Category: WIPO Treaties

Canada ratifying WIPO Internet TreatiesCanada ratifying WIPO Internet Treaties



The Canadian Government has now deposited instruments of ratification as the final steps to ratifying the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) and the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT). Most of the amendments to implement the treaty provisions went into effect in November 2012 when The Copyright Modernization Act was proclaimed into force. Some of the provisions pertaining to the WPPT including the making available right for sound recordings will only come into effect when the treaty ratification process is final. This will occur on August 13, 2014, 90 days after the deposit of the WPPT instruments of ratification with WIPO.

Aereo infringes says international associations and copyright scholars to SCOTUSAereo infringes says international associations and copyright scholars to SCOTUS



Earlier today, a number of international and foreign associations and copyright scholars filed an Amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in the ABC, Inc. et al v. Aereo, Inc case. The brief brings to the attention of the SCOTUS a number of international treaties and trade agreements respecting copyright that impose obligations on the United States to provide copyright holders with a broad technologically neutral communication to the public right that would cover all aspects of Aereo’s service and make its service infringing.

Change and the Copyright Modernization ActChange and the Copyright Modernization Act



Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, with a few exceptions, is now law with the publication of the Governor General Order in Council. The fourth attempt to amend the Copyright Act since 2005 succeeded where Bills C-60 (2005), C-61 (2008), and C-32 (2010) did not.

A lot has changed since 2005 when Bill C-60 was first introduced. That Bill would have made a limited, but important, set of amendments. Its summary reminds us that it would have amended the “Copyright Act to implement the provisions of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, to clarify the liability of network service providers, to facilitate technology-enhanced learning and interlibrary loans, and to update certain other provisions of the Act.” 

Copyright Modernization Act soon to be law in CanadaCopyright Modernization Act soon to be law in Canada



The Privy Council has released a copy of notice dated October 25, 2012 (P.C. 2012-1392) setting out when the amendments to the Copyright Act will come into force. The information in the notice, which has been published by some law libraries, provides for the amendments to come into force in three stages.

  1. Most amendments will come into force when the notice is officially published in the Canada Gazette Part II which is expected to take place soon and perhaps as early as November 7, 2012.

Understanding Flava Works v myVidster: does inline linking infringe copyright?Understanding Flava Works v myVidster: does inline linking infringe copyright?



Last week, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals released its opinion in the  Flava Works, Inc, v Gunter dba myVidster 2012 WL 3124826 (7th.Cir. Aug 2, 2012) case. The central issue was whether Flava Works, the owner of copyrights in videos, was entitled to a preliminary injunction against the social video bookmarking service myVidster. The injunction which had been granted by the District Court was vacated.

Some commentators have construed the decision as a ruling that embedding or inline linking to a copyright-infringing video on another web site does not infringe copyright[1].

My remarks to the Senate Committee studying Bill C-11My remarks to the Senate Committee studying Bill C-11



The following are my opening remarks to the Senate Committee studying Bill C-11 earlier today. The link to the webcast can be found here.

I would like to thank the committee for inviting me to appear today to provide input on Bill C-11.

Before starting my remarks, I would like to give you some background about myself.

  • I am a senior partner with the law firm McCarthy Tétrault.
  • I am an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where I teach IP law.

Michael Geist: A question of valuesMichael Geist: A question of values



With Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, on its way to clause by clause review Canadians have a chance to think about what values they want copyright to reflect. Canadians are being bombarded with a dizzying array of information about amendments that have been proposed including amendments related to enablement, statutory damages, TPMs and fair dealing. Much of the information is inaccurate and emotionally super-charged to garner as much visceral reaction as possible. A significant portion of it originates from Internet activist Michael Geist and is repeated throughout the blogosphere and in the traditional news media, usually with no attempt at analysis.

Keeping The Pirate Bays at Bay: using blocking orders to curtail infringementsKeeping The Pirate Bays at Bay: using blocking orders to curtail infringements



The UK High Court appears likely to order UK ISPs to block the notorious BitTorrent site, The Pirate Bay. In the just released opinion in the Dramatico Entertainment Ltd & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors [2012] EWHC 268 (Ch) (20 February 2012) case, Justice Arnold ruled that users of the site as well as its operators infringe copyright. Users who download copies of sound recordings violate the right of reproduction. Users who make sound recordings available for downloading make them available to the public and are liable for communicating the sound recordings to the public.

Reining in the rhetoric on copyright reformReining in the rhetoric on copyright reform



This blog post is a longer version of the article entitled This Bill is no SOPA published in the Financial Post  today.

While recent attempts by the usual suspects making hysterical predictions about copyright reform in Canada have been ratcheted up yet again, this time the claims are so outrageous that they can perhaps best be described as having “jumped the shark”. Canadians are being told that Bill C-11, an act to amend Canada’s outdated copyright law, could be used to shut down popular web sites like YouTube, fundamentally change the Internet, sabotage online freedoms, and hog-tie innovators.

Copyright Bill C-11 gets second reading in the House of CommonsCopyright Bill C-11 gets second reading in the House of Commons



Yesterday Bill C-11 was given second reading in the House of Commons. The statements by the Government and opposition parties can be found here.

For the record, Industry Minister Christian Paradis said the following in speaking about the Bill in the House:

Mr. Speaker, as you know, this is the second time that the government has introduced this bill. During the previous Parliament and for almost a year, the Copyright Modernization Act—then known as Bill C-32—was carefully examined and debated by parliamentarians and stakeholders.