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.

Naming Canada’s Anti-Spam/Anti-Spyware Law

February 14th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 4 comments »

Last week in a blog post I asked for suggestions to help name Canada’s new anti-SPAM and anti-spyware law, Bill –C-28. The Bill has no short title and needs one.

You clearly had fun trying to come up with a name. Some of you suggested a few names. Some suggestions were serious (more or less). Others were hysterical, many reflecting your thoughts about the Bill, or about SPAM. Here are your proposals to name the Bill.

Name Canada’s Anti-Spam/Anti-Spyware Law

February 6th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 6 comments »

Canada has a new anti-SPAM and anti-spyware law, Bill –C-28. It is a law with an inordinately long name: “An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act”.

The Bill has no short title. As a result different terms and acronyms are being used to refer to it including the ECPA, FISA, FIWSA, the SPAM Bill, the Anti-SPAM Legislation, and the Anti-SPAM and Anti-Spyware Bill.

New Permit for Exports and Technology Transfers to EU Plus Five Countries

February 3rd, 2011 by John W. Boscariol Orlando E. Silva No comments »

On February 2, 2011, Canada’s Export Controls Division (ECD) announced the availability of a new multidestination export permit for the export or transfer of information security goods and technology to the countries of the European Union (except Cyprus) and Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.

Canadian exporters of encryption-related items have been facing significant challenges with transfers of these items from Canada and have been expressing concerns regarding the impact of these controls on their competitive position in the international marketplace.