Tag: Geist

An FAQ on TPMs, Copyright and Bill C-32An FAQ on TPMs, Copyright and Bill C-32

This blog post is based on a transcription of the talk I gave last week at the Insight Conference on Rights and Copyright: Bringing Canada into the 21st Century. * I was on a panel with Michael Geist in which we both presented on the topic of “Bill C-32: Legal Protection for TPMs”. The slides I used with my presentation have already been posted here. For convenience they are also at the end of my remarks.


Welcome. I hope everyone is having a good day so far.

Turning up the rhetoric on C-32’s TPM provisionsTurning up the rhetoric on C-32’s TPM provisions

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.  

Are the TPM provisions in C-32 more restrictive than those in the DMCA?Are the TPM provisions in C-32 more restrictive than those in the DMCA?

The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has revised its opinion in the MGE UPS Systems Inc. v. GE Consumer and Industrial Inc. 2010 WL 3769210 (5th.Cir. Sept. 29, 2010)  case  withdrawing entirely the discussion of whether a copyright violation is a prerequisite for a violation of DMCA Section 1201(a). Instead, it affirmed the dismissal of the DMCA claim solely on the lack of proof that any GE/PMI employee actually circumvented the access control TPM and because the DMCA TPM prohibitions do not apply to “using the software after some other party disabled the code requiring a” TPM.

Separating facts from hype about C-32Separating facts from hype about C-32

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.

Geist: tough IP laws suppress political dissentGeist: tough IP laws suppress political dissent

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”.

Minister Moore’s Speech on C-32Minister Moore’s Speech on C-32

Heritage Minister Moore gave a speech yesterday at a meeting of the The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). His focus was on Bill c-32, the Copyright Modernization Act. He made a number of important remarks about the goals behind the Bill. He also used the occasion to comment on some of the Bill’s main critics Here are some highlights of his speech.

Minister Moore stressed the contribution that the copyright industries make to Canada’s economy noting that they “cannot be underestimated, both in terms of stimulating investment and creating jobs”.

Geist: “STFU until you see the bill”Geist: “STFU until you see the bill”

On Friday Prof. Geist again proclaimed that he is receiving private information about what the new copyright bill is going to look like. Moore’s Response: Stop Talking and Wait For My DMCA. From what he has been writing the bill will contain WIPO compliant provisions related to the protection of technological measures. It will also contain new exceptions for users that will permit time shifting, format shifting, and distance learning.

His private sources appear to be telling him not just what is in the bill, but also the government’s confidential strategy as to how it intends to present the bill to the public.

Canada’s new copyright bill: what will it look like?Canada’s new copyright bill: what will it look like?

The media is reporting on what Canada’s new copyright bill will contain. This speculation was instigated by a blog posted yesterday by Prof. Geist in which he claimed to know what is in the bill. PMO Issues The Order: Canadian DMCA Bill Within Six Weeks.

Prof. Geist repeated his claim in press interviews which were published by the CBC,  National Post, Globe, and other publications.

Prof. Geist claims that he knows that the new yet to be introduced bill will mimic Bill c-61 and is reported in the National Post also to claim that it is so bad that, among other things, it would actually “do away with the notion of fair dealing” in Canada.

Canada called out for weak copyright laws by IFPI and at the Heritage CommitteeCanada called out for weak copyright laws by IFPI and at the Heritage Committee

Digital piracy remains one of the biggest obstacles for the recording industry. It is an especially significant problem here in Canada. A major contributor is weak copyright protection which limits the development of new business models for music in Canada. These are the conclusions of the IFPI which just published a report setting out a comprehensive picture of the key trends in today’s music business including key trends in Canada. It is also the opinion of representatives of the recording industry who appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage last week.

The Owens analysis of the Canadian copyright consultations: what are the implications?The Owens analysis of the Canadian copyright consultations: what are the implications?

Earlier this week, Richard Owens, the past chair of the board of directors of the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation, a member of the board and former Executive Director of the Centre for Innovation and Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and an adjunct professor of copyright and technology law at the University of Toronto, published a critical analysis of last summer’s copyright consultation. In his paper, Noises Heard: Canada’s Recent Online Copyright Consultation Process: Teachings and Cautions, he concluded that the consultation “was systematically abused by a clandestine group of mod-chip distributors, foreign websites administrators and international BitTorrent users”.