Archive for June 9th, 2008

Van Loan Seeking to Centralize Conservative Copyright Message

Sources indicate that staff from Conservative Government House Leader Peter Van Loan spent the morning calling MPs to ensure that they forward correspondence from constituents on copyright to Industry Minister Jim Prentice's office.  MPs were advised that the call was designed to ensure that Canadians receive the Conservative media lines […]

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June 9, 2008 16 comments News

Aeroplan Launches DRM-Free Music Store

As Industry Minister Jim Prentice prepares to introduce a Canadian DMCA designed to protect DRM, Aeroplan has announced that its digital music store will offer DRM-free music from all four major record labels.

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June 9, 2008 1 comment Must Reads

Government Should Lift Veil on ACTA Secrecy

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which was shrouded in secrecy until a leaked summary of the agreement appeared on the Internet last month, and which has sparked widespread opposition as Canadians worry about the prospect of a trade deal that could lead to invasive searches of personal computers and increased surveillance of online activities. Last week, Canadian negotiators huddled with representatives from countries such as the United States, European Union, and Japan at the U.S. Mission in Geneva to continue the negotiations. 

While documents obtained under the Access to Information Act reveal internal ACTA discussions as early as 2006, the trade negotiations only came to the Canadian public's attention last fall when International Trade Minister David Emerson revealed the government's intention to participate in the negotiations.  Since the announcement, the Canadian government has been among the most secretive of all ACTA negotiating partners.  The Department of Foreign Affairs conducted a public consultation on the treaty in April; however, the government revealed little about either the timing or substance of the agreement.  By comparison, Australia launched a public consultation on the treaty before committing to participate in the ACTA talks.

Fears about the ACTA have spilled into the political arena as NDP MP Charlie Angus last week voiced concerns about its effects during Question Period in the House of Commons and Toronto-area Liberal MP Bob Rae blogged that it "augurs a ridiculously intrusive national and international apparatus to police practices that are as common as eating and breathing." With another round of talks set for next month in Japan, the government should use the opportunity to pressure its trading partners to lift the veil of ACTA secrecy.  Trade negotiators may prefer to remain outside of the spotlight, yet greater transparency is desperately needed.

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June 9, 2008 Comments are Disabled Stop CDMCA

Government Should Lift Veil on ACTA Secrecy

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which was shrouded in secrecy until a leaked summary of the agreement appeared on the Internet last month, and which has sparked widespread opposition as Canadians worry about the prospect of a trade deal that could lead to invasive searches of personal computers and increased surveillance of online activities. Last week, Canadian negotiators huddled with representatives from countries such as the United States, European Union, and Japan at the U.S. Mission in Geneva to continue the negotiations. 

While documents obtained under the Access to Information Act reveal internal ACTA discussions as early as 2006, the trade negotiations only came to the Canadian public's attention last fall when International Trade Minister David Emerson revealed the government's intention to participate in the negotiations.  Since the announcement, the Canadian government has been among the most secretive of all ACTA negotiating partners.  The Department of Foreign Affairs conducted a public consultation on the treaty in April; however, the government revealed little about either the timing or substance of the agreement.  By comparison, Australia launched a public consultation on the treaty before committing to participate in the ACTA talks.

Fears about the ACTA have spilled into the political arena as NDP MP Charlie Angus last week voiced concerns about its effects during Question Period in the House of Commons and Toronto-area Liberal MP Bob Rae blogged that it "augurs a ridiculously intrusive national and international apparatus to police practices that are as common as eating and breathing." With another round of talks set for next month in Japan, the government should use the opportunity to pressure its trading partners to lift the veil of ACTA secrecy.  Trade negotiators may prefer to remain outside of the spotlight, yet greater transparency is desperately needed.

Read more ›

June 9, 2008 7 comments Columns

Government Should Lift Veil on ACTA Secrecy

Appeared in the Toronto Star on June 9, 2008 as Transparency Needed on ACTA Last week, Canadian negotiators huddled with representatives from countries such as the United States, European Union, and Japan at the U.S. Mission in Geneva to negotiate the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).  The ACTA, which was shrouded […]

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June 9, 2008 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive