Cablegate: Crtc Decision Means No Retransmission of Tv Signals
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS OTTAWA 000214
STATE FOR WHA/CAN-NORMAN AND EB/TPP/MTA/IPC JFELT AND
STATE PASS USTR FOR KSHIGETOMI AND CBURCKY
STATE PASS FCC FOR JONATHAN LEVY AND MARK URETSKY
USDOC FOR GERI WORD AND CARLOS BUSQUETS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ETRD CA
SUBJECT: CRTC DECISION MEANS NO RETRANSMISSION OF TV SIGNALS
VIA THE INTERNET IN CANADA
REFS: (A) OTTAWA 3602 and Previous
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE TREAT ACCORDINGLY.
1. (SBU) The Canadian Radio-Television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) concluded in a January
17, 2003 report that there is no need to amend its current
New Media Exemption Order. This decision upholds the intent
of Bill C-11, passed in December 2002 (Reftel), making it
illegal to put broadcast TV signals onto the Internet
without permission. The decision is a victory for U.S. and
Canadian broadcasters who have worked for more than three
years to outlaw non-consensual Internet retransmission in
Canada. The complete text of the CRTC decision is available
on the web at:
2. Bill C-11, which amended Canada's compulsory licensing
regime specifically to disallow the retransmission of
television signals over the Internet, was tied to the CRTC's
New Media Exemption Order. During the debate on Bill C-11,
the CRTC was ordered to review the Exemption Order.
Internet retransmissions would have been eligible for the
benefits of the compulsory license in the Copyright Act if
the CRTC had decided either to license them as broadcasters
or to create a new exemption order specifically for them.
The CRTC chose to do neither.
3. Canadian legal experts told Econoff that the CRTC
decision, combined with the contents of C-11, provides an
absolute exclusion of Internet retransmitters from the
Canadian compulsory license for the foreseeable future.
Bill C-11, which was proclaimed into law in December but is
not yet in force, is expected to enter into force as law
4. In a separate but related development, Aliant, a
Maritime phone consortium, filed an application with the
CRTC for an experimental license to continue its Internet
retransmission service. Aliant's filing was made before the
CRTC handed down its recent decision so it is expected that
the CRTC will deny the application and Aliant's subscriber
service, "TV-On-My-PC", will have to cease operations.
However, we will continue to follow the issue and report any
findings that would be of concern to U.S. interests.