Saturday, July 9, 2011

CRTC considers hearings on rules for online video

The CRTC is considering re-opening the discussion on setting rules for online broadcasters, the start of a process that could affect what kind of videos that users can get online. The regulaor this week ended a fact-finding period as it looks at starting public consultations on so-called over-the-top services like Netflix and YouTube two years sooner than planned.
Over-the-top refers to internet use over and above surfing and email, like streaming television or movies through online video services.
The regulatory body dealt with the issue in 2009 and decided there was no need to regulate such services, but that it would hold new public consultations in 2013 and issue an updated decision in 2014.
The fact-finding period is unusual, since it isn't a full public hearing, said internet law expert Michael Geist, who holds a Canada Research Chair in internet and e-commerce at the University of Ottawa.
"It's not clear exactly what that is," he said. "It's either consulting, in which case it's a full public process, or it's not."
Geist said he expects the CRTC to announce by sometime this fall that it will hold hearings into the issue.

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