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 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.
Just over two weeks ago, the Supreme Court released its opinion in the Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, 2012 SCC 37 (Access Copyright) fair dealing case. In that proceeding, the Copyright Board examined whether copying of short extracts of works for classroom teaching purposes was a fair dealing.* The Board and the Federal Court of Appeal found it was not. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and remitted the matter to the Board to reconsider its decision in accordance with the Court’s construction of the fair dealing factors.
The five copyright decisions released by the Supreme Court of Canada just over a week ago are bound to influence copyright cases for a long time. Nowhere is this more likely than in future proceedings before the Copyright Board which was the source of all of the appeals in the first instance.
The Supreme Court decisions will clearly be relevant in follow on tariffs to those that were the subject of the appeals such as SOCAN Tariff 22.A (online music services) and Tariff 22G (game sites) and the Access Copyright Educational Institutions tariff.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court released reasons in the five copyright appeals heard back to back on December 6 and 7, 2011 in the following cases:[i]
- Entertainment Software Association v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, 2012 SCC 34 (ESA v SOCAN)
- Rogers Communications Inc. v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, 2012 SCC 35 (Rogers v SOCAN)
- Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Bell Canada, 2012 SCC 36 (SOCAN v Bell)
- Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2012 SCC 37 (Access Copyright)
- Re:Sound v. Motion Picture Theatre Associations of Canada, 2012 SCC 38 (RE:Sound)
The copyright bar has been eagerly awaiting the release of the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada in the five copyright appeals which were heard on December 6 and 7, 2011. The Court announced earlier today that the decisions will be released this Thursday, July 12, 2012.
Bill C-11, The Copyright Modernization Act passed Third Reading in the House of commons and was given First Reading in the Senate on June 18, 2012. On June 26, 2012, the Bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. On June 27, 2012 the Senate Banking Committee reported C-11 back to the Senate without amendment. Earlier today, June 29, 2012, the Bill was passed by the Senate and given Royal Assent. It will come into force in the next few months through an order-in-council process.
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.