Renewed Attacks on the “Effect on the Market” Factor

March 9th, 2012 by Dan Glover 1 comment »

Beware of misinformation masquerading as the correction of misinformation, a concept George Orwell labelled as “doublethink”. Michael Geist and Howard Knopf are engaged in it again in their blog articles “Bill C-11 Extremism Continues: The Attack on Fair Dealing” and “The Effect on the Market Factor in Fair Dealing/Fair Use Law – What IS the law?” In their crusade to open Canadian copyright law so wide that a convoy of army trucks filled with textbooks and DVDs could drive through it, they are suggesting that Parliament not clarify that “the effect of the dealing on the market for the original work” is the pre-eminent factor in the fair dealing test.

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

March 3rd, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

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:

B-10 Outsourcing Guideline applies to cloud computing says OSFI

March 1st, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Yesterday, OSFI released a memorandum reminding financial institutions that its outsourcing B-10 Guideline applies to new technology-based outsourcing arrangements including cloud computing. In the short memorandum, OSFI stated the following:

Information technology plays a very important role in the financial services business and OSFI recognizes the opportunities and benefits that new technology-based services such as Cloud  Computing can bring; however, FRFIs should also recognize the unique features of such services and duly consider the associated risks.

Why is the EU asking the ECJ to review ACTA and does it matter?

February 27th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Last week the European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, released a statement announcing that the EU will refer the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ will be asked to assess whether ACTA is incompatible – in any way – with the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of intellectual property.

What reason did the Commissioner give to explain the referral to the ECJ?

  • A fear that ACTA will censor websites? No.

Keeping The Pirate Bays at Bay: using blocking orders to curtail infringements

February 22nd, 2012 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

The UK High Court appears likely to order UK ISPs to block the notorious BitTorrent site, The Pirate Bay. In the just released opinion in the Dramatico Entertainment Ltd & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors [2012] EWHC 268 (Ch) (20 February 2012) case, Justice Arnold ruled that users of the site as well as its operators infringe copyright. Users who download copies of sound recordings violate the right of reproduction. Users who make sound recordings available for downloading make them available to the public and are liable for communicating the sound recordings to the public. The Pirate Bay is liable for authorizing the infringement of its users. It is also liable for infringement based on the accessorial liability theories of joint infringement and inducement.

Bill C-11 off to legislative committee (updated)

February 19th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

After much debate and anticipation, Bill C-11 passed second reading in the House of Commons on February 13, 2012 and was referred to a legislative committee.

The individuals and organisations invited to appear can be viewed here. The committee has voted to commence clause by clause by March 14, 2012 and to have a final vote on the bill by March 29, 2012.

For those interested in the procedure referring the bill to the committee, here is the Hansard Journal recording the step.

Is Google News legal? (Updated)

February 15th, 2012 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

In May, 2011 a Belgium appellant court released an important decision finding Google liable for copyright infringement by offering its Google News service to subscribers in Belgium at the Google.be and Google.com websites. The decision in Google Inc v Copiepresse et al, Brussels Court of Appeal (9th Chamber) May 5, 2011 suggests that services such as Google News cannot be legally offered in many countries around the world even from servers located in North America.

On February 14, 2012, the UK Copyright Tribunal in the Meltwater Holding BV v The Newspaper Licensing Agency Limited case suggested Google News and the Google Alerts service would also be illegal in the UK without a license from publishers.

ISPs not broadcast undertakings says Supreme Court

February 9th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Supreme Court delivered its reasons this morning affirming the decison of the Federal Court of Appeal  in the  Broadcasting Reference case. The Court ruled that ISPs do not carry on “broadcasting undertakings” under the Broadcasting Act when, in their role as ISPs, they provide access through the Internet to “broadcasting” requested by end-users.

The reasons for the decison were given as follows:

Bill C-11 to be law by April

February 8th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

House Leader Peter Van Loan said Monday that the Government’s agenda includes passage of Bill C-11 by the end of April. The plan is that the bill to modernize the Copyright Act “must pass” by that time. The government indicated last month it mght impose time allocation to get the bill to Committee. On February 8, 2012 a motion passed in the House of Commons to lmit debate to two more days before sending the bill to committee. The Bill was referred to a legislative committee for stufy on February 13, 2012. MPs agreed to examine the bill clause-by-clause by March 14 and end the study by March 29. The Bill will then be reported back to the House of Commons for Third Reading.

Reining in the rhetoric on copyright reform

February 8th, 2012 by Barry Sookman 4 comments »

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.