Key issues on the legal protection for TPMs under Bill C-32

December 8th, 2010 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

There has been considerable debate about the appropriate scope for legal protection of TPMs under Bill C-32. I dealt with this issue in a speech I gave today at the  Insight Conference:  RIGHTS and COPYRIGHT, Bringing Canada into the 21st Century.

The questions I discussed were the following:

  • Does Bill C-32 properly implement the WIPO Treaties consistent with approaches used by Canada’s trading partners?
  • Does Bill C-32 permit circumvention of TPMs to permit copying for fair dealing, educational and other purposes?
  • Does Bill C-32 have a flexible framework to permit new exceptions to be made by regulation?

My C-32 opening remarks

December 1st, 2010 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

The following were my opening remarks to the Parliamentary Committee studying Bill C-32 made earlier today.

I would like to thank the committee for inviting me to appear today to provide input on Bill C-32.

Before starting my remarks, I would like to give you some background about myself.  I am not telling you all of these things to boast, but because I understand some have expressed concern that I have one or two clients affected by this legislation and that is the only view shaping my perspective. This is not the case. I am lawyer who specializes in this area and have worked and taught about it for many years.

The Pirate Bay operators lose criminal appeal and sent to prison

November 27th, 2010 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Swedish Court of Appeal affirmed the legal liability of the operators of the Pirate  Bay.  A video from the court is shown below. Meanwhile IsoHunt and its founder Gary Fung await a ruling from a California court on whether they are liable for contempt of the injunction order of Judge Wilson by continuing to operate the IsoHunt BitTorrent website in violation of the injunction.

Separating copyright fiction from facts about C-32’s TPM provisions

November 24th, 2010 by Barry Sookman 4 comments »

Earlier this week Prof. Geist wrote an opinion piece in the Toronto Star in which he purported to separate “copyright facts from fiction”. His opinion piece, Separating copyright facts from fiction, followed by another blog post this week, The False Link Between Locks and Levies, are two in a series of blog posts and opinion pieces written by him recently that purport to expose as inaccurate statements made about Bill C-32 by various individuals and organizations. See: Responding to ACTRA: Group Calls C-32 a “Disaster” and Proposes Six Part Fix; Copyright Fear Mongering Hits a New High: Writers Groups Post Their C-32 Brief; In Search of A Compromise on Copyright; EU: ACTA Digital Lock Rules Don’t Cover Access Controls.

Legislative Committee for C-32 selected

November 18th, 2010 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The legislative committe to examine C-32 will consist of the following MPs:

Conservatives: Block, Kelly,  Braid, PeterBoucher, SylvieDel Mastro, DeanLake, Mike

Liberals: McTeague, Dan (Hon.)Garneau, MarcRodriguez, Pablo

Bloc: Lavallée, CaroleCardin, Serge

NDP: Angus, Charlie

The chair of the committee must still be selected by the Speaker.

Bill C-32′s fair dealing and other new copyright exceptions

November 17th, 2010 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Here are slides from the speech I gave earlier today at Osgoode Hall Law School’s professional development program on understanding Bill C-32. The speech focused on the proposed fair dealing exceptions including the new exception for education, exceptions for individuals including the UGC, format shifting, time shifting, and back-up copy exceptions, and the new exceptions for developing interoperable programs, encryption research, network security testing, and technological processes.

Sookman Osgoode C-32 Speech

Amazon.com going to the Federal Court of Appeal

November 15th, 2010 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The AG of Canada and the Commissioner of Patents have filed a  Notice of Appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal in the Amazon.com case. In the notice, the government argues that the decision of the Federal Court of Canada released on October 14, 2010, Amazon.com, Inc. v. Attorney General of Canada was wrong and that Amazon’s one click patent is not patentable subject matter in Canada.

The Patent Appeal Board rejected Amazon’s “One-Click” patent application. Re Patent Application No. 2,246,933 (March 5, 2009) for three principal reasons:

Some observations about the debates on Bill C-32 in the House of Commons

November 9th, 2010 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Last week there was lots of interesting debate in the House of Commons about Bill C-32 leading up to a vote at Second Reading to refer the Bill to a legislative committee for further study.

All of the political parties agreed that copyright reform is important. They concurred with the objectives behind the Bill including the goals of creating a legal climate in which creators can both safely invest in and get paid for their content and at the same time ensure access by users to their works. They recognized the need to modernize the Copyright Act to address the challenges of the 21st century.

Bill C-32′s impacts on the IT community

October 30th, 2010 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Here are the slides from my speech to the 14th Annual IT.Can Conference October 28-29, 2010 in Montreal on the topic  Bill C-32 – Impacts on the IT Community.

Sookman ITCAN October 2010 Slides

Turning up the rhetoric on C-32′s TPM provisions

October 25th, 2010 by Barry Sookman 8 comments »

As Bill C-32 approaches second reading in the House of Commons, critics of legal protection for technological measures (TPMs) are dialing up their attacks on C-32’s anti-circumvention provisions. Regrettably, many of the criticisms are based on an incorrect understanding of the Bill.

A case in point is a blog posting by Prof. Geist in which he reported on comments made by NDP MP Charlie Angus in the House of Commons on TPMs Angus Files Petition, Comments on C-32 & Digital Locks.  Prof. Geist’s posting is reproduced below:

This week NDP MP Charlie Angus used debate on the anti-spam bill to sound off on copyright reform and Bill C-32: