Archive for the ‘Piracy’ category

C-56 Combating Counterfeit Products Act gets Second Reading in House

June 3rd, 2013

On Friday, Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture) moved that Bill C-56, The Combating Counterfeit Products Act be read the second time and referred to a committee. The Bill is a long overdue attempt to bring Canada’s laws related to combating counterfeiting to international standards.

Kellie Leitch Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour rose in the House to describe the reasons for the Bill and its scope. Here, in part, is what she said about Bill C-56.

Criminal copyright convictions of The Pirate Bay operators “necessity in democratic society” says human rights court

March 13th, 2013

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that the convictions of Fredrik NEIJ and Peter SUNDE KOLMISOPPI, operators of The Pirate Bay bittorrent site did not violate Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court found that the convictions of the defendants for criminal copyright infringement did not violate their rights to freedom of expression as the convictions and jail sentences imposed by Sweden’s Court of Appeal was “necessary in a democratic society” within the meaning of Article 10 § 2 of the Convention. The application to set aside the convictions was rejected “as manifestly ill-founded”.

The Combating Counterfeit Products Act

March 4th, 2013

Last week, the Government introduced Bill C-56, Combating Counterfeit Products Act. It has two main objectives. First, to protect public safety and health by enacting legislation specifically to target commercial scale trafficking in counterfeit products. Second, to make technical amendments to the Trade-marks Act such as to permit registration of non-traditional trade-marks like sounds, and to improve registration procedures. The Government backgrounder and related FAQs, and other information is available at Industry Canada’s website.

Change and the Copyright Modernization Act

November 7th, 2012

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.

The French Hadopi law, its history, operation, and effectiveness

October 10th, 2012

The French Hadopi graduated response law was passed in October 2009. A study by Professor Bret Danaher published earlier this year titled The Effect of Graduated Response Anti-Piracy Laws on Music Sales: Evidence from an Event Study in France found that it is effective in helping to reduce online copyright infringement and spur legitimate sales of music in France. He talked about the study earlier this year while in Toronto at the Canadian Music Week, Global Forum.

Earlier today, Anne-Sylvie Vassenaix-Paxton a lawyer with Heenan Blakie in Paris gave a speech at an ALAI meeting in Toronto. She described the history, operation, and effectiveness of the Hadopi graduated response law.

Was the $675,000 damage award against Joel Tenenbaum for file sharing excessive?

August 24th, 2012

Was the statutory damages award of $675,000 against Joel Tenebaum for downloading and distributing 30 music files over peer-to-peer networks excessive? Did it violate US due process? According to a decision released by a U.S. District Court yesterday in the Sony BMG Music Entertainment v Tenebaum 2012 WL 3639053, (D.Mass., Aug. 23, 2012) case, the answer to both questions is no.

After a five-day jury trial, the jury found that Tenenbaum’s infringement was willful as to each of the thirty sound recordings in issue, and returned a verdict within the US statutory range of $22,500 per infringement, for a total damages award of $675,000.  After an appeal of the jury verdict, the Court was charged with the duty of determining whether the award was excessive under the common law remittitur doctrine and whether it violated due process.

The Andersen P2P file sharing study on the purchase of music CDs in Canada

August 20th, 2012

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.”

Google’s plans to prioritize legitimate online content

August 13th, 2012

Google announced on Friday it is updating its search algorithms. In making the announcement Google said the purpose is to “help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed fromSpotify.” According to the statement, it plans to reduce search rankings for sites with “high numbers” of valid takedown notices.

iiNet not responsible for customers’ infringing acts says Australia High Court

April 20th, 2012

The High Court of Australia released its decision in the Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Ltd [2012] HCA 16 (20 April 2012) case earlier today. The panel of five judges, in two sets of reasons, dismissed the appeal from the Full Court. That court held that, on the facts of the case, iiNet, an Australian ISP, was not liable for authorising the infringing acts of its customers.

The key question in the appeal, was whether iiNet authorised its customers’ infringing acts. According to the Court, the key facts on which liability was premised were the following:

No freedom to hack access into the Internet, says US judge

March 3rd, 2012

Information wants to be free. But, helping people to steal access to it is still a crime as an Oregon man just found out after being convicted of wire fraud for helping thousands steal internet service.

The defendant, Ryan Harris, ran a company called TCNISO. It distributed software and hardware tools that enabled customers to modify their cable modems to mask themselves as paying customers. In his defense Harris claimed assisting customers in their cable modem hacking activities was justified because it facilitated access to the internet. According to a report: