Archive for March, 2011

Supreme Court Grants Leave To Copyright, Broadcasting Cases

The Supreme Court of Canada yesterday granted leave to appeal in two notable cases – an appeal of the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision that ISPs are not broadcasters under the Broadcasting Act (I wrote about that decision here) and the never ending saga of Tariff 22, which involves tariffs […]

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March 25, 2011 4 comments Must Reads

Five Straight Years: Canadian Digital Music Sales Growth Against Beats the U.S.

Nielsen Soundscan releases annual music sales figures for the United States in the first week of the new year and for Canada one month later. This year Nielsen released the U.S. figures, but nearly three months later, there has still not been a public release of the Canadian figures. However, a Globe and Mail story over the weekend included the data, which confirms that the Canadian digital market grew faster than the U.S. market in 2010.  Last year, digital music sales grew by 19.8% in Canada, while the U.S. market was basically flat, with just 1% growth.  As the chart below demonstrates, this marks five straight years in which the Canadian digital market has grown faster than the U.S.:

Year Canada United States
2010 20% 1%
2009 38% 8%
2008 58% 27%
2007 73% 45%
2006 122% 65%

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March 24, 2011 14 comments News

Rogers Provides New Evidence on Effectiveness of Notice-and-Notice System

Bill C-32 looks to be headed for the dustbin if Canada heads into an election this week, but the C-32 committee is still ongoing until someone pulls the plug on the current Parlimentary session. Rogers, Telus, and Bell appeared yesterday and the discussion unsurprisingly focused on the notice-and-notice approach currently used by ISPs and codified within the bill. The notice and notice system involves a notification from a copyright holder – often involving movies, software or music – claiming that a subscriber has made available or downloaded content without authorization on file sharing systems. The ISP forwards the notification to the subscriber but takes no other action – it does not pass along the subscriber’s personal information, remove the content from its system, or cancel the subscriber’s service.

While some rights holders (who the committee learned played a role in establishing notice-and-notice in the first place) have claimed the system is ineffective, Rogers came prepared with evidence about how the system functions and on its effectiveness. It reports that it processed 207,000 notices in 2010, sending those notices to about five percent of its customer base. In other words, 95% of its subscribers are not identified by rights holders as copyright infringers – far from the piracy haven that it often claimed. Of the households that receive notices, only 1/3 receive a second notice. Of those that receive a second notice, only 1/3 of those receive a third notice. 

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March 23, 2011 27 comments News

The Truth About Pirates and Profits: A Market Failure, Not Legal One

Trademark and copyright holders frequently characterize piracy as a legal failure, arguing that tougher laws and increased enforcement are needed to stem infringing activity. But my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that a new global study on piracy, backed by Canada’s International Development Research Centre, comes to a different conclusion. Following several years of independent investigation in six emerging economies, the report concludes that piracy is chiefly a product of a market failure, not a legal one.

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March 22, 2011 17 comments Columns

Canadian Backed Report Says Piracy a Market Failure, Not Legal One

Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 20, 2011 as Canadian-backed report says music, movie, and software piracy is a market failure, not a legal one Trademark and copyright holders frequently characterize piracy as a legal failure, arguing that tougher laws and increased enforcement are needed to stem infringing activity. […]

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March 22, 2011 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive