Timothy M. Denton

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Hats off to the CRTC

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The CRTC got it basically right yesterday. While it did not climb down from its position that video on the Internet is subject to its jurisdiction, it made the correct decision that the broadcasting regime was to be more assimilated to the Internet than the other way around. See its treatment of licensed on-demand services at paragraphs 92 and following of Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-86, where what is licensed would be assimilated to the regime of the Digital Media Exemption Order.

My position on the extension of broadcasting jurisdiction over full-motion video on the Internet is expressed by my colleague Philip Palmer in reasoned juridical terms here. My attitude is more like that of Charlton Heston clutching his rifle at the NRA convention, saying that government would take his firearm from his cold dead hands. The CRTC can take the internet from my cold dead hands. Thus, by again avoiding an outbreak of militant rebellion against governmental intrusion into free speech, the CRTC is to be congratulated.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, yes, the Internet is a free speech issue, not a broadcasting jurisdiction issue. Speech is speech is speech, even if we do it now in full motion video.

 

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Timothy Denton is a lawyer by training who practices principally in telecommunications and Internet policy and domain name issues, with a strong concentration on explaining what the technology is and what it means.

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Guest Sunday, 25 August 2019
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