Archive for January, 2009

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Leads the Way on IP Lobbying

Howard Knopf points to a Hill Times article that quotes Geoff Norquay as stating that the copyright lobby will be out in full force with the resumption of Parliament and that he expects a new bill within months.  Norquay is registered to lobby on copyright on behalf of both Microsoft and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.  While those groups will undoubtedly be active, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has emerged as one of the most active lobbyist on intellectual property.  Despite some dissension within the Chambers themselves, the national body formed a lobby specific group and it has been very active.  Another counterfeiting event is planned for next week where the "best practices" and special presentations come from the United States. 

More interestingly, the Chamber continues to lobby government directly.  According to the latest lobbying reports, Chamber President Perrin Beatty was active late last year, meeting with Assistant Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham to discuss copyright and digital rights management, as well as with senior Industry Canada officials to discuss copyright and the report on intellectual property by McGill professor Robert Gold that concluded that IP laws may be stifling innovation and that increased patent protection may hamper future innovation (the Gold report has also been the subject of an industry-led access to information request).

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January 27, 2009 5 comments News

WTO Issues Decision In U.S. – China IP Case

The WTO Panel has released its decision in the U.S. complaint against China over its IP laws.  It ruled against China on certain elements, but dismissed a complaint involving criminal enforcement.  Canada participated in the case as a third party against China, a matter that I will explore in a […]

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January 26, 2009 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Canada Post Plays Grinch in Takedown Fight

Late last year, Canada Post and the Public Service Alliance of Canada became embroiled in a heated strike action over sick pay benefits. In the midst of the dispute, several PSAC members took direct aim at Canada Post CEO Moya Greene, recording a short parody video titled "The Greench." The video, which was posted on YouTube, adapted the well-known Dr. Seuss tune "You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" to criticize Greene and the company. While the creation of a protest video is not particularly noteworthy, what followed soon after is.  Just as the video began to attract some attention, YouTube removed it after receiving a complaint from Canada Post alleging that the video violated the company’s copyright.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues that the case highlights a common occurrence under U.S. law, which allows copyright owners to file complaints with web hosts such as YouTube if they believe that the site is hosting infringing content. Under the law, the web host avoids liability if it immediately removes the content.  No court or independent third party reviews the infringement claim since nothing more than a complaint that meets certain criteria is needed.  The statutory requirements include providing a statement that the complainant has a "good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of its not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law."

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January 26, 2009 6 comments Columns

Canada Post Plays Grinch in Takedown Fight

Appeared in the Toronto Star on January 26, 2009 as Canada Post Plays Grinch in Censorship Row Late last year, Canada Post and the Public Service Alliance of Canada became embroiled in a heated strike action over sick pay benefits. In the midst of the dispute, several PSAC members took […]

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January 26, 2009 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

UK Drops Plans For ISP Three Strikes and You’re Out Approach

The Times reports that the UK government has dropped plans to implement a "three strikes and you're out" approach for ISPs, acknowledging that the proposal raised very complex legal issues to enforce disconnecting Internet users.

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January 26, 2009 1 comment Must Reads