Does by-passing a subscription paywall to access a news article violate the new prohibitions in the Copyright Act that make it an infringement to circumvent a technological protection measure (TPM)? Yes, according to a decision just released by an Ontario court in 395804 Ontario Limited (Blacklock’s Reporter) v Canadian Vintners Association, 2015 CanLII 65885 (ON SCSM). Can a defendant rely on the new fair dealing defense for education to excuse the copying if the defendant illegally accessed the work by circumventing a TPM to do so? No, the fair dealing defense cannot apply where a work is obtained illegally.
Archive for the ‘TPMs’ category
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 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.
With Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, on its way to clause by clause review Canadians have a chance to think about what values they want copyright to reflect. Canadians are being bombarded with a dizzying array of information about amendments that have been proposed including amendments related to enablement, statutory damages, TPMs and fair dealing. Much of the information is inaccurate and emotionally super-charged to garner as much visceral reaction as possible. A significant portion of it originates from Internet activist Michael Geist and is repeated throughout the blogosphere and in the traditional news media, usually with no attempt at analysis.
This blog post is a longer version of the article entitled This Bill is no SOPA published in the Financial Post today.
While recent attempts by the usual suspects making hysterical predictions about copyright reform in Canada have been ratcheted up yet again, this time the claims are so outrageous that they can perhaps best be described as having “jumped the shark”. Canadians are being told that Bill C-11, an act to amend Canada’s outdated copyright law, could be used to shut down popular web sites like YouTube, fundamentally change the Internet, sabotage online freedoms, and hog-tie innovators.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets. In the review, the USTR identified markets that typify the problem of marketplaces that deal in goods and services that infringe on intellectual property rights and help to sustain global piracy and counterfeiting. Canada was listed in several of these markets.
According to the USTR “The scale and popularity of these markets can cause economic harm to U.S. and other IP right holders. In addition, products sold at these markets may pose possible health and safety risks to consumers.”
Yesterday Bill C-11 was given second reading in the House of Commons. The statements by the Government and opposition parties can be found here.
For the record, Industry Minister Christian Paradis said the following in speaking about the Bill in the House:
Mr. Speaker, as you know, this is the second time that the government has introduced this bill. During the previous Parliament and for almost a year, the Copyright Modernization Act—then known as Bill C-32—was carefully examined and debated by parliamentarians and stakeholders.
Last Thursday the Government of Canada introduced into the House of Commons Bill C-11, an Act to Amend the Copyright Act. In a press release describing the Bill, Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Christian Paradis, stated that the Bill will ensure that Canada’s copyright laws “are modern, flexible, and in line with current international standards” and will “protect and help create jobs, promote innovation, and attract new investment to Canada.”
Earlier today, Ed Fast, the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The press release announcing the signing stated the following:
“Counterfeit and pirated goods are an increasingly global problem that requires a globally coordinated solution,” said Minister Fast. “We all have an interest in combatting counterfeiting and piracy because these activities cost billions of dollars each year in revenue and trade losses, which translates into higher prices, lost income and lost jobs for people employed in a range of industries—from film and pharmaceuticals to electronics. Counterfeit goods also pose a real threat to the health and safety of people because the producers of goods such as drugs and auto parts evade the rigorous rules, standards and guidelines that are in place to protect consumers.”
The Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a press release announcing that ACTA will be signed this weekend. Here is the text from the press release.
- On Saturday, October 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan will hold the signing ceremony for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at Iikura Guest House, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- The Agreement was inspired in significant part by Japan’s proposal at the G8 Gleneagles Summit in 2005 to create a new international framework against counterfeit and pirated products, in the context of the heightened awareness of the need for a higher degree of intellectual property protection. Its negotiation has been led by a strong initiative of Japan, the United States and other key partners.