Archive for June 16th, 2008

A Week in the Life of the Canadian DMCA: Part One

Many people have written to ask for concrete examples of how the Canadian DMCA would impact everyday activities.  In response, today I'm going to start a five part series of a typical Canadian family's potential encounter with the law.  The fictional family consist of:

Jim and Josee live in a Calgary suburb together with their three children Stephen (age 16), Rona (age 10), and Diane (age 4).  Jim is the chief librarian at the National Energy Library, while Josee teaches media and communications at a local high school.

This post focuses on Jim.  Soon after he arrives into the office on Monday morning, he is contacted by a researcher located in the field who asks him to track down an article and to email an electronic copy as soon as possible.  Jim finds the article, scans and sends it via email.  After work, he drops into the local HMV and purchases a DVD copy of the movie Juno.  At home, he transfers a copy of the movie to his video iPod for viewing on an upcoming business trip.

If the Canadian DMCA becomes law, all of Jim's copying activities arguably violate the law.

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June 16, 2008 Comments are Disabled Stop CDMCA

A Week in the Life of the Canadian DMCA: Part One

Many people have written to ask for concrete examples of how the Canadian DMCA would impact everyday activities.  In response, today I'm going to start a five part series of a typical Canadian family's potential encounter with the law.  The fictional family consist of:

Jim and Josee live in a Calgary suburb together with their three children Stephen (age 16), Rona (age 10), and Diane (age 4).  Jim is the chief librarian at the National Energy Library, while Josee teaches media and communications at a local high school.

This post focuses on Jim.  Soon after he arrives into the office on Monday morning, he is contacted by a researcher located in the field who asks him to track down an article and to email an electronic copy as soon as possible.  Jim finds the article, scans and sends it via email.  After work, he drops into the local HMV and purchases a DVD copy of the movie Juno.  At home, he transfers a copy of the movie to his video iPod for viewing on an upcoming business trip.

If the Canadian DMCA becomes law, all of Jim's copying activities arguably violate the law.

Read more ›

June 16, 2008 50 comments News

How the U.S. Got Its Canadian Copyright Bill

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) examines the role that U.S. pressure played leading up to the introduction of Bill C-61 last week.  I argue that the bill is the result of an intense public and private campaign waged by the U.S. government to pressure Canada into following its much-criticized digital copyright model.  The U.S. pressure has intensified in recent years, particularly since there is a growing international trend toward greater copyright flexibility with countries such as Japan, New Zealand, and Israel either implementing or considering more flexible copyright standards.

The public campaign was obvious.  U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins was outspoken on the copyright issue, characterizing Canadian copyright law as the weakest in the G7 (despite the World Economic Forum ranking it ahead of the U.S.).  The U.S. Trade Representatives Office (USTR) made Canada a fixture on its Special 301 Watch list, an annual compilation of countries that the U.S. believes have sub-standard intellectual property laws.  The full list contains nearly 50 countries accounting for 4.4 billion people or approximately 70 percent of the world's population. Most prominently, last year U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and John Cornyn, along with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, escalated the rhetoric on Canadian movie piracy, leading to legislative reform that took just three weeks to complete.

The private campaign was even more important. 

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June 16, 2008 33 comments Columns

deBeer on Copyright Spin

My colleague Jeremy deBeer considers whether Bill C-61 is win-win or spin-spin in the National Post.

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June 16, 2008 2 comments Must Reads

“Copyright Law Heavy-Handed”

As the negative letters pile up at the Toronto Star (here, here, here) and the Western Standard's blog criticizes the bill, the Prince George Citizen takes aim at the Canadian DMCA.

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June 16, 2008 Comments are Disabled Must Reads