A court in the Northern District of California in Google LLC v. Equustek Solutions Inc. 2017 WL 5000834 (Nov 2, 2017) issued an order earlier this month enjoining Equustek from enforcing the global de-indexing order it obtained against Google in a British Columbia court. This was an order that was given great scrutiny and which was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34 (summarized here).
Archive for the ‘Geist’ category
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 recently had the privilege of speaking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the Fordham 24th Annual Intellectual Property Law and Policy Conference, a stellar international IP conference. The other speakers on my panel were Probir Mehta (lead U.S. negotiator of the IP portion of the TPP), Pedro Velasco Martins (lead EU negotiator of the IP portion of the TTIP), and Daren Tang (lead Singapore negotiator of the IP portion of the TPP). The title of the panel was “Examination of TPP & TTIP”. My talk focused on how the IP provisions of the TPP are being inaccurately depicted to the public.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a comprehensive and complex agreement. It presents major economic opportunities for Canada. It deserves, as Lawrence Herman, the former head of the Economic and Treaty Law Section of Canada’s External Affairs Department, pointed out, “careful, reasoned and balanced assessment”. Some individuals have stepped forward to do that with respect to the intellectual property and e-commerce chapters, such as:
- Nathaniel Lipkus The TPP’s IP provisions put Canada on level ground
- Richard C. Owens: Crying wolf over the Trans-Pacific Partnership https://t.co/WQDJOIwsAI
- Hugh Stephens The TPP’s Intellectual Property Provisions: The “Worst Public Policy Decision in the Country’s History”? Let’s Have Some Perspective!,
Last week Michael Geist published a blog post summarizing his remarks to Industry Minister Moore as to why the almost universal criticisms of Canada’s anti-spam/malware law CASL are unfounded. He suggested it is intense lobbying by “squeaky wheels” with “knee jerk” “greatly exaggerated” and “Festivus” grievances about CASL” that has delayed bringing the law into effect”. He acknowledges that CASL creates new compliance obligations but suggests they are not onerous and even standard internationally (when referring to “opt-in” for spam) and that there is not much more to CASL than “a simple proposition – obtain customer consent and you can do pretty much whatever you like.”
Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, with a few exceptions, is now law with the publication of the Governor General Order in Council. The fourth attempt to amend the Copyright Act since 2005 succeeded where Bills C-60 (2005), C-61 (2008), and C-32 (2010) did not.
A lot has changed since 2005 when Bill C-60 was first introduced. That Bill would have made a limited, but important, set of amendments. Its summary reminds us that it would have amended the “Copyright Act to implement the provisions of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, to clarify the liability of network service providers, to facilitate technology-enhanced learning and interlibrary loans, and to update certain other provisions of the Act.” Bill C-11 addresses far more than this.
My mother warned me to be suspicious when people give gratuitous compliments. So, I read with some suspicion the recent blog post by Ariel Katz, who responded to my post Did the Supreme Court eviscerate Access Copyright’s business model? A reply to Michael Geist, generously calling me a “well experienced lawyer” and a “smart well-trained lawyer”.[]
In that post I argued that Michael Geist’s claim that the Supreme Court’s decision eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model did not stand up to scrutiny. I pointed out that his assertions completely ignored the teachings of the Supreme Court that whether something is a fair dealing is a question of fact and that his claims were not based on any analysis to demonstrate why the Supreme Court decision had the effects he claimed.
Michael Geist in a series of recent blog posts claims that the decisions of the Supreme Court in the SOCAN v. Bell Canada, 2012 SCC 36 (SOCAN v Bell) and Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2012 SCC 37 (Access Copyright) cases eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model. He asserts that the cases make all copying that would be subject to a license from Access Copyright fair dealings. Moreover, he claims that publishers would not suffer significant economic harm if all copying permitted under Access Copyright licenses or model licenses were fair dealings and no educational institution, whether elementary, secondary, or post-secondary, paid a penny for all such uses.
In 2006, the highly regarded economics professor Prof. Liebowitz, Director of the Center for Economic Analysis of Property Rights and Innovation at University of Texas, surveyed the entire field of econometric studies on file sharing. On the basis of his comprehensive review (which displayed a remarkable consensus on the issue), he concluded that “file-sharing has brought significant harm to the recording industry”. Prior to that in a comprehensive article published in 2005 Prof. Liebowitz criticized the theory that unlicensed file sharing helps copyright owners. He said those that professed this view saw “gains from copying in every nook and cranny of the economy, when in reality the instances of such gains are likely to be rather limited.”
The following are my opening remarks to the Senate Committee studying Bill C-11 earlier today. The link to the webcast can be found here.
I would like to thank the committee for inviting me to appear today to provide input on Bill C-11.
Before starting my remarks, I would like to give you some background about myself.
- I am a senior partner with the law firm McCarthy Tétrault.
- I am an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where I teach IP law.
- I am the author of 5 books including the leading 6 volume treatise on Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law.