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  • Sep 14th, 2016 @ 12:25pm

    (untitled comment)

    The math gets a lot simpler (and the piracy option looks a lot more attractive) when you live outside the US and a lot of streaming options aren't available to you.

    I could subscribe to Netflix, Shomi and Crave for $30 a month... and that's about it. Amazon Prime isn't an option for me. HBO Go isn't an option for me. Hulu isn't an option for me. I can't even get Youtube Red. Then there's

  • Sep 2nd, 2016 @ 10:29am

    (untitled comment)

    A Digital Single Market makes a ton of sense. Geoblocking is the bane of many people's existence, especially in Europe where so much content is blocked.

    I can't speak the situation in Europe, but as a Canadian, nothing promotes piracy like geo-blocking.

    I genuinely make every effort to legitimately obtain content. I'm finally at a point in my life where I make a decent salary and my student debts are (mostly) under control. I can afford to pay for content and the legitimate channels are convenient. Within 30 seconds of deciding "I'd like to see Jason Statham kick someone in the face", I can be watching The Transporter in high-def on my TV.

    But when content is geo-blocked and I'm sitting in front of my TV/computer/phone, credit card in hand, literally begging to be allowed to pay money to access that content and that request is refused, any guilt or reservations I might have about pirating that content go right out the window. I will pirate it with a smile on my face and not feel a shred of guilt.

  • Aug 31st, 2016 @ 9:34am

    (untitled comment)

    There's a lot of armchair lawyering going on here considering all the details we have come from a very thin article discussing a judgment issued from the bench. We have no idea why the judge ruled that Florida's anti-SLAPP statute did not apply.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 8:10am


    No idea why I added all those extra Ls to his name.

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 8:09am

    (untitled comment)

    The legislated human backdoor. Obviously, such a demand raises constitutional questions, even on that side of the border.

    Why does Techdirt insist on pushing this narrative that Canadians have no (or substantially weaker) constitutional protections?

    Just because our constitutional rights are not phrased in exactly the same way or have not been intepreted in the same way as US constitutional rights doesn't mean they don't exist. But every time something like this comes up, Techdirt takes this surprised tone, like the fact that Canada has a constitution at all is shocking.

    Particularly ironic considering US courts have allowed exactly this kind of thing to happen, while no Canadian court ever has. (Allain Phillipon doesn't count - he plead guilty and the trial was never heard by a court).

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 7:50am


    The ether comment isn't from the judgment, it's from Vice's reporting on the judgment.

    And Vice is allowed to report on judgments they don't understand for the same reason you're allowed to comment on articles you didn't understand.

  • Aug 3rd, 2016 @ 11:03am

    (untitled comment)

    Okay, okay, I know that Canada doesn't have a First Amendment like we do down here...

    Uh, we DO have a constitutionally protected right to freedom of expression. It's section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

    2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

    (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
    (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
    (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
    (d) freedom of association.

    The "right to dignity" comes from Quebec's own, provincial level Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

    Unfortnately my French isn't good enough to read the decision and work out how they managed to decide the right to dignity from Quebec's Charter trumped the right to freedom of expression in the national Charter, but I look forward to the appeal.

  • Aug 3rd, 2016 @ 8:06am

    (untitled comment)

    It functions only in the United States, England and Canada, which is hardly the entire globe.

    And it barely functions in Canada. One store in BC with another in BC and one in Alberta to follow? That leaves at least 90% of the Canadian population living nowhere near a Whole Foods and probably barely aware that the chain even exists, never mind recognizing it as the "World's Healthiest Grocery Store".

  • Jul 21st, 2016 @ 7:41am


    I was thinking the same thing. I get it, the TechDirt crowd likes comments sections and other blogs/media outlets are less enthusiastic about them. But does the topic really deserve this many stories written about it?

  • Jun 22nd, 2016 @ 11:39am


    That first paragraph was supposed to be a quote. Sigh. My HTML game is weak today.

  • Jun 22nd, 2016 @ 11:39am

    (untitled comment)

    It seems noteworthy, of course, that at least in the US you're supposed to file for a patent within a year of any public use or description of the invention. If he's trying to patent stuff "from the beginning," he might be a bit late.

    And in much of the rest of the world, there is no grace period at all. I'm not aware of any countries that offer more than a one year grace period (but I'm happy to be corrected there).

    That seems like kind of a huge problem for technology that has been extensively analyzed and discussed for several years now.

  • Jun 10th, 2016 @ 7:24am

    (untitled comment)

    I really don't understand the outrage here. If the authors believe their use is fair use, then they should have gone ahead and used the quotes without payment. If it's fair use, why are they even trying to get "formal permission"?

    That seems to be the stance the NYT has taken: if you're asking us for permission, then we're assuming you've decided your use is not fair and here's our licensing rate. You can argue that rate is too high, but that has nothing to do with fair use.

    To suggest otherwise seems to suggest that the NYT should have some role in determining what is and is not fair use, which is bonkers.

  • Apr 1st, 2016 @ 3:12pm

    (untitled comment)

    The court's judgment doesn't seem to be available on CanLII at the moment, but it's been posted here:

    I've only skimmed it but it looks like it's a good read for those who are interested in the analysis that goes on when issuing these kinds of orders (in the Canadian context, of course).

  • Mar 4th, 2016 @ 7:28am

    (untitled comment)

    The Simon Singh book is fantastic. I read it years ago and it contributed to me eventually getting a math degree.

  • Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 3:47pm

    (untitled comment)

    I've worked in a library. Library staff are far more concerned about what people are doing publicly on library computers than what they're doing secretly.

    (Porn guys. I'm talking about watching porn).

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 11:17am

    (untitled comment)

    Peripherally related, but mostly just an excuse for me to complain:

    It appears that the Life Aquatic Studio Sessions, a collection of David Bowie covers by a Brazillian musician, is no longer available on Google's music streaming service, at least not in Canada. This is almost certainly a licensing issue. It has been available previously - I'm not sure when it was removed (ie. whether it was removed recently to capitalize on renewed interest due to his death).

    So THAT'S a kick in the junk.

  • Jan 27th, 2016 @ 12:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    ...which very likely means that not only will he also lose this case in California, but he's likely going to have to pay Gawker's lawyers for the privilege.

    Of course, in Canada (and other jurisdictions) this is pretty much standard in every lawsuit. It really adds a new dimension to the risk-benefit analysis of filing a lawsuit.

    Of course, in Chuck's case, one doubts whether such an analysis ever took place.

  • Jan 22nd, 2016 @ 9:43am

    (untitled comment)

    This bill requires officers to have "reasonable suspicion" that a person was using their phone while driving.

    If a cop sees someone using their phone while driving, they can already issue a ticket . In that situation, the only thing this would do would provide the police with additional evidence to use in case the ticket were challenged. Is this really a pressing problem? Are huge numbers of distracted driving tickets successfully being challenged on the basis of a lack of evidence?

    If not, the only thing this bill will cover is that narrow range of circumstances when the cop has "reasonable suspicion" a person was using their phone but isn't confident enough to write a ticket based on what they saw. That seems a pretty small gain from a pretty big privacy loss.

  • Jan 12th, 2016 @ 4:19pm

    (untitled comment)

    In unrelated news, I would like to announce the chain of cell phone stores I will be opening in New Jersey.

  • Jan 7th, 2016 @ 8:00am

    (untitled comment)

    And by "predict," Pelletier (whose organization is stocked with North American cable companies) means that's exactly what cable companies will do. In other words, your TV bill will be lower, but your broadband bill will be higher. And nothing really gets fixed if regulators don't address the lack of competition in the broadband space that lets usage caps (a glorified price hike) thrive in the first place.

    Canadian regulators are making at least a passing effort to increase competition in the broadband space. The CRTC recently made an order that will require telcos and cablecos to license their infrastructure to smaller, independent operators. (They were already required to provide some access to coaxial and copper infrastructure, to a limited extent, but this recent order will also require them to provide access to more modern fiber infrastructure). Bell, of course, is fighting this, by asking the CRTC to reconsider parts of its decision while at the same time asking government officials to overturn it entirely.

    Another comment mentioned the choice Canadian consumers have with respect to who provides their Internet service. It's true that in some communities, Canadians might have one or two independent operators providing internet access in addition to the telco and cableco, but the telcos and cablecos still control about 95% of the broadband market. In the hearing leading up to the CRTC order, representatives from independent operators testified about how, even when they have the infrastructure to provide service, it's hard to make a serious dent in the market share of the telcos and cablecos. The combination of brand recognition, the ability to bundle services and consumer inertia is incredibly hard to overcome. Of course, those are "features" of the market that are a lot more difficult to regulate away, which means it's unlikely that the telcos and cablecos will feel any serious competitive pressure anytime soon, even with the CRTC's intervention.

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