There was a time you could count on The Globe and Mail to support the Canadian cultural industries and to favour legal frameworks designed to strengthen them. You could also count on the Globe not to be soft on content theft by commercial pirates that harm Canadian businesses and impede their ability to innovate. Recently, however, the Globe has taken one-sided positions opposite the creative community. Worse, it has taken these positions relying on inadequate research and supporting them with inaccurate factual assertions, in some cases by relying on writings of anti-copyright activist Michael Geist.
Archive for the ‘copyright reform’ category
ISP are often ordered to disclose subscriber information to copyright holders seeking to vindicate their rights. Prior to the Copyright Modernization Act, ISPs were entitled to be paid reasonable compensation for compiling and disclosing the information. In an important ruling yesterday in Voltage Pictures, LLC v Joe Doe #1 2017 FCA 97, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the notice and notice regime established under the CMA changed the law. According to the Court, ISPs are now expected to retain and verify subscriber information without payment of any fees. They may only charge their costs for disclosing this information, costs that the Court stated were likely to be negligible.
Here is an Op-ed of mine that ran earlier today in the Hill Times. The post below includes endnotes not in that article.
In his Hill Times Op-ed (Canadian copyright reform requires a fix on the fair dealing gap, Dec. 5, 2016) Michael Geist takes issue with the need to address the “value gap” that is hurting Canadian artists, writers, and other members of the creative class. He argues instead that Canada faces a need to address a “fair dealing gap” in our copyright laws. There is no such need and his arguments don’t withstand scrutiny.
I had the pleasure of attending ALAI’s symposium this week on The Copyright Board of Canada: Which Way Ahead. I was on a panel titled “Reimagining the Copyright Board” along with Ariel Katz, Howard Knopf, Adriane Porcin, and Judge David Strickler of the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board.
My slides from the talk are shown below.ALAI_2016_-_Reimagining_the_Copyright_Board
The Government tabled legislation in Parliament today to implement certain provisions of the budget. The Bill summarizes the following key legislative provisions of interest to readers of this blog as follows:
- amends the Copyright Act to extend the term of copyright protection for a published sound recording and a performer’s performance fixed in a published sound recording from 50 years to 70 years after publication; it caps the term at 100 years after the first fixation of, respectively, the sound recording or the performer’s performance in a sound recording;
Last week the government announced an extension to the term of protection for performers and makers of sound recordings, increasing the term from 50 years to 70 years. In doing so, the Government exhibited respect for artists and their music and decided to act before their valuable recordings fell into the public domain.
Michael Geist was quick to criticize the announcement, claiming it could cost Canadian consumers “millions of dollars” and that it would result in fewer works entering the public domain. In support of his claims, Geist referred to several “studies”.
On Wednesday, the government announced an extension of the term of protection for performers and makers of sound recordings, increasing the term from 50 years to 70 years. The announcement was widely applauded by Canadian artists, such as Randy Bachman, Bruce Cockburn, Leonard Cohen, Cowboy Junkies, Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Kardinal Offishall, Serena Ryder, Tom Cochrane, Gordon Lightfoot, Loreena McKennitt, and Triumph, and by organizations representing artists and makers of sound recordings, including the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), Music Canada, and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).
Leonard Cohen expressed the sentiments of many artists in saying:
The Canadian Government has now deposited instruments of ratification as the final steps to ratifying the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) and the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT). Most of the amendments to implement the treaty provisions went into effect in November 2012 when The Copyright Modernization Act was proclaimed into force. Some of the provisions pertaining to the WPPT including the making available right for sound recordings will only come into effect when the treaty ratification process is final. This will occur on August 13, 2014, 90 days after the deposit of the WPPT instruments of ratification with WIPO.
Earlier this week Michael Barnier, a Member of the European Commission responsible for Internal Market and Services, gave a speech, Making European copyright fit for purpose in the age of internet. In it he discussed whether the EU legal framework related to copyright was “fit for the digital age”. He said that although “it remains largely valid today”, it does require some recallibration so that it remains “a modern and effective tool”.
He outlined four principles to be kept in mind in formulating changes that may be necessary.
First, the copyright framework must facilitate the access of all Europeans to their heritage.