Archive for March, 2009

FreeDominion.ca Appeals Anonymity Decision

The Kingston Whig-Standard reports that the owners of FreeDominion.ca have filed an appeal against the recent ruling ordering them to identify anonymous posters.

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March 31, 2009 4 comments Must Reads

EA ‘Dumps DRM’ for Next Sims Game

The BBC reports that Electronic Arts has confirmed that its next version of The Sims will be DRM-free.

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March 31, 2009 1 comment Must Reads

The ACTA Timeline (or Everything You Need To Know About ACTA But Your Government Won’t Tell You)

Following yesterday's column/post on ACTA, I thought it be useful to develop an ACTA timeline so that the progression of the still-secret treaty can be more easily understood.  This lengthy post builds on a range of articles, blog postings, official documents released under Access to Information, and well-publicized leaks.  While the starting point is October 2007, when there was a coordinated announcement from participating countries, Mark Harris has an insightful post tracing ACTA lobbying to 2004 and the first Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting.  Further, I've uncovered Canadian documents as early as January 2007 that discuss ACTA.

Assuming October 2007, however, the chronology looks something like this:

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March 31, 2009 18 comments News

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