Archive for May 11th, 2009

House of Commons Lawyers Sent Takedown Notices Over Committee Video

In the spring of 2007, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the well-known broadcasting advocacy group, began to post videos and podcasts of Parliamentary committee proceedings on their website.  When officials at the House of Commons caught wind of their activities, they promptly sent a cease and desist letter, demanding that the videos and podcasts be removed from the Internet.  A lawyer for the House of Commons argued that posting excerpts from committee proceedings could be treated as "contempt of Parliament." The group responded that they did not want to remove the videos, but would be willing to follow a reasonable procedure to obtain the necessary permissions.  That response did not sit well with the Chairs of the Finance and Canadian Heritage Standing Committees, who upon learning that the group was offering webcasts and downloads of their proceedings, asked the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (SCPHA) to examine the issue to prevent further infringement.

My weekly technology column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that the idea that videos of committee hearings constitute proprietary content that when used without permission raise the potential for allegations of contempt of Parliament or copyright infringement will undoubtedly come as news to many Canadians.  Using these excerpts in YouTube videos, webcasts, or podcasts has emerged as an important and powerful tool for business and consumer groups to educate the public on policy issues and legislative proposals. Yet House of Commons lawyers maintain that many of these activities violate the law and have sent notice and takedown demands to YouTube seeking the removal of videos that include House of Commons and committee proceedings. These include clips that involve satire and parody, since they are seen to "distort" the video itself.

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May 11, 2009 Comments are Disabled Stop CDMCA

House of Commons Lawyers Sent Takedown Notices Over Committee Video

In the spring of 2007, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the well-known broadcasting advocacy group, began to post videos and podcasts of Parliamentary committee proceedings on their website.  When officials at the House of Commons caught wind of their activities, they promptly sent a cease and desist letter, demanding that the videos and podcasts be removed from the Internet.  A lawyer for the House of Commons argued that posting excerpts from committee proceedings could be treated as "contempt of Parliament." The group responded that they did not want to remove the videos, but would be willing to follow a reasonable procedure to obtain the necessary permissions.  That response did not sit well with the Chairs of the Finance and Canadian Heritage Standing Committees, who upon learning that the group was offering webcasts and downloads of their proceedings, asked the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (SCPHA) to examine the issue to prevent further infringement.

My weekly technology column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that the idea that videos of committee hearings constitute proprietary content that when used without permission raise the potential for allegations of contempt of Parliament or copyright infringement will undoubtedly come as news to many Canadians.  Using these excerpts in YouTube videos, webcasts, or podcasts has emerged as an important and powerful tool for business and consumer groups to educate the public on policy issues and legislative proposals. Yet House of Commons lawyers maintain that many of these activities violate the law and have sent notice and takedown demands to YouTube seeking the removal of videos that include House of Commons and committee proceedings. These include clips that involve satire and parody, since they are seen to "distort" the video itself.

Read more ›

May 11, 2009 19 comments Columns

MPs Miss Chance To Embrace YouTube Generation

Appeared in the Toronto Star on May 11, 2009 as MPs Miss Chance To Embrace YouTube Generation In the spring of 2007, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the well-known broadcasting advocacy group, began to post videos and podcasts of Parliamentary committee proceedings on their website.  When officials at the House of […]

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May 11, 2009 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

RCMP Arrest Five Men For Pirated DVD Sales

The Toronto Star reports that the RCMP have arrested five men in connection with pirated DVD sales in the notorious Pacific Mall.  Each face the possibility of jail time or up to a million dollars in liability. 

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May 11, 2009 4 comments Must Reads

Do-Not-Call List Backfires

The Times & Transcript covers the problems with the National Do-Not-Call list.

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May 11, 2009 1 comment Must Reads