ARCHIVED — Call for Comments on Possible Amendments to the Local Signal and Distant Signal Regulations
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The Departments of Industry and Canadian Heritage (the Departments) seek your comments on possible changes to the Local Signal and Distant Signal Regulations (SOR 89-254) (the Regulations) made under the Copyright Act. These possible changes are of direct interest to radiocommunication distribution undertakings which retransmit over-the-air television or radio signals.
This call for comments follows a limited consultation, held in the summer and fall of 2002, concerning possible amendments to the Regulations. The Regulations define "local" and "distant" signal for the purposes of the Copyright Act's compulsory retransmission licence provided by section 31 of that Act. Under that provision, royalties are payable, only for the retransmission of distant signals. The earlier consultation proposed amending the Regulations so that the rules which distinguish between local and distant signals for the purpose of "cable retransmission systems" would also apply to satellite systems. This proposal arose from the fact that the current Regulations effectively deem all signals retransmitted by systems, other than cable retransmission systems and terrestrial retransmission systems utilizing hertzian waves, to be distant signals, even when they are retransmitted to premises in a signal's local market. Consequently all signals retransmitted by satellite retransmitters are distant, as confirmed by the Copyright Board in its decision of February 25, 2000 (Statement of Royalties to be Collected for the Retransmission of Distant Radio and Television Signals, in Canada, in 1998, 1999 and 2000, Ref: (2000) 5 C.P.R. (4th) 440).
The following document, dated August 8, 2002, was used to illustrate how the Regulations might be amended to give effect to the proposed aforementioned change:
No change to the specific rule applicable to wireless systems was contemplated at that time. However, the Departments are now considering the possibility of amending the Regulations to eliminate this rule, such that all retransmitters would be dealt with on the same footing, i.e., according to the rules currently applicable to cable systems. This change could be effected through the repeal of par. 3(a)iii) of the regulations, as indicated by strikeout in the following document dated July 2, 2003.
Please provide your written comments no later than September 1, 2003. The Departments believe this deadline will provide stakeholders adequate time to respond, despite the season, while helping to ensure that amendments, if pursued, could take effect with the expiry of the television and radio retransmission tariffs for 2003.
If you have any questions concerning this consultation, please contact either Bruce Couchman, Industry Canada 613-952-2621 or Michel Bourque, Canadian Heritage, 613-990-6292.
Written comments may be sent by e-mail (WordPerfect, Microsoft Word or HTML formats) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments may also be sent by mail or fax to:
Comments - Local Signal and Distant Signal Regulations
c/o Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
235 Queen Street
5th Floor West
Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
Copyright Policy Branch
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