Archive for December 6th, 2010

The Wikileaks Copyright Cables: Confirmations Not Revelations

Last weekend, I posted that I suspected the KIPR tag on U.S. diplomatic cables being released by Wikileaks represented cables involving intellectual property issues.  Sure enough, the first batch of KIPR cables have been released in Spain, confirming U.S. pressure on that country to reform its copyright laws.  The release – which come from El Pais – has generated considerable commentary with BoingBoing proclaiming that it reveals that the U.S. wrote Spain’s proposed copyright law.  That headline led others to speculate what the remaining KIPR cables might reveal, particularly the 65 Canadian ones (there are also 84 WIPO tagged cables and nearly 2,500 KIPR tagged cables overall).  There has been one release on copyright law in France, with officials discussing U.S. industry support for its three-strikes approach.

While I am very interested in seeing the Canadian KIPR cables, I’d be surprised if the cables reveal anything new.  The fact that the U.S. is actively lobbying in foreign countries on intellectual property issues (particularly copyright) is not a secret, it’s a open strategy.  The cables don’t really show that the U.S. wrote Spain’s copyright law, because they didn’t need to.  Years of relentless lobbying pressure at the highest levels of government make it as clear as possible what the U.S. is looking for (plus they release the annual Special 301 report just in case anyone is still confused) so that when a government decides to reform its laws it invariably takes the U.S. position into account.

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December 6, 2010 35 comments News

Globe’s McKenna Back With Column Confusing Copyright Laws and Licencing

The Globe’s Barry McKenna runs a column today on the state of Bill C-32, wrongly linking Canadian copyright laws with the availability of online services.  For example, he points to the absence of Pandora from the Canadian market, even though Pandora’s founders have stated that it is licencing costs, not […]

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December 6, 2010 10 comments Must Reads

National Post on C-32’s Fair Dealing

The National Post ran a story over the weekend on the fight over fair dealing in Bill C-32.

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December 6, 2010 1 comment Must Reads

U.S. Senators Introduce Bill For Mandatory Open Wifi in Federal Buildings

The Hill reports that U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Mark Warner introduced legislation on Friday that would require all public federal buildings to install WiFi base stations in order to free up cell phone networks.

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December 6, 2010 1 comment Must Reads

Mobilizing User Generated Content Study

University of Western Ontario’s Sam Trosow has posted the results of SSHRC funded research on mobilizing user generated content in Canada.

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December 6, 2010 Comments are Disabled Must Reads