Archive for May 25th, 2009

Conference Board of Canada Responds, Stands By Its Report

The Conference Board of Canada has issued a response to my posting on its Digital Economy report.  The organization defends the report, arguing that there was only one case of a missed citation (which it has corrected) and acknowledging that "some of the cited paragraphs closely approximate the wording of […]

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May 25, 2009 21 comments News

The Conference Board of Canada’s Deceptive, Plagiarized Digital Economy Report

The Conference Board of Canada bills itself as "the foremost, independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. Objective and non-partisan. We do not lobby for specific interests."  These claims should take a major hit based on last week's release of a deceptive, plagiarized report on the digital economy that copied text from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (the primary movie, music, and software lobby in the U.S.), at times without full attribution.  The report itself was funded by copyright lobby groups (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Copyright Collective of Canada which represents U.S. film production) along with the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The role of the Ontario government obviously raises questions about taxpayer dollars being used to pay for a report that simply recycles the language of a U.S. lobby group paper.

Start with the press release promoting the study, titled "Canada Seen as the File Swapping Capital of the World" which claims:

As a result of lax regulation and enforcement, internet piracy appears to be on the increase in Canada. The estimated number of illicit downloads (1.3 billion) is 65 times higher than the number legal downloads (20 million), mirroring the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s conclusion that Canada has the highest per capita incidence of unauthorized file-swapping in the world.

While the release succeeded in generating attention, the report does not come close to supporting these claims. The headline-grabbing claim of 1.3 billion unauthorized downloads relies on a January 2008 Canadian Recording Industry Association press release.  That release cites a 2006 Pollara survey as the basis for the statement.  In other words, the Conference Board relies on a survey of 1200 people conducted more than three years ago to extrapolate to a claim of 1.3 billion unauthorized downloads (the survey itself actually ran counter to many of CRIA's claims).  The OECD study that the Conference Board says found the highest per capita incidence of unauthorized file sharing in the world did not reach that conclusion.  The report – which is based on six year old data that is now out-of-date – was limited to the 30 OECD countries (not the world) and did not make any comment or determination on unauthorized activity. 

That is just the press release – the report itself is even worse as it is largely a copy of the IIPA 2008 Special 301 Report on Canada.  Given the lack of attribution in some instances, this work would face possible plagiarism sanctions in almost any academic environment.  Even where there is attribution, the chart below demonstrates that the report simply adopts the IIPA positions and language as its own.

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May 25, 2009 Comments are Disabled Stop CDMCA

The Conference Board of Canada’s Deceptive, Plagiarized Digital Economy Report

The Conference Board of Canada bills itself as "the foremost, independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. Objective and non-partisan. We do not lobby for specific interests."  These claims should take a major hit based on last week's release of a deceptive, plagiarized report on the digital economy that copied text from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (the primary movie, music, and software lobby in the U.S.), at times without full attribution.  The report itself was funded by copyright lobby groups (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Copyright Collective of Canada which represents U.S. film production) along with the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The role of the Ontario government obviously raises questions about taxpayer dollars being used to pay for a report that simply recycles the language of a U.S. lobby group paper.

Start with the press release promoting the study, titled "Canada Seen as the File Swapping Capital of the World" which claims:

As a result of lax regulation and enforcement, internet piracy appears to be on the increase in Canada. The estimated number of illicit downloads (1.3 billion) is 65 times higher than the number legal downloads (20 million), mirroring the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s conclusion that Canada has the highest per capita incidence of unauthorized file-swapping in the world.

While the release succeeded in generating attention, the report does not come close to supporting these claims. The headline-grabbing claim of 1.3 billion unauthorized downloads relies on a January 2008 Canadian Recording Industry Association press release.  That release cites a 2006 Pollara survey as the basis for the statement.  In other words, the Conference Board relies on a survey of 1200 people conducted more than three years ago to extrapolate to a claim of 1.3 billion unauthorized downloads (the survey itself actually ran counter to many of CRIA's claims).  The OECD study that the Conference Board says found the highest per capita incidence of unauthorized file sharing in the world did not reach that conclusion.  The report – which is based on six year old data that is now out-of-date – was limited to the 30 OECD countries (not the world) and did not make any comment or determination on unauthorized activity. 

That is just the press release – the report itself is even worse as it is largely a copy of the IIPA 2008 Special 301 Report on Canada.  Given the lack of attribution in some instances, this work would face possible plagiarism sanctions in almost any academic environment.  Even where there is attribution, the chart below demonstrates that the report simply adopts the IIPA positions and language as its own.

Read more ›

May 25, 2009 28 comments News

DFAIT Posts Questionnaire on Canada – EU Economic Agreement

The Department of Foreign Affairs has posted a questionnaire that seeks Canadian perspectives on the doing business in Europe.  It seeks to identify potential impediments, which could include copyright issues (longer copyright term as arose in the IMSLP case, restrictive anti-circumvention rules) for some businesses.  The deadline for submission is […]

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May 25, 2009 1 comment Must Reads

Manitoba Debating New Private Sector Privacy Law

Brian Bowman reports that the Manitoba Legislature is debating a private member's bill that would establish a private sector privacy law in the province.

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May 25, 2009 Comments are Disabled Must Reads