Archive for December 3rd, 2010

Putting Copyright Statutory Damages In Perspective

One of the more interesting exchanges during Wednesday’s C-32 Legislative Committee hearing involved questions on the bill’s reforms to statutory damages. The bill proposes to establish a maximum statutory damages penalty of $5,000 for infringement that the court considers to be non-commercial.  That contrasts with commercial infringement, which carries a $20,000 per infringement maximum.  Note that the minimums are roughly the same – non-commercial infringement has a $100 minimum, while commercial infringement’s minimum is $200.

Liberal MP Dan McTeague questioned the change, suggesting that it could send the wrong message about infringement and be viewed as a licence to steal.  I disagreed with his position, pointing out that $5,000 was still enormous cost for most Canadians and that it is potential multi-million dollar liability for non-commercial file sharing that sends a bad message about Canadian justice. 

I also made the point that statutory damages are relatively rare on the international scene, a point that I think is worth expanding upon.  Perhaps because both Canada and the U.S. have statutory damages, many MPs might be under the mistaken impression that most countries have them. In fact, the opposite is the case. 

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December 3, 2010 68 comments News

NDP MP Angus Calls For Compromise on Bill C-32

NDP MP Charlie Angus has publicly called out the Conservatives on Bill C-32, calling for compromise on the copyright bill.  Angus says the bill ignores the needs of consumers and is attack on artists.  He indicates the NDP plans to bring forward amendments on artists’ royalties and to develop a […]

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December 3, 2010 25 comments News

DMCA Criminal Trial Dropped on Fairness Grounds

A DMCA criminal prosecution against an Xbox modder has been dropped by the prosecution on “fairness and justice” grounds.  The case was the first to test the criminal DMCA provisions as applied to game consoles.

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December 3, 2010 2 comments Must Reads

CRTC Extends CCTS Mandate

The CRTC has extended the mandate of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services, requring all telecommunications service providers to become members. I wrote about the CCTS earlier this year.

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December 3, 2010 Comments are Disabled Must Reads