Some anti-copyright critics compare the proposed copyright amendments in Bill C-32 with the copyright laws of the US to argue that Canadian copyright law with Bill C-32 passed would be more restrictive than in the US. International comparisons of copyright laws can be a very useful tool to gauge how Canadian laws stack up with international standards and norms. Regrettably, anti-copyright advocates often make their case by inaccurately and misleadingly describing US law to make it look more permissive than it is and by describing Bill C-32 in ways that makes it appear more restrictive than it is. This makes it difficult for the vast majority of the public to really assess Bill C-32 and to make properly informed judgements about it.
A new website has been established by 12 Canadian organizations concerned about the impact of C-32 on the sustainability of Canada’s vibrant creative industry. Called “copyrightgetitright” , the site asks Canadians to join them in “defending Canadian culture & heritage”.
The site provides five “fast facts”on Bill C-32:
- C-32 has fundamental flaws that can and must be fixed:while it enhances copyright protections for some digital materials, it paradoxically introduces a long list of new exceptions that jeopardize the economic future of the knowledge workers and content producers at the heart of Canada’s digital economy.
The RCMP just published a report surveying the problems posed by counterfeiting and piracy in Canada. Some of the important findings of the report A National Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment, 2005 to 2008 are the following:
- Traditionally viewed as being victimless, Intellectual Property (IP) crime has become a source of health and safety concern in Canada. Health, safety, and economic damages from the consumption and usage of counterfeit goods are being reported on an international scale. Victims of IP crime include, among others, people suffering from life threatening diseases who unknowingly use counterfeit medicines containing little or too many active ingredients, or toxins.
The OECD Working Party of the Trade Committee just released a paper, Policy Components to the Strengthening of IPRs in Developing Countries, TAD/TC/WP(2010)12/FINAL The paper examines – from an empirical, economic perspective – policies that complement the generally strengthened framework for IPRs in developing countries. The report concluded that IPR reform delivered positive economic results. The report found that reforms “concerning patent protection tended to deliver the most substantial results, but the results for copyright reform and trademark reform were also positive and significant.”
In a blog post yesterday, How IP Enforcement Can Be Used To Suppress Dissent, Prof. Geist argues that “tougher enforcement measures” of IP laws are connected with civil rights abuses by governments to quell political dissent. He further claims that the USTR Special 301 report was connected to the recent Russian raids against advocacy groups and news organizations in Russia. He also postulates that enforcement of IP rights under ACTA would increase such abuses and accordingly would be “a dangerous and misguided approach that is apt to cause more problems than it solves”.
The Federal Court of Appeal released its decision today in several JRs in the tariff 22 case. The main holding in the decision is that a download of a music file from a online music service to a single user is a communication of the musical work to the public under the Copyright Act.
In making this ruling the Court reached the same conclusion as did a previous panel which decided the Tariff 24 Ringtones case, albeit for different reasons.
In giving reasons the Court also expressed the view that a a user of a peer to peer file sharing network can be liable under the communication to the public right.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a Statement on the recent ACTA negotiations.The Statement followed the conclusion of the 10th round of negotiations on the ACTA held in Washington, D.C. from 16 – 20 August 2010.
The Statement reported on the progress of the talks which are slated to conclude following meetings in Japan this September. It also served to allay fears about the proposed contents of the treaty by again re-affirming what the treaty will not extend to.
The Statement said the following in this regard:
The Toronto Star published an editorial today on C-32. In it the Star expressed concern over the proposed inclusion of education as a new fair dealing allowable purpose exception. According to the Star:
Writers and publishers are worried that a broad interpretation of “education” could lead to rampant copying of textbooks, instructional manuals and even novels. Would a school board be allowed to buy just one copy of a new textbook and copy it for all its students? Would universities be allowed to copy bits and pieces of 20 different books to compile reading material on a certain subject for their students? Indeed, would a monthly book club be considered an “educational” activity and be allowed to copy novels on its reading list?
SOCAN has filed a motion for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in the Tariff 22 case. It is arguing that the Federal Court of Appeal erred in not reversing the Copyright Board which had held that offering an online preview can be a fair dealing. The Application Record in the leave motion is below.
SOCAN Application Record in Tariff 22 Case (PUBLIC)
Yesterday, Maia Davies, a musician, vocalist and songwriter with the musical group Ladies of the Canyon, published an op-ed in the MONTREAL GAZETTE and EDMONTON jOURNAL. Titled “musicians have rights, too”, Maia Davies described how illegal downloading has “been a catastrophe” and why supporting C-32 to amend the Copyright Act including its provisions which protect technological measures is so important. She wrote, in part: