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There are some other good points in that article about CRTC bias, which has been evident for some time. OTOH, I don't agree with public interest groups boycotting the proceedings. That can only lead to an outcome that completely favors big business. If they want to protest, they should take up their case with the government. Government ministers have the power to direct the CRTC to conduct hearings that are less biased and allow more input from the public. IMHO, Finckenstein should be removed due to the pro-business bias that has become evident in his recent statements and rulings.
 

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Is OPENMEDIA really that stupid? Are these consultations any different than consultations over the last 30 years?

Good lord we enshrined Cultural protection in NAFTA.

Rather than coming out with ridiculous press releases saying they are going to "boycott" the meetings, why don't they go to the proceedings, call their MP and do all the things that more likely to succeed rather than simply grandstanding.
 

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It's all so disparingly futile though isn't it? As soon as a technology comes around that actually benefits the average Canadian consumer - Bam! down comes the iron gates by the big guys who want to make a buck (or a million). If these consumer groups aren't going to do anything.. we're doomed to take whatever Shaw, Rogers or Bell will allow us to have.
 

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Open your mind and don't let the CRTC close the door on Netflix!

Frustration often leads to irrational decisions.

At first glance, it seems silly for Open Media and others to boycott the proceedings because the deck is stacked against the Canadian viewers and always will be.

I only get 3 digital Canadian channels via OTA broadcasts -- CTV, CBC and Omni 2 (Eastern view from Yonge and Sheppard area with small amplified indoor antenna), so I often need to stand in a certain spot in my apartment to maintain a good picture for some of the Buffalo channels when the signal strength falls too low. If it was necessary to do that too often, I might be tempted to boycott OTA, US broadcasts even though that wouldn't do anything to solve my problem ... unless that boycott/break from the frustration, allowed me to clear my head and figure out a better plan of attack.

If Open Media (along with the Ottawa-based Public Interest Advocacy Centre) needs to try a different tactic, or just needs to clear its head to help it tackle an annoying problem that most likely won't be solved by going to the proceedings and then later complaining to the CRTC, then so be it.

Fighting the CRTC and the big Canadian players in our Entertainment industry is no small task and takes a lot of perseverance and energy (money doesn't hurt either).

So, take a deep breath, clear your mind and then get back to the daily grind of complaining to the brick wall known as the CRTC.

The CRTC doesn't seem to learn from its mistakes, but rather prefers to make even bigger mistakes that do even more damage. It's a bloody miracle that Netflix came to Canada, and now that miracle is in danger of being cancelled. If you let one US powerhouse into Canada without government restrictions, that might give the impression that others would also be welcomed. Stricter Cap limits and throttling bandwidth hasn't chased Netflix out of our country, so now the CRTC has been asked to step in to see if it can figure out a way to at least limit Netflix's appeal even more.

Regulating Netflix Canada would surely mean a price increase (or at least less content getting added), and that price increase might make it even more appealing to subscribe to Netflix.com instead (through VPN, etc.).

It might be a good thing if the CRTC tried to regulate Netflix Canada, only because it might force more Canadians to finally go to the trouble of learning how to access the US media services through a VPN or other services, which could lead to a boycott of all the Canadian media services which would in turn force Rogers and the Gang to raise its prices and then ask the CRTC to meddle even more.

In the end, Canadians will continue to support the Canadian Entertainment companies because we do need them. It's just a shame that they know most of us need them, and thus there's little chance that they will let us enjoy a little freedom from their constant interference.

If I were to complain to the CRTC about a thorn in my paw, it would most likely glance at the thorn and then push it in deeper. The theory being that if we are taught to be thankful for what we have now, we might be less likely to ask for more in the future. Netflix Canada is rather limited, but if it ever gets closer to offering the same content that Netflix USA offers, that could mean even bigger problems for Rogers and the Gang.

As Netflix grows even bigger by expanding to other countries, it should become even easier to acquire worldwide distribution rights, rather than always being forced to negotiate rights for each individual country over many months.

The Netflix juggernaut is coming, but I doubt that Rogers and the Gang will sit idly by and make it easy for Netflix to grow here.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/CRTC+fights+keep+with+times/5080939/story.html
[JULY 10, 2011: CRTC fights to keep up with the times]

Fast-growing online TV and movie services, such as Netflix, eat up bandwidth, but these so-called “over-the-top” services also threaten to upend the revenue stream of traditional broadcasters, so these corporate giants have banded together to publicly ask the commission to regulate these new competitors.

The CRTC is also wading through dozens of written submissions about these “over-the-top” programming services, even though the commission decided just a few years ago that it was going to take a hands-off approach to the Internet.

So is the CRTC, perennially criticized as outdated, still useful or relevant to Canadians?

Perhaps best-known to the public as the body that sets Canadian content rules and grants broadcasting licences, the commission’s official mandate is to ensure that the broadcasting and telecommunications systems serve the Canadian public. But trying to align the private objectives of the industry with the public interests of Canada’s broadcasting and telecoms acts is a tricky business — especially for a body that continually faces charges of being too cozy with Canada’s big broadcasters and telecom companies.

In the meantime, it looks like the CRTC — or maybe consumers — just can’t win as the commission wrestles over what to do about new media.

The CRTC “has had a gun put to its head” to lay off the hugely profitable big telcos and broadcasters, but at the same time the Conservative government says, “‘What’s the matter with you? We don’t have a competitive market for consumers,” said Michael Janigan, executive director of the Ottawa-based Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

“They start off with an image of a naysaying bureaucrat and it’s very difficult for them to assume the mantel of consumer protector as a result, and people don’t necessarily look at them like that.”
 

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The only way to beat the CRTC is to change it. The UBB issue was changed when people complained long and loud to the CRTC and their MP.
 

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The problem is that broadcasters are persistent in their demands. The public is not going to protest and the government is not going to intervene on every issue. The broadcasters will eventually get what they want when an issue gets past the attention of the public or the government. I've seen it happen many times in politics. The only way to stop things like UBB from being implemented is to change the CRTC's mandate and break up the concentration of media owner ownership in Canada. The US did it and they have a much healthier system with more competition. Canada can do the same.
 

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The only way to stop things like UBB from being implemented is to change the CRTC's mandate and break up the concentration of media owner ownership in Canada.
Exactly. Hence why people need to complain to their MP's not the CRTC.
 

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It might be a good thing if the CRTC tried to regulate Netflix Canada, only because it might force more Canadians to finally go to the trouble of learning how to access the US media services through a VPN or other services, which could lead to a boycott of all the Canadian media services which would in turn force Rogers and the Gang to raise its prices and then ask the CRTC to meddle even more.
Agreed. I hope the CRTC recommends draconian changes because it will cause a ruckus that puts the UBB fiasco to shame.
 

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I find it odd that they haven't gone after MLB.TV or NFL Field Pass. Neither one requires a cable subscription and they directly compete with premium sports packages. Going after Netflix for airing programs otherwise unavailable in Canada seems like a case of trying to kill the competition, rather than any legitimate concern.

The distribution model is changing. As TV's get smarter, there will be less need for the middleman. This is just an attempt to force people to ride horses in the age of the automobile.
 

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This has been discussed before

See this thread
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=138554

but in a nutshell

the argument is that Netflix is "securing exclusive distribution rights to content in Canada, and it's selling subscription-based access to this content to households." The moment it bought rights to programming for distribution, it became a pay tv operator and as such should be constrained by the rules that govern pay tv operators.

A pay tv operator buys exclusive rights to content that it can distribute over a regional area and then sells subscriptions to it. This is what Astra does and what the industry argues Netflix is doing.


See the thread above to discuss this further but I agree that Netflix is a Pay TV operator. The distribution channel is irrelevant.
 
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