Canadian Tech News, October 8th – Groups, CBC v CC, Netflix

So I missed last week’s post due to an unprecedentedly busy week and this week I’m in the US of A. Suffice it to say, this weeks’ post is a little different than the others in this series.

The state of group buying in Canada:

A couple of months ago I had not heard of a single group buying sites for the Canadian market. That all changed this month, there has been a mini-explosion of group buying options:

CBC Hates Creative Commons

Reddit user mcantelon discovered a thread of comments buried in the Spark show notes. Spark has a history of using Creative Commons music for intros and bumpers throught the show and providing links to this music with every episode.  A commenter asked where he could find the Creative Commons link to the music used in the latest episode. Show producers Dan Misener and Lilly Mills jump in to provide explanation. Turns out, CBC is not allowed to use Creatives Commons licensed due to a collective barginning agreement! One commenter, Andrew Butash, puts it best “…this is incredibly unsettling. The CBC is a public broadcaster that receives funding from taxpayers. They should not be signing exclusive contracts with any agencies or unions. Disallowing the use of creative commons media is excluding tons of Canadian content from being used by CBC, not to mention wasting money by requiring CBC programs to use non-free media.”

Netflix Gotcha

With the launch of Netflix Canada I was wondering what would happen if you try to log in to from the USA with a Canadian account. I was hoping that you’d instantly get access to the US content, allowing for the possibility of a way to spoof your IP from Canada. Unfortunately that’s not what happens. simply does not recognize your Canadian credentials, giving a standard “invalid username/password” type message. When you try to access from a US IP, this happens:

Canadian Tech News, September 16th – Spark, Copyright, RIM, Boxee, Bell’s IPTV

Spark is Back
CBC’s brilliant technology radio show (available in podcast form) is back for another season of Nora Young‘s soothing voice and intelligent commentary on tech issues.

Official Opposition Opposes Copyright Bill
Digital Copyright Canada posted an email they received from the Office of the Official Opposition. TLDR

…we believe that Canadian consumers who have legitimately purchased a CD or a DVD or other product should also have the ability to transfer their purchase onto their iPod or make a personal backup copy on their computer, so long as they are not doing so for the purposes of sale or transfer to others.

RIM Acquires Documents To Go
Earlier last week RIM confirmed rumours of their acquisition of the makers of popular mobile app Documents To Go – a smartphone app that allows native editing of doc,ppt,xls and pdf. I guess RIM was feeling left out without their own documents offering.

Boxee Box out November 21st
OMGNOTTHATBOXXY! In Canadian product release date news: the long awaited D-Link Boxee Box – set-top media extender, online tv streamer of your nerdy dreams – is going to be available on the same date for the same price as the US. November 21st, for $199. It’s unclear whether this price is an introductory pre-order price or the final retail price. Hopefully Netflix Canada will have launched by then…

Bell Launching Internet-Based TV
I’m pleased to see that all the big telecom players are slowly coming on board with IPTV offerings. This move from Bell Canada mirrors service we’ve seen out west from the likes of MTS and Telus for a few years now. Once all cable TV providers offer phone service and all traditional phone providers offer TV, maybe we’ll start seeing some real country-wide competition.