a governmental group?
The bill became law despite the Canadian Alliance fighting against it.

ummm.... (0, Flamebait)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123426)

your "MP" doesn't get it. he is reading from the sheet "read this to people that complain about the law" that was prepared by his minions.

Re:ummm.... (2, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123436)

Then his staff gets it. And since an MP (or CongressCritter for us American types) relies on his staff for input, that's a Good Thing(tm).

huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123429)

This surprises you, and you say your canadian...

I'm more curious how they'll keep it themselves instead of giving it to the studio's.

Blame Canada! (3, Insightful)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123431)

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.

Re:Blame Canada! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123469)

They legalize weed but label everyone who buys CD-Rs a pirate?

In other news, Canada to make mushrooms legal and brightly colored pictures illegal. As well as ectasy legal, but both beds and glowsticks to be made illegal.

Re:Blame Canada! (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123664)

Well, if you have enough escatcy, I don't suppose you'd need a bed. Those glow sticks will be hard to live without though...

Not only Canada (2, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123516)

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 ;-)

Re:Blame Canada! (1)

kruetz (642175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123536)

They legalised weed? Then who gives a shit about CD-Rs and piracy? Let's just smoke dope!

You negative thinkers just need to turn your frown upside down

yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123655)

Liberalism and socialism will do that. Nice to see the US has a checks and balances system.

Dashed Hopes? (2, Insightful)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123439)

...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? (1)

danthedanish (632820) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123500)

Another company, JumpTV sought permission for a similar service, but broadcasters denied the request. That start-up then asked Canadian regulators to rule on whether Net services needed permission.

Seems like they aren't too keen on the idea, though.

Re:Dashed Hopes? (2, Informative)

topham (32406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123549)

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.

Re:Dashed Hopes? (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123604)

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.

Nice self-serving comment (4, Insightful)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123442)

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.

Communicate with your Government (3, Informative)

valmont (3573) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123448)

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]

Dumb guy response (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123450)

Um, hasn't there been a lot of Canadian news on slashdot today?

The Internet is supposed to be Interstates, I don't understand all these other countries like Canada and Australia getting all this press?

Oh, Blame Canada! AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Re:Dumb guy response (0, Flamebait)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123481)

Yeah, I mean they call the internet America Online, you would think it'd be about America, not all this international shit...

Re:Dumb guy response (1)

houseofmore (313324) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123661)

"I don't understand all these other countries like Canada and Australia"

Oh yes'm. Oder peoples who doh lookin like me and neither sometimes they say words that is astrange and I think is a bad and a scarey... like the sea munsters out in the wa-er when my home isn't on the land no more.

Bad News From Canada On NetTV And Media Levies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123463)

Bad News From Canada On NetTV And Media Levies!!! more like celda

Bill C-32 already passed? (3, Informative)

Rackemup (160230) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123467)

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.

Re:Those media levies (2, Interesting)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123568)

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....

Re:Those media levies (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123684)

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.

Re:Bill C-32 already passed? (1)

ZeroZenith (83919) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123658)

I wrote an official letter several months ago.
I hope it gets read. I wish I could be there but
Ottawa is just too far for me.

Do they publish transcripts from the hearings?

Re:Bill C-32 already passed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123662)

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.

Perhaps I should be opening a digital media store/mail-order outlet in Bellingham WA (just over the border from where I live in Vancouver). Considering some of the potential levy rates I've seen thrown around this could more than double the cost of digital media.

To make it even worse, the government has yet to pay out ANY of the money that has already been collected under the current levy. That's right... they collect the money to 'help the starving artists' and have yet to pay any of it out. If it wasn't the gov't it'd be fraud.

I think we need to remind our lovely Heritage Minister [pch.gc.ca] that if she has any plans to run for the Liberal leadership this is the sort of thing that might come back to haunt her, never mind the free flags or the GST she promised to resign over (resignations are forever my dear).

Q: When you pay the levy what do you get in return?

A: A license to copy music!

Seriously though, what exactly are we getting in exchange for the levy. Certainly not a warm fuzzy for Sheila Copps and Brian Adams (who needs this levy like he needs a boot to the head... err, scratch that, he needs a boot to the head ;-). So if we're not buying a license to copy music what are we buying?

Re:Bill C-32 already passed? (3, Informative)

alfredw (318652) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123681)

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.

Re:Bill C-32 already passed? (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123713)

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".

Re:Bill C-32 already passed? (1)

Rackemup (160230) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123728)

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.

So why aren't guns outlawed yet? (0, Offtopic)

moertle (140345) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123473)

I own a gun, and I haven't shot anyone yet, but obviously its only a matter of time.

Re:So why aren't guns outlawed yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123501)

Well, sir, if you are in fact Canadian as I presume, you might do a favor to the world and place the barrel in your mouth and pull the trigger. The last thing the world needs is more whiny Canadians. If you're not Canadian, sorry, and Cheerio!

Re:So why aren't guns outlawed yet? (1)

umStefa (583709) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123544)

Here in Canada guns are basically outlawed already...

First: You must obtain a useless gun licence (A guy here in Manitoba registered his hot glue 'gun' and his heat 'gun').

Second: You are required to individualy register each gun you own buy its serial number. Under the legislation this also gives the police the right to spot check your gun storage with any sort of search warrent (and anything else they see in your home while doing this would be admissable in court).

The goverment assumes that all criminals will register there guns, this is logical isn't it?

Re:So why aren't guns outlawed yet? (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123637)

The goverment assumes that all criminals will register there guns, this is logical isn't it?

Actually I think the idea is that over a generation or two most ordinary people will register their guns. Then if criminals steal the guns, the weapons can be traced. Of course, you would need some pretty tight import controls to stop illegal guns from entering the country before a gun-registry system like this would even be RELEVANT, but maybe the government is thinking ahead ? PFFT! {chuckle} sorry couldn't keep a straight face on that last one.

Re:So why aren't guns outlawed yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123698)

Great idea, government. That way, the criminal gets off scot-free, and the legitimate owner that the gun was stolen from gets 20 to life!

Boy, those Liberals sure are full of innovation and logical thinking!

Re:So why aren't guns outlawed yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123717)

In America, that kind of talk triggers a terror alert.

TV Signals, but what about non-live? (4, Interesting)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123475)


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.

Re:TV Signals, but what about non-live? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123635)

Did you get permission? No? Then it's illegal. Just because no one exists to protest or care does not mean it's not illegal.

Impied Purchase (5, Insightful)

Foxxz (106642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123479)

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

Re: adblock.mozdev.org (1)

bobbyt (260013) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123570)

Is it low legal to burn illegal copies ripped cds since we're being charged for it?

Someone in the know, please answer! (1)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123606)

The question should be: is it now alright to burn legal copies (for friends) of CDs since we pay extra in the US for Music CD-Rs?

Re:Impied Purchase (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123651)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123753)

Here in Canada, we also have levies applied when you break certain traffic violations (excessive speeding, reckless driving, etc). Just because you pay the levy, it does not entitle you to violate those laws on a 'this time it's free' basis.

No big suprise (2, Insightful)

k-rammy (256669) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123484)

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

So it's Copps, again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123585)

What is it with the people of Hamilton, anyway? Is it something in the water, or maybe the polluted air around there? They had the prime opportunity to send Copps PACKING, but they overwhelmingly voted her back in!!!

And now we have to put up with this levy nonsense, courtesy of her little portfolio. Nice.

This is the same MP that wasted a huge wad of taxpayer money on little canadian flags. LITTLE PLASTIC CANADIAN FLAGS. How does she qualify in any way at all to make decisions on digital media?

Only goes to show that it isn't just American politicians who are in the pockets of big business.

Re:So it's Copps, again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123739)

The real question is, how the fuck is she still alive? With her track record of brain activity, one would think she'd have impaled herself on a staircase or something.

Simple Canadian Government (4, Informative)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123499)

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.

Re:Simple Canadian Government (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123660)

You forgot the part where they make a stupid campaign promise to 'scrap the GST' that they couldnt possibly keep as an MP from Hamilton east, then they tearfully resign, force a bi-election, run again aganst virtually nobody in a city that has it's main attractions named after her father and win, and basically piss away hundreds of millions on a stupid ass little whiney publicity stunt.

And then they work on this.

But hang on ... are we surprised? (5, Insightful)

kruetz (642175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123510)

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?

Re:But hang on ... are we surprised? (1)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123672)

Hell, in the end, using computers for anything but content CREATION may be pirating.

Well, what annoys me even more is that when I create original content (like record my own song) I am STILL being charged the tax for the blank CD... so even content creation does not save you from guilt assumption

paying a tax to cover alleged piracy as reported by an organisation that can't count CD burners?

Can anyone expand on that? How much is the blank media in US? When and how was it passed? Is EFF anyone lobbying to have it repealed as ridiculous??

Re:But hang on ... are we surprised? (2, Insightful)

MattW (97290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123742)

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.

you write to your Mounted Policeman? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123512)

great, canadians are represented by guys who ride horses and hand out parking tickets. no wonder...

Get your Southpark here : Two Dollar Fitty! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123524)

Whilst I think this move will have little or no effect on pirated broadcasts being available through various means on the internet (P2P, IRC, FTP etc.), it seems to be a reasonable move by the Canadian government. Otherwise, there can be no control over sites that _sell_ their warez online. That would be as bad as a website that proclaims "Get Windows XP for $5.00".

He doesn't really get it. (5, Insightful)

Dominic Shrimp (604002) | more than 11 years ago | (#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 has the same problem (1)

geekee (591277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123565)

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

Re:DirectTV has the same problem (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123697)

Has nothing to do with 'wasting bandwidth'. As someone who used to live in Canada with a greymarket DirecTV box, I can assure you that all the local affilliates from all major markets are there.

The FCC simply says if you live in LA you cant watch New York stations. Its senseless, sure, but it keeps people from cheating at Jeapordy by seeing the questions 3 hours early.

As a Canadian... (4, Interesting)

TheTomcat (53158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123633)

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

What legal system? (-1, Troll)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123641)

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

Huh? I always thought Canada's legal system is based on Common Laws. Now that's pretty much like China's legal system - 'guilty until proven innocent'.

-1 Blatant Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123708)

Our legal system is actually more fair and just than the "fry 'em!" American system (which itself borrows massively from the British system). Oh, right, every country but the US is "like China".

Fuck you asshole.

Ignorant Leaders (3, Interesting)

Typhon100 (641308) | more than 11 years ago | (#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... (2, Informative)

TheBishop613 (454798) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123694)

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.

Re:The loophole... (1)

TheBishop613 (454798) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123732)

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Notices/2003/pb2 003-2.htm

Here's the official decision from the CRTC by the way.

Re:The loophole... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123750)

The 'loophole' never was a hole. It was deliberate.

Canada is huge, you see, and much of the population is squished along the border. So not coincidentally, this is where much of the media is broadcast from. It's not economic for the big guys to set up a tower in the middle of the Yukon.

This made it possible for small time operators to spread the media to all the little remote corners here and their by rebroadcasting the news, weather and entertainment to people.

I guess now if you live way up in the colden yonder, you're shit out of luck if you want to find out what's happening in the world, unless you want to pay for it via satellite (though I'm not sure if even the remotest areas are in satellite service range).

License to steal music for Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123700)

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!"

On the flip side, paying the tax on blank CD's is equivalent to a license to copy music from any of the vendors on their payoff list.

Simple Stop buying Music ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123723)

They can't get the fucken message so stop buying music period. Boycott the fucken bastards. That's it, I'm never buying a fucken piece of disk shit cd again, fuck them all that's it fuck em ! I don't even own a fucken sterio. Nobody wanted this fucken bullshit but it passed anyway. Speak with you wallet and boycott them ! USA your next !

Ouch! (2, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123725)

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! (2, Informative)

Rackemup (160230) | more than 11 years ago | (#5123759)

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.

wtf is this bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123735)

You call that a governement ? Pass STUPID laws without anyone notice them? This is so stupid I can't believe it. I buy a lot of CD to do back-up of my stuff and this has nothing to do with music. I don't want to give my money to some greedy PRIVATE music companies which I don't even listen to music. I don't like music so wtf is up with this bullshit.

Re:wtf is this bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5123770)

you are a BIRD!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...