Archive for November, 2009

Getting the straight goods on ACTA, check your sources

November 28th, 2009

There has been a lot written about what ACTA might finally look like. A good deal of it is intended to tarnish ACTA based on misleading interpretions of what is currently known. I discussed this in a recent post, Fear Mongering and Misinformation Used to Slag ACTA.

Another recent blog posting, Talking About Nerd Stuff: RE: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, reviewed some of the anti-ACTA hype and came to the correct conclusion that simply relying on secondary and tertiary summaries of ACTA would give people a mistaken view about what is really known about the treaty. According to the blog:

Mininova gone, who’s left and where are they located?

November 27th, 2009

In August of this year a Dutch court ordered Mininova to remove all infringing torrents within three months. Yesterday, Mininova complied with the court’s order and disabled all torrents, except those in the licensed “content distribution” part of the service.

Mininova was the world’s second most popular unauthorized BitTorrent site. It facilitated infringement on a massive scale, with more than 10 billion downloads. Its demise follows Pirate Bay which was also ordered shut down following a decision by a Swedish court this past April which found Pirate Bay’s operators criminally responsible for copyright infringement.

OECD counterfeiting report misinterpreted to support myth of Canada as a low piracy country

November 24th, 2009

On November 20th, the OECD published a report titled Magnitude of counterfeiting and piracy of tangible products – November 2009 update. The report is an update to a previous major study on counterfeiting undertaken by the OECD in 2008. The report confirms what has been known for a long time: that counterfeiting and piracy of tangible goods is a major impediment to global trade that is getting worse. The report estimates that global trade in counterfeit and pirated tangible goods more than doubled in this decade to approximately 250 billion US dollars in 2007, up from just over USD 100 billion in 2001.

Graduated Response Mapped out in UK Digital Economy Bill

November 22nd, 2009

The UK government continues to speed ahead with modernizing its copyright legislation to bring the UK into the 21st century. The latest development is the introduction the UK Digital Economy Bill.

Earlier this month the government published © the way ahead: A Copyright Strategy for the Digital Age. The report focused on the need to keep copyright consistent with public expectations and explored the desirability of making access to and use of works easier for consumers. It also recommended making orphan works easier to access and suggested extended collective licensing as a means of facilitating making works available to the public.

More Fickle than Fair: Why Canada Should Not Adopt A Fair Use Regime

November 22nd, 2009

Article from The Lawyers Weekly. November 20, 2009, by Barry Sookman and Dan Glover

In July, the Canadian government launched a nationwide consultation on copyright modernization, asking Canadians what changes should be made to the Copyright Act to best foster innovation, creativity, competition and investment, and position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy.

During this process, advocates of copyright liberalization have called to replace Canada’s longstanding fair dealing provisions with a general fair use provision. In Canada, fair dealing is a defence to an infringement claim that allows a person to use copyright fairly for certain identified purposes. In the United States, that person is able to contend that any use is fair.

Support for ACTA Urged by Over 20 Leading Organizations

November 20th, 2009

On November 19, leading American entities representing the creative industries including representatives of authors, publishers, directors, artists, photographers, and distributors wrote to Chairman Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee as well as to ranking members of various Senate and House Committees to express their strong support for ACTA.

The letter summarizes some of the reasons why ACTA is important. Here are some extracts from the letter, which are equally applicable to Canada:

MPAA ACTA Letter to Chairman Leahy

November 20th, 2009

Sacking Employees for Misuse of Computers and Internet Access-Poliquin v. Devon Canada Corporation

November 20th, 2009

Can an employee be dismissed for cause because he or she uses an employer’s computer and Internet access to view and transmit pornographic and racist materials in violation of a company’s Code of Conduct? This issue arose in Poliquin v. Devon Canada Corporation, 2009  ABCA 216. According to the Alberta Court of Appeal, the answer is clearly yes.

In the course of deciding that an employee could be dismissed for cause, the Court of Appeal made a number of important observations on the potential for an employee’s use of his/her employer’s Internet access to harm his/her employer and the scope of the rights employers have to monitor, control and prevent this activity.


November 19th, 2009

The OECD just published an update on the magniture of counterfeiting and piracy of tangible products. The report, Magnitude of Counterfeiting and Piracy of Tangible Products-An Update, is a useful reminder of the problem and reinforces the need for a global agreement like ACTA to address the problem.

An 2008 OECD study concluded that international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods could have accounted for up to USD 200 billion in 2005. The updated estimates, based on the growth and changing composition of trade between 2005 and 2007, suggests that counterfeit and pirated goods in international trade grew steadily over the period 2000 – 2007 and could amount to up to USD 250 billion in 2007.

Fear Mongering and Misinformation Used to Slag ACTA

November 18th, 2009

Last week saw a lot of digital ink spilled over speculation about what the Internet Chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is going to contain.  Some opponents of ACTA including Prof. Geist helped to leak the contents of a two page confidential memorandum that contained a written account of an oral report on what was still being negotiated.[i]

Based on this two page preliminary document, ACTA opponents began a frenzied propaganda campaign against ACTA.  Prof. Geist led the feverish attack writing articles, blogs, tweets, giving a speech in Washington, and press and radio interviews.[ii]