Canada back on the USTR 2011 Special 301 Watch List

May 2nd, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) just published its 2011 Special 301 Report. The 2011 Special 301 review process examined IPR protection and enforcement in 77 of the US’s trading partners. The Special 301 Report is a critical mechanism for the U.S. government to ensure that its trading partners provide adequate and effective protection of IP for America’s creators and innovators.

Following extensive research and analysis, the USTR again listed Canada on its Priority Watch List along with Algeria, Argentina, Canada, China, India, Israel, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, and Venezuela.

C-32 and the BlackBerry PlayBook: A reply to Michael Geist

April 25th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

Michael Geist’s recent blog post “The PlayBook Tax: Why the Conservative’s Copyright Plans Create a Hidden Cost for RIM’s PlayBook” makes the claim that “the Conservative plan for copyright reform (as found in Bill C-32) establishes a significant barrier that could force many consumers to pay hundreds in additional costs in order to switch their content from existing devices” to RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook. He calls this a “PlayBook tax” and claims switching costs apply to “any digital content with a digital lock”.

YouTube adopts “copyright school” to stop copyright infringement

April 14th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

YouTube has changed its copyright policy.  YouTube already has a policy that involves suspending accounts of YouTube users who have three copyright strikes. Now, if YouTube receives a notification that a user’s video is infringing the user will be required to go to  “YouTube Copyright School”.  A second change in the policy relaxes YouTube’s copyright strikes from a user’s accounts if the user completes the YouTube Copyright School and has demonstrated good behavior over time.

The Official YouTube Blog says the following:

New Zealand passes law to reduce online file sharing

April 14th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

New Zealand just enacted legislation that puts in place a three-notice regime to deter illegal file sharing.

The three-notice regime involves ISPs sending warning notices to their customers informing them they may have infringed copyright. The legislation extends the jurisdiction of the NZ Copyright Tribunal to provide an efficient, low-cost process to hear illegal file-sharing claims. The tribunal will be able to make awards of up to $15,000 based on damage sustained by the copyright owner.

Charlie Crist Official Apology to David Byrne for Copyright Infringement

April 13th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Who Profits from Piracy?

April 12th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

The video shown below is based on a presentation first given by Ellen Seidler (fastgirlfilms) at Canadian Music Week’s Global Forum in March of 2011.

In the introduction to the video she says: “Online piracy isn’t about altruism, it’s about income. Today’s technology allows web pirates to steal content and monetize that content with a click of a mouse. Meanwhile, “legit” companies encourage and facilitate this theft while also profiting from it (ad service providers, advertisers and payment processors). The time has come for reasonable measures to be taken to discourage this theft. Content creators and consumers will benefit. Only the pirates and those who profit from their theft will lose.”

The Liberal Digital Canada Plan and Copyright

April 11th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today, Marc Garneau and guest commentators Michael Geist and Steve Anderson had a live online chat about the Liberal Digital Canada Plan.  A transcription of the chat is available here.

The Liberal Digital Plan says the following about copyright:

Fair balance Between Creators and Consumers.

Digital technology offers many new opportunities, but enjoying content without compensating its creators shouldn’t be among them. At the same time, consumers should have freedom for personal use of digital content they rightfully possess. Liberals have worked to pass effective copyright legislation, including a private copying compensation fund instead of any new tax on consumers.

Conservative Party Platform on Copyright

April 8th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Conservative party just released its platform for the election. Here is what it says about copyright:

A Stephen Harper-led majority Government will also reintroduce and pass the Copyright Modernization Act, a key pillar in our commitment to make Canada a leader in the global digital economy.

This balanced, commonsense legislation recognizes the practical priorities of teachers, students, artists, families, and technology companies, among others, while aligning Canada with international standards. It respects both the rights of creators and the interests of consumers.

It will ensure that Canada’s copyright law will be responsive in a fast changing digital world, while protecting and creating jobs, promoting innovation, and attracting investment to Canada.

Amazon files brief to Federal Court of Appeal in the one-click patent case

April 6th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Amazon filed its responding brief in the “one click” patent appeal. As Amazon notes, “The Appeal  raises  issues  fundamental  to  the  Canadian  patent  system:  (i)  the  proper approach to patent claims construction, and (ii) the scope of  patentable subject matter in Canada.”

The appeal arises out of Amazon’s application for a patent for an invention entitled “Method and System  for  Placing  a  Purchase  Order  Via  a  Communications  Network”. The  application  relates  to  a  communications network based method and  system for  placing an  order and, more particularly, to  a method and system for purchasing and ordering items over the Internet.

Rethinking notice and notice after C-32 (now C-11)

April 4th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Canada’s last three copyright bills, C-60, C-61 and C-32, attempted to curb illegal online file sharing by requiring ISPs to forward notices of claimed infringements to customers. Canada’s ISPs had advocated for this “notice and notice” process claiming it was effective. However, they never produced any empirical evidence or studies to back up their claims.