I had the pleasure of speaking at the Institute for New Economic Thinking and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Toronto 2014 Conference called Human After All. The topic of my talk was “Law and Innovation: Is Intellectual Property a Path to Progress”. The speakers with me on the session were Giovanni Dosi, Director, Institute of Economics, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa and Mariana Mazzucato, Professor, University of Sussex. The paper I prepared for the talk is below. (A PDF version of the paper can be accessed here.) My slides can be accessed here.* .
Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act (An Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act,) was given First Reading in the Senate today. The summary of the Bill describes the proposed amendments as follows:
Earlier today, I co-chaired the program Countdown to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation: Make Sure You Are Ready, jointly provided by the Ontario Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada. I gave an overview of CASL focusing on the computer program provisions before moderating the “Ask the Experts” Q&A panel.
My slides on the computer program provisions are shown below.
European courts have ordered ISPs to block access to pirate file sharing sites in other countries for years. The jurisdiction for doing so is Article 8(3) of the EU Copyright Directive (Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001) which is transposed into the laws of EU Member States. The courts have considered these orders to represent a reasonable balance between the interests of copyright holders, intermediaries, and end users. See, Keeping The Pirate Bays at Bay.
Earlier today, a number of international and foreign associations and copyright scholars filed an Amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in the ABC, Inc. et al v. Aereo, Inc case. The brief brings to the attention of the SCOTUS a number of international treaties and trade agreements respecting copyright that impose obligations on the United States to provide copyright holders with a broad technologically neutral communication to the public right that would cover all aspects of Aereo’s service and make its service infringing.
I got a call this week from a client asking if Canada’s new anti-spam/anti-malware legislation (CASL) applies to non-Canadian organizations. (It was one of the plethora of calls I got this week on CASL.) When I answered that CASL did indeed apply extra-territorially I was confronted with one of the many gasps of frustration I have also been encountering recently with this law (which several years ago I dubbed Canada’s Anti-Speech Legislation (CASL) because of its major chill on legitimate electronic messages).
The Minister of Finance tabled the Government of Canada’s budget earlier today. Titled, The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities, the budget contained a few proposed plans related to intellectual property and the digital economy.
The Economic Action Plan proposes to modernize Canada’s intellectual property framework “to better align it with international practices.” These plans which had previoulsy been announced were described as follows:
Canada’s existing framework for protecting intellectual property is not aligned with international practices, creating unnecessary costs for our innovative businesses. Harmonizing Canada’s intellectual property regime with international norms will help Canada’s innovative businesses access international markets, lower costs and draw foreign investment to Canada by reducing the regulatory burden and red tape faced by businesses.
CASL compliance is a major challenge for Canadian organizations. The new legislation which regulates sending commercial electronic messages and the installation of computer programs is the toughest law of its kind anywhere.
To help organizations comply, McCarthy Tétrault has created a web page that compiles useful resources to help in developing and implementing compliance programs. It has also updated its very popular CASL Toolkit to take into account recent developments including the Industry Canada regulations and RIAS and the CRTC regulations and guidance documents.
Orgnaizations that need assistance in understanding and complying with CASL can request a copy by following the directions at the McCarthy Tétrault website.
Yesterday, I gave a talk at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s 18h Annual Intellectual Property Law: The Year in Review program. My talk canvassed developments in copyright in Canada, the US and UK in 2013. My slides are shown below. The associated paper prepared in collaboration with Glen Bloom, with the help of others, is available here.
The following copyright cases from Canada, the USA, and UK are dealt with in the slides. The paper has additional Canadian cases.