News from Michael Geist today that Culture.ca, the (well, one of several from the same department) Canadian culture portal, has closed effective April 1, 2008. I know a couple of people who are directly affected by this news, though I’m not sure what the impact will be or what impact the site has had.
Alec Saunders has written a long post comparing the rates for data plans and carrier revenues internationally called Talking Turkey on Canadian Data. Alec brings out the numbers behind the point that I’ve been making based on instinct for some time now – the problem with exorbitant data rates isn’t just that people WANT more data or somehow deserve it – which is how it’s usually portrayed. The problem with high data rates is actually that the carriers are leaving huge revenues on the table over (it seems) some kind of “we DESERVE to be able to meter every byte” principle. Canadian carriers are not acting in the best interests of consumers or their shareholders by being so intransigent on this issue.
It is widely rumoured that between now and Christmas, the Conservative government is going to introduce new Canadian DMCA-style copyright legislation. Michael Geist has written a useful list of actions Canadians can take to address this: The Canadian DMCA – What You Can Do.
Industry Canada divulged plans for the upcoming auction of additional wireless spectrum: Government Opts for More Competition in the Wireless Sector. The good news is that they have set aside a good proportion of the new spectrum to new entrants into the Canadian market, as well as mandating things like shared tower space (for antennas). Hopefully this will put some price pressure on the incumbents in the Canadian wireless industry – Rogers, Telus, and Bell.
Update: Thomas Purves has written a post about this at StartUpNorth which lays out some of the implications of this announcement.
The news following the ADISQ Gala (and the media attention that gave them) earlier this week was that they – in conjunction with several other arts-related groups – want the CRTC to consider regulating Canadian Content on the Internet. Of course Michael Geist has the story: ADISQ Seeks Internet Canadian Content Requirements.
Personally, I am a big fan of CanCon regulations in terms of radio and TV. I think the success of the Canadian musicians in recent years is largely attributable to the fact that CanCon ensured that there was a Canadian music industry. But I also think a large part of the most recent success of those musicians is even more largely attributable to the wonders of the Long Tail than any regulatory scheme. For me, then, although I would support targeted funding to artists (NOT industry-run, though) and other such mechanisms to ensure that they can adequately represent themselves on the Internet, I am certain that content regulation is not the way to go. It’s actually a bit of a joke, the very idea that such regulations could be considered.
Library and Archives Canada has released their new Canadian Digital Information Strategy. This release is a draft – comments are welcome from “any interested person or organization” by Nov 23, 2007. I haven’t looked at it yet, but given the current climate in Canada, it’s certain to be an interesting document. (Via Michael Geist)
I just checked and Apple is charging the same price for Leopard in the Canadian store (in C$) as in the US store (in US$). There are laggards, but at least Apple doesn’t seem to be one of them.