Archive for May 17th, 2007

Missing Mobilization

The Conservative government unveiled its science and technology strategy [pdf] titled Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage on Thursday in Waterloo, Ontario.  The lengthy document represents a missed opportunity for open access as the strategy raises issues that are directly relevant but fails to take the plunge.  For example, it emphasizes enhanced accountability and responsiveness of the three federal granting councils, yet focuses on internal management issues, rather than on research dissemination. The strategy also includes increased efforts to transfer technology from Canadian universities to the private sector.  Once again, there is an opportunity to consider open access approaches, however, the strategy instead commits to a review that "will include an assessment of whether a new approach to intellectual property management of university research is warranted." While neither of these statements preclude open access, a more explicit commitment would have given the issue some real momentum.

It is also worth noting that patent and copyright reform receive attention, with the government focusing on the need for a modern IP regime that balances incentives with access:

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May 17, 2007 1 comment News

Debating the Olympics Marks Bill

Members of Parliament devoted nearly two hours on Wednesday to debating Bill C-47, the Olympic Marks bill.  While much of the discussion predictably veered toward completely unrelated issues (child obesity, French language coverage of the Olympics, the "world class" status of Vancouver, camcording), the core elements of the discussion were encouraging.  With one notable exception (BC Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal, who urged the government to push foward on the bill without any committee hearings), most of the MPs engaged in the debate recognized that the bill grants the Vancouver Olympic Organizing committee (VANOC) enormous power that should be carefully analyzed and should not be permitted to chill free speech, parody, or other legitimate activities.  There were strong calls for committee hearings from Liberal Hedy Fry (who referenced some of my comments) and the NDP's Charlie Angus.

The free speech issue in particular was raised by several MPs. 

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May 17, 2007 2 comments News

El Matón del “Copyright”

The BBC offers a Spanish version of my recent column on the USTR's Special 301 report.

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May 17, 2007 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

AustLII in Need of Funding

AustLII, which transformed access to legal information in Australia over a decade ago, is facing a funding crunch.  Learn more here.

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May 17, 2007 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

CRTC Approves Increased Commercial Skipping

The CRTC has released a series of television regulation decisions that include a gradual removal of advertising restrictions (yet another mechanism to encourage YouTube and Tivo use), a deadline for digital broadcasts (by August 2011), and the rejection of a broadcast demand for a new fee on cable and satellite […]

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May 17, 2007 Comments are Disabled Must Reads