Archive for the ‘WIPO Treaties’ category

Some observations on Bill C-11: The Copyright Modernization Act

October 3rd, 2011

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.”

G8 declaration: Internet and IP critical to innovation

May 30th, 2011

The leaders of the G8 concluded their meetings last week with a renewed commitment to freedom and democracy. They released a declaration dealing with a variety of topics including the importance of the Internet and intellectual property as catalysts to innovation. The declaration also highlights the challenges of maintaining the privacy and security of networks and network communications.

The declaration on the Internet made the link between the Internet and innovation as follows:

For business, the Internet has become an essential and irreplaceable tool for the conduct of commerce and development of relations with consumers. The Internet is a driver of innovation, improves efficiency, and thus contributes to growth and employment…

iiNet court backs reasonableness of graduated response to stop illegal file sharing

March 8th, 2011

Last week the Australian Full Court released its decision in the landmark case Roadshow Films Pty Limited v iiNet Limited, [2011] FCAFC 23. The Australian appeals court by majority dismissed the appeal from the decision of the primary judge who had held that iiNet, an ISP in Australia that had not acted on any information provided to it by copyright owners, was not liable for authorizing the copyright infringement of its subscribers who had used its facilities to engage in unlicensed peer to peer file sharing.

An FAQ on TPMs, Copyright and Bill C-32

December 14th, 2010

This blog post is based on a transcription of the talk I gave last week at the Insight Conference on Rights and Copyright: Bringing Canada into the 21st Century. * I was on a panel with Michael Geist in which we both presented on the topic of “Bill C-32: Legal Protection for TPMs”. The slides I used with my presentation have already been posted here. For convenience they are also at the end of my remarks.

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Welcome. I hope everyone is having a good day so far. Michael Geist and I are going to talk about the legal protection of technological protection measures (TPMs).

Key issues on the legal protection for TPMs under Bill C-32

December 8th, 2010

There has been considerable debate about the appropriate scope for legal protection of TPMs under Bill C-32. I dealt with this issue in a speech I gave today at the Insight Conference:  RIGHTS and COPYRIGHT, Bringing Canada into the 21st Century.

The questions I discussed were the following:

  • Does Bill C-32 properly implement the WIPO Treaties consistent with approaches used by Canada’s trading partners?
  • Does Bill C-32 permit circumvention of TPMs to permit copying for fair dealing, educational and other purposes?
  • Does Bill C-32 have a flexible framework to permit new exceptions to be made by regulation?

My C-32 opening remarks

December 1st, 2010

The following were my opening remarks to the Parliamentary Committee studying Bill C-32 made earlier today.

I would like to thank the committee for inviting me to appear today to provide input on Bill C-32.

Before starting my remarks, I would like to give you some background about myself.  I am not telling you all of these things to boast, but because I understand some have expressed concern that I have one or two clients affected by this legislation and that is the only view shaping my perspective. This is not the case. I am lawyer who specializes in this area and have worked and taught about it for many years.

Separating copyright fiction from facts about C-32’s TPM provisions

November 24th, 2010

Earlier this week Prof. Geist wrote an opinion piece in the Toronto Star in which he purported to separate “copyright facts from fiction”. His opinion piece, Separating copyright facts from fiction, followed by another blog post this week, The False Link Between Locks and Levies, are two in a series of blog posts and opinion pieces written by him recently that purport to expose as inaccurate statements made about Bill C-32 by various individuals and organizations. See: Responding to ACTRA: Group Calls C-32 a “Disaster” and Proposes Six Part Fix; Copyright Fear Mongering Hits a New High: Writers Groups Post Their C-32 Brief; In Search of A Compromise on Copyright; EU: ACTA Digital Lock Rules Don’t Cover Access Controls.

Some observations about the debates on Bill C-32 in the House of Commons

November 9th, 2010

Last week there was lots of interesting debate in the House of Commons about Bill C-32 leading up to a vote at Second Reading to refer the Bill to a legislative committee for further study.

All of the political parties agreed that copyright reform is important. They concurred with the objectives behind the Bill including the goals of creating a legal climate in which creators can both safely invest in and get paid for their content and at the same time ensure access by users to their works. They recognized the need to modernize the Copyright Act to address the challenges of the 21st century.

Separating facts from hype about C-32

September 27th, 2010

Some anti-copyright critics compare the proposed copyright amendments in Bill C-32 with the copyright laws of the US to argue that Canadian copyright law with Bill C-32 passed would be more restrictive than in the US. International comparisons of copyright laws can be a very useful tool to gauge how Canadian laws stack up with international standards and norms. Regrettably, anti-copyright advocates often make their case by inaccurately and misleadingly describing US law to make it look more permissive than it is and by describing Bill C-32 in ways that makes it appear more restrictive than it is. This makes it difficult for the vast majority of the public to really assess Bill C-32 and to make properly informed judgements about it.

RCMP report details Canada’s serious counterfeiting and piracy problems

September 17th, 2010

The RCMP just published a report surveying the problems posed by counterfeiting and piracy in Canada. Some of the important findings of the report A National Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment, 2005 to 2008 are the following:

  • Traditionally viewed as being victimless, Intellectual Property (IP) crime has become a source of health and safety concern in Canada. Health, safety, and economic damages from the consumption and usage of counterfeit goods are being reported on an international scale. Victims of IP crime include, among others, people suffering from life threatening diseases who unknowingly use counterfeit medicines containing little or too many active ingredients, or toxins.