As a first step in acting on its Throne Speech promise that it
would require television channels to be unbundled, the Canadian
government has requested the CRTC to produce a report on how
Canadians can be provided with the greatest ability to obtain
television services on a "pick and pay" basis, while best
meeting the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
The report is to consider effects on both consumers and a range
of industry groups. With respect to consumers, the CRTC is to
explore how Canadians can maintain affordable access to a variety
of pay and specialty service, including niche programming, in a
more à la carte distribution environment. The
report is also to consider the effect of increased "pick and
pay" on broadcasters, distribution undertakings and
independent producers, as well as on programming diversity,
including with respect to a range of multicultural and linguistic
As we noted
in an earlier post, there are a number of material challenges
to the implementation of a pick-and-pay regime in Canada, including
reconciling such a pricing and packaging approach with
Broadcasting Act requirements for predominance of Canadian
programming and services in the presentation of programming, and
with existing CRTC rules requiring that foreign pay and specialty
services must be packaged with Canadian services.
The more practical challenges include the dynamic effects of
more à la carte offerings on service penetration,
pricing and investments in the Canadian production sector.
The Throne Speech promise clearly indicated that the government
would protect Canadian jobs while unbundling the offering of
In apparent recognition of the complexity of the issues, the government has indicated that before
taking any action on its promise in the Throne Speech, it will
await the results of the CRTC report, due by 30 April 2014.
Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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