Archive for March 30th, 2009

Battle over ACTA Heats Up As DFAIT Consults, U.S. Promotes Global DMCA

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) begins by noting that next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs will conduct one of the stranger consultations in recent memory.  Officials have invited roughly 70 stakeholder groups to discuss an international intellectual property treaty that the U.S. regards as a national security secret and about which the only public substantive information has come from a series of unofficial leaks.

Since then-Minister David Emerson announced Canada’s participation in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations in October 2007, the ACTA has been dogged by controversy over the near-total lack of transparency.  Early negotiations were held in secret locations with each participating country (Canada, the U.S., the European Union, Japan, and Australia among them) offering nearly-identical cryptic press releases that did little more than fuel public concern.

The participating countries conducted four major negotiation sessions in 2008 and though the first session of 2009 was postponed at the request of the U.S. (which was busy transitioning to a new president), the negotiations are set to resume later this spring. When they do, negotiators will face two key challenges. 

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March 30, 2009 5 comments Columns

Canadian MP Seeks Hearings on Google Street View

The Ottawa Citizen reports that Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre is putting forward a motion to the Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee for hearings into Google Street View.

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March 30, 2009 6 comments Must Reads

Australia Consults on IP Again

Kim Weatherall notes that Australia has launched another intellectual property consultation, with comments due in early May.  While some criticize the failure to enact Canadian IP reforms, it is the failure to consult Canadians – while countries like Australia repeatedly ask for public views – that is particularly discouraging.

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March 30, 2009 2 comments Must Reads

GhostNet Garners Global Headlines

Congratulations to Ron Deibert, Greg Walton, and Nart Villeneuve for their research into a global cyber-spy network that may originate out of China.  The Globe and Mail has audio interviews and further coverage.

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March 30, 2009 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

NY Times on Newspapers in Europe

The NY Times has an interesting story on the success of the European newspaper industry, while the North American industry struggles.

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March 30, 2009 Comments are Disabled Must Reads