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CIPPIC Hero of the Day Not Teksavvy

Yesterday the CIPPIC has been given full intervenor status in the Teksavvy vs Voltage case.  That is indeed great news for Teksavvy customers who seem to have been left high and dry by their own ISP.

I have to point to yet again, another post by David Ellis on this subject. Ellis seems to be the “Charlie Brown” in all of this.  On one end Ellis seems to be really getting the user end, on the other very much supporting the telecom industry.   As a result, I think although welcomed, his opinion does not represent that of actual “life on the broadband internet”, and what we are seeing as users who have “boots on the ground” , and also what innovators have to deal with.  This is my main objection with academics and politicians in all of this.  You can post as many “theories” as you want,  but not fully understanding the situation on both the tech side, and user side complicates matters, misdirects and most importantly misinforms. As a new media innovator, most importantly as a Systems Analyst I’m trained to bridge that gap.

Howard Knopf is a practicing lawyer with years of experience in putting consumers interests forward within law. Micheal Geist is not a practicing lawyer and is the head of research in “e-business” and faculty of law at U of O.   Big difference with respect to how the TSI Vs. Voltage case is concerned in commentary on this case. Knopf is focused on Excess Copyright, and has stood side by side with Canadian creators against suing individuals, while Geist was a strong supporter of trolling (notice to notice provisions) in e-business during the copyright consultations.

To be honest and blunt, from my experience, college and university professors are often failures within industry. Teaching often is a “comp out” job of those who have failed to succeed in their respected disciplines.  Youth unemployment is over 14% in this country, and more than half of that blame needs to be going towards those in education providing obsolete training, and not preparing our work force for future jobs that come with innovation.   Those that have succeeded in industry often sit on the boards of the respected disciplines within post secondary, directing those instructing, my father at one point being one of them with respect to telecom, communications and now network security.  We need more successful people training our work force, rather than people with old ideologies and have for the most part failed in industry. In today’s world a degree might land you your first job, however it’s your experience and values that drive your success.

Looking in from the outside does not often provide you with the knowledge you need to make theoretical assumptions, especially when it comes to business models currently in play as a result of disruptive tech.  Academics have an important part of this debate with respect to bringing important information forward, however often fail with providing that information within context around adoptive and innovative business models within industry itself. Users are the driving force of change not academics and lawyers. That must be understood to present balance and a true “Fair Copyright For Canada”.

That being said, from a users perspective, we are emerging into Web 3.0 where your personal information is basically like the new gold or oil of the digital world from a business perspective. Because of the value of this information, it can also be subjected to abuse.  That’s part of my main concern with respect to privacy on the broadband internet.

The way our accountability and oversight system is built around personal information seems to be failing in large part because private interests will not step up to the plate with their legislated and legal responsibilities.  What consumers should take home from the privacy debates around Teksavvy vs Voltage is that if a motion to obtain account information remains unopposed, than courts usually grant the court order for that information no matter how spotty the evidence to obtain that information is. This opens up the door to potentially Orwell’s vision of 1984. If anyone can obtain your personal information, that could be subjected to false accusations, or even extortion specifically built on profiling of an individual’s personal information, tastes, likes, dislikes etc.  The same information is being used to market products to broadband users can be potentially used against them as well.

Ellis posts that he spoke with David Fewer of the CIPPIC, who seemed to be worried about the effects this will have in our democratic system, and the CIPPIC plans on bringing up some important, but yet primary points on this subject:

One concerns the protection of anonymous speakers on the Internet, which Fewer said is inadequate in Canada as the law now stands. He noted this issue is not confined to file-sharing, indicating the adjudication of this case may have ramifications that extend well beyond copyright

I’ve written about that on this blog as well. Ellis also stated:

Marc Gaudrault vindicated. Any minute now, I’m going to retire from the business of arguing that Marc did right by TekSavvy’s customers when he chose in December to push out notices rather than object to the Voltage motion. As I’ve noted previously, this decision created a deep split among pundits and commenters on discussion forums like DSLReports. Two months have gone by and CIPPIC is now officially a friend of the court in this matter. I think it’s high time we all stopped second-guessing Marc so we can focus our attention on what’s shaping up next.

Gaudrault is far from vindicated! In fact the position he’s put Teksavvy in as a result of their current actions, plays against what’s actually happening on the ground with respect to current life on the broadband internet, and what users are currently faced with.  Marc is a new and untested CEO.  For that I do give him some benefit of doubt, however this can go one of two ways if Gaudrault fails with oversight; either the market corrects his mistakes and wins over Teksavvy’s customers as a result (such as what Distrubtel has done) or possibly in the near future if the market doesn’t act on oversight with user data, government could bring in heavy regulations on the telecom market ensuring oversight on users information,  as what the EU is planning on doing in the near future, and also will be forcing on international corporations as well. Gaudrault has an important business decision to make, that will shape his businesses future.

Gaudrault cannot hide behind the CIPPIC. His vindication will only come when or if he decides to grow some balls and stand up directly for his customers and the principles us net citizens stand for!  Only then can Gaudrault be worthy of wielding the name Teksavvy and carrying on his brothers legacy

One thing I will give Ellis credit for is at least a tiny bit of understanding on what the media industry is going through:

Is file-sharing on the increase?

One thing has clearly changed in the battle between Big Content and the pirates. As the cases we’re seeing now in Canada indicate, individual studios and legal shops are taking up the battle just as the main industry lobbies seem to be backing off.

One thing has not changed, however, and that’s the exaggerated claims about the extent of file-sharing and the damage it causes. Take, for example, claims like “online file sharing is still growing steadily with more and more participants.” You’ll actually find that assertion right in the Wikipedia entry for the MPAA, updated this afternoon. The problem, as the editor’s note “citation needed” indicates, is there’s no supporting evidence offered to back up this claim.

So, what gives?

Every year, Cisco updates its comprehensive survey of global IP traffic, known as the Visual Networking Index, or VNI. According to Cisco’s 2012 projections for global Internet traffic (released May 2012), file-sharing traffic is actually growing at a projected CAGR of 26% from 2011 to 2016 (in petabytes per month; see Table 8). But in isolation, that figure is meaningless. Compare that to other traffic measures and file-sharing is slowing, not growing. Internet video traffic (all types except file-sharing) is growing at a CAGR of 34%. All other sub-segments (except VoIP) are also growing faster – including Web, email and data (35%), and online gaming (52%).

Ellis Concludes:

None of this means that legacy media are about to disappear. They will continue to fight off the disruptors as best they can, for as long as they can – or just buy them outright. But the trend we’ve started to see in Canada – mass litigation over infringement that isn’t really litigation – has come from a corner of the industry that doesn’t fit into any of the usual paradigms. Big Content may actually be more worried these days about Netflix than about the Pirate Bay, leaving an opening for Voltage, NGN and other small copyright trolls determined to carve out a special niche for themselves in the media landscape. How ironic Canadians are now confronted with this strange new creature, having just put the finishing touches on our “modernized” approach to copyright.

The focus needs to be on protecting innovators from hostile takeovers by incumbents on threat of copyright lawsuits. Process has trumped outcome.  Everyone is focused on compliance rather than how to drive change for a more profitable future within industry.  The dilemma around copyright is at the forefront of that change.  It’s too bad the US and Canada have opted out of that argument when it comes to the entertainment industry’s future. We have a lot of smart young people in politics, however trumped by a lot of older dumb cattle who are way too set in their ways! A large portion of the economy is reliant on bringing in change and innovation within the digital revolution.  One would hope those who have retirement plans in the near future take a long hard look at the economic future they are responsible in bringing in.  Their lifestyle will depend on it, and so will Ellis’s.


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