Canada rules against TV webcasters

In a victory for broadcasters, Canadian regulators ruled that Web operators
have no right to retransmit U.S. and Canadian television and radio stations over
the Internet.

The National Association of Broadcasters and U.S. networks had been urging
the ruling since iCraveTV began streaming signals of U.S. and Canadian stations
in 1999.

Broadcasters argued that unauthorized Webcasts violated stations' copyrights, and
the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission agreed.

"There is no completely workable method of ensuring that Internet
retransmissions are geographically contained," the Canadian agency ruled Friday.

The likelihood that a program retransmitted over the Internet would become
available worldwide could significantly reduce the value of a station's
exclusive right to rebroadcast network signals in its local markets, the
regulators added.

iCraveTV was shut down in 2000, and rival JumpTV stopped its broadcast
retransmissions soon after.

JumpTV now distributes international TV channels -- for which
copyright has been obtained -- to its subscribers.