CONTENT CONVERGENCE AND COMMUNICATIONS: THE IMPACT ON TECHNOLOGY BUSINESSES

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1 CONTENT CONVERGENCE AND COMMUNICATIONS: THE IMPACT ON TECHNOLOGY BUSINESSES Presentation made to CANADIAN IT LAW ASSOCIATION The Sixteenth Annual Canadian IT Law Association Conference Dr. Sunny Handa Montreal, October 29, 2012

2 The Legal/Regulatory Landscape

3 THREE PILLARS OF CANADIAN COMMUNICATIONS LAW/REGULATION Telecommunications Act Broadcasting Act Radiocommunication Act 3

4 TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT Strong players due to former monopoly status Foreign ownership and control restrictions (recently lifted in large part) Effectively economic regulation Price cap regulation for tariffed services 4

5 BROADCASTING ACT Effectively cultural regulation Applies to the transmission of "programs" to the public Broadcasters include: Programming undertakings Distribution undertakings Networks New Media undertakings? Currently exempt 5

6 BROADCASTING ACT (CONT D) Licensing and registration regime Foreign ownership and control requirements Contribution to production fund Canadian content requirements 6

7 RADIOCOMMUNICATION ACT Authorizations and licences for use of spectrum including receiving and transmitting of wireless transmissions Equipment certification 7

8 OTHER AREAS OF LAW AFFECTING THE COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY Copyright law: Property rights for content Competition law: In the absence of sector specific economic regulation, competition law ensures the proper functioning of the market Criminal law: Covers extreme online behaviours 8

9 CONVERGENCE TECHNOLOGIES AND BUSINESSES THAT ARE PROMOTING CHANGE VoIP Telephony CRTC: PSTN connected VoIP services are regulated as resellers Pure Internet calling escapes regulation Cable companies and telcos Regulated as with other equivalent services 911 and other services are still a problem with nomadic VoIP 9

10 CONVERGENCE TECHNOLOGIES AND BUSINESSES THAT ARE PROMOTING CHANGE (CONT D) Films Netflix Available in Canada with a growing library New Media Decision CRTC: Over-the-top services escape regulation Argues that Canadian ISP Bandwidth caps are still a constraint 10

11 CONVERGENCE TECHNOLOGIES AND BUSINESSES THAT ARE PROMOTING CHANGE (CONT D) Books Amazon.com: Kindle Available and very successful in Canada Certain copyright protections in place for exclusive distributors Highly complex rules Antiquated rules Currently U.S. publishers have raised prices for Kindle books in some cases higher than for physical books various challenges are underway 11

12 CONVERGENCE TECHNOLOGIES AND BUSINESSES THAT ARE PROMOTING CHANGE (CONT D) Radio Pandora.com Not yet in Canada Copyright tariff rates remain very high Benefits from New Media Decision (i.e. exemption) 12

13 CONVERGENCE TECHNOLOGIES AND BUSINESSES THAT ARE PROMOTING CHANGE (CONT D) Music distribution itunes Not regulated Very successful in Canada Amazon.com s service and others are following suit 13

14 CONVERGENCE TECHNOLOGIES AND BUSINESSES THAT ARE PROMOTING CHANGE (CONT D) Television Hulu Not available in Canada due to copyright licensing issues CRTC: Over-the-top services escape regulation Amazon a potential acquirer (Business Week)? Others? 14

15 SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Will borders be meaningless? Will IP laws continue to be separated along country lines? Server havens? How will Canada be affected? Canadian content rules (cultural effects) Will there be a Canadian industry (economic effects)? 15

16 SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? (CONT D) What will the Industry look like? Likely much more international Revenue models? Current examples Freemium Ad supported Subscription Something new? Are these sustainable? Are these just early days with unsustainable models? 16

17 SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? (CONT D) The pressure for change is high But change to what? What form will legal governance take? Will sector specific regulation be needed or will competition law suffice? Copyright reform blockage will finally have given way. Will this be enough? «The Future is near» 17

18 QUESTIONS? CONTENT CONVERGENCE AND COMMUNICATIONS: THE IMPACT ON TECHNOLOGY BUSINESSES 18

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