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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The IIC just published a report commissioned by BASCAP entitled Estimating the global economic and social impacts of counterfeiting and piracy. Researched by Frontier Economics Ltd, the report estimates that based on 2008 data, the total global economic value of counterfeit and pirated products is as much as $650 billion every year. It found that international trade accounts for more than half of counterfeiting and piracy (estimated at $285 billion to $360 billion), domestic production and consumption accounts for between $140 billion and $215 billion and digitally pirated music, movies and software accounts for between $30 billion and $75 billion. The report also estimated that counterfeiting and piracy cost G20 governments in tax revenues and consumers over $125 billion every year.