C-60, C-61, C-32?

March 25th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

We will likely know later today whether Bill C-32 will suffer the same fate as its predecessors. A vote of non-confidence will kill C-32.

* Its now official. Liberal non-confidence vote passes 156-145. That’s it for C-32 and other Bills such as lawful access and the amendments to PIPEDA.

For more information about the Copyright Modernization Act or Bill C-11 or copyright reform, see Change and the Copyright Modernization Act.

US court: Google book settlement not “fair, adequate and reasonable”

March 22nd, 2011 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

U.S.  Judge Denny Chin released his decision today on whether to approve the class action settlement with Google involving the Google book scanning project. Judge Chin rejected the settlement as not being fair, adequate, and reasonable.

His 48 page reasons were summarized as follows:

While the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many, the ASA would simply go too far. It would permit this class action – which was brought against defendant Google Inc. (“Google” )to challenge its scanning of books and display of “snippets” for on-line searching to implement a forward-looking business arrangement that would grant Google significant rights to exploit entire books, without permission of the copyright owners. Indeed, the ASA would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case.

What art copyrights and sandwhiches have in common

March 21st, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Here is a video included in a blog How copyright infringement is like stealing my sandwhich. It is by an artist “to put copyright infringement into terms the average person can understand: lunch”. It is an interesting perspective given the recent testimony of Margaret Atwood at the Parliamentary Committee on Bill C-32.

Margaret Atwood at the Parliamentary Committee on Bill C-32

March 18th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

Margaret Atwood appeared before the Parliamentary Committee reviewing Bill C-32 on March 10. Participating by teleconference she told the Committee why she was against expanding fair dealing to include education and why she thought doing so was unfair.

Howard Knopf, in a recent blog, To Margaret Atwood: Copyright and Cars Cannot Conflate, accuses Ms Atwood of not understanding what fair dealing is. He further accuses her of getting basic facts about law and economics wrong when said that depriving creators of their rights to authorize the uses of their works  is akin to theft.  Mr. Knopf’s accusations are both unfair and unfounded.

Are Canada’s copyright laws friendly or unfriendly towards wealth destroyers according to Prof. Geist?

March 9th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 5 comments »

In the last few weeks Prof. Geist has been writing, blogging, tweeting, speaking and even testifying to a Parliamentary Committee about the IsoHunt case and whether there is a need for an amendment to the Copyright Act to create a new cause of action to make online pirate sites and services liable for enabling copyright infringement. His ostensible claim is that representatives of the recording industry secretly filed a copyright infringement claim against IsoHunt three weeks before Bill C-32 was tabled in the House of Commons; kept the suit secret to improve their chances of getting copyright reforms needed to shut the site down – all the while not needing the amendments because they already have the legal tools necessary to put IsoHunt out of business. These claims were made here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, among others, and were widely disseminated and syndicated by Prof. Geist including here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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

March 8th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

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.

Canada: online piracy a problem hurting artists, creators and the economy

February 28th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released a report that spotlighted Internet and physical markets that exemplify key challenges in the global struggle against piracy and counterfeiting. Not surprisingly, Canada-based IsoHunt was identified as a major piracy site which “recently ranked among the top 300 websites in global traffic and among the top 600 in U.S. traffic.”

The report follows on the heels of last week’s submission by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) to the USTR recommending that Canada be maintained on the Special 301 Priority Watch List in 2011. The IIPA submission extensively analyzed the piracy and counterfeiting problems in Canada. The rational for its recommendation was summarized as follows:

Clearing Up the Copyright Confusion (Part II)

February 22nd, 2011 by Dan Glover No comments »

By Dan Glover

Last week, a dispute arose about the scope of the “fair dealing for the purpose of … education” language proposed in Bill C-32, an Act to Amend the Copyright Act. This dispute was captured in a February 16 blog by John Degen, in which he discussed a running battle with the writer Cory Doctorow about what the Copyright Act currently allows in respect of fair dealing, and what it would allow under the proposed regime. Doctorow’s views are contained here in a responding blog.

Is copyright part of the FTA or NAFTA?

February 19th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

Does the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) contain provisions dealing with copyright? According to Prof. Geist it does not. Does the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) require Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to protect copyright? According to Prof. Geist it does not. NAFTA doesn’t deal with copyright.

These revelations about the FTA and NAFTA were part of Prof. Geist’s prepared opening remarks to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on International Trade on the subject of CETA, the Canada EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Prof. Geist appeared before the Committee on February 15, 2011 to warn them against including copyright as part of a potential trade agreement with the EU.

C-32 enablement remedy targets secondary copyright infringement

February 18th, 2011 by Barry Sookman and Dan Glover No comments »

Mark Twain once famously commented, “Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.” Canadian copyright law bears the burden of his axiom more than most. The pith of our copyright law dates from a 1911 bill passed in the United Kingdom, which we adopted wholesale in the early 1920s, and have not kept current with the changes in time.