© the way ahead: A Copyright Strategy for the Digital Age© the way ahead: A Copyright Strategy for the Digital Age

The UK Government continues to explore how to adjust its copyright framework to keep up with technology and consumer behavior. In its latest publication, © the way ahead: A Copyright Strategy for the Digital Age,  the UK Government looks at how copyright can tackle the challenges of the digital age, drawing on previous work including Digital Britain and the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, on international perspectives including the European Commission’s and on discussions and submissions from stakeholders.

Much like the Canadian Government, the UK Government wants a copyright system “that works as well as it can for everyone in the UK, supporting investment and sustaining jobs, as well as underpinning our cultural life, and supporting consumers to get the best from the digital age.”…

Lord Mandelson speech transcript on P2P copyright and creative industriesLord Mandelson speech transcript on P2P copyright and creative industries

I recommend you read the speech by Lord Mandelson to the c&binet forum, 28 October 2009. http://bit.ly/1vmHXm

He makes some observations relevant to Canadian copyright reform about the importance of the creative industries and the need to create a proper legal framework to ensure they thrive. He also explains that the graduated response regime the UK is implementing is a carefully nuanced and procedurally fair process.

Why the creative industries matter

“I’m a big defender of an economy based on making things, which is why I often speak about manufacturing.…

100,000 Voters Who Don’t Exist100,000 Voters Who Don’t Exist

Interesting blog by Chris Castle  that raises important questions about the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights’ (CCER) letter writing wizard and manipulation of the Copyright Consultations.

Castle describes CCER as “a mod chip makers trade association” “that allowed users to send a pre-fabricated letter to a predetermined but undisclosed list of ministers and Members of Parliament that supported a wide variety of anti-copyright—and especially anticircumvention—issues.”

He says: “The CCER letter writing wizard seems to be of very, very questionable provenance.” Castle states that “A little quick sampling of the posted letters suggests that a substantial number of them (perhaps over half) came from CCER.”…

Rhetoric exaggerates ACTA leaked negotiations textRhetoric exaggerates ACTA leaked negotiations text

Last week bloggers including Michael Geist went hysterical over the “leaked” ACTA memorandum telling the public that it mandated “three strikes” with Internet disconnection based on merely three unproven allegations of online file sharing, among other things.

Turns out that the summary of the text was inaccurate. Further, other bloggers have pointed out that to a large extent the proposed provisions discussed in the leaked memo reflects  existing, international norms for copyright protection in the EU, US and our other trading partners.…

Industry Committee Amends Anti-Spam Bill (ECPA)Industry Committee Amends Anti-Spam Bill (ECPA)

By Barry Sookman and James Gannon

In May of this year, we sent an e-Alert that reviewed the concerns many Canadian businesses had expressed with the first draft of Bill C-27 – the Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA). The Bill was criticized for containing overly broad anti-spam and anti-spyware provisions that would have rendered illegal many common legitimate commercial practices. It would have potentially exposed businesses to millions of dollars in fines and liabilities for activities that were unrelated to sending spam emails or installing spyware programs.…

What Happens When Copyright Goes DigitalWhat Happens When Copyright Goes Digital

Barry Sookman and Stephen Stohn, National Post August 6, 2009

Earlier this month, the federal government launched a copyright consultation asking Canadians for input on copyright reform. Chief among its questions were what sorts of changes would best foster “innovation and creativity,” “competition and investment” and best “position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy.”

These questions reveal fundamental insights about the objectives of copyright reform.

Reforming copyright law will stimulate investment in the creation and dissemination of movies, TV programs, books, music and software; help Canada to be a leader in the global digital market for cultural products; and enable Canadian actors, artists, performers, producers and publishers to be paid for their creative efforts and investments.…

Microsoft Wins Substantial Damages Award for Unauthorized Distribution of its SoftwareMicrosoft Wins Substantial Damages Award for Unauthorized Distribution of its Software

 A federal court has granted Microsoft Corporation default judgment against two PC Village businesses and two individuals associated with the businesses in an action for copyright and trade-mark infringement. Microsoft’s investigators had purchased computers from two separate PC Village locations. The judge found that one computer contained seven unauthorized Microsoft software programs, while the other had eight.

In assessing statutory damages for copyright violations, the judge noted that the defendants had been put on notice regarding the infringing nature of their activities.…