Archive for November, 2011

The Copyright Costs of Joining the TPP: Extending Bill C-11 With More Digital Locks & Penalties

Coverage of the Canadian government’s decision to seek entry into the Trans Pacific Partnership trade negotiations with the United States, Australia, and many other Asian and South American countries has  focused primarily on the potential impact on supply management systems in the dairy and other agricultural sectors. While some believe Canada will ask for an exemption for supply management (and some countries view Canada’s entrance into the talks with skepticism), the potential impact of the TPP on Canadian intellectual property laws should not be overlooked.

Based on leaks of the current drafts of the TPP IP chapter, the agreement would overhaul Canadian copyright law far beyond what is contemplated in Bill C-11. In fact, the TPP would require even stricter digital lock rules, extend the term of copyright, restrict trade in parallel imports, and increase various infringement penalties. If Canada were to ratify the TPP, it would require another copyright bill to undo much of what the government is about to enact with Bill C-11. A recent study on the implications of the copyright provisions point to many concerns including:

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November 30, 2011 23 comments News

Guerbuez Thanks Lobby Groups for Spam Law Pressure

Adam Guerbuez, who faced an $873 million spam judgement for sending millions of messages to Facebook users, publicly thanks lobby groups for delaying Canadian anti-spam legislation and promises to make political contributions to those listening to his perspective.

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November 30, 2011 2 comments Must Reads

The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 41: Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia

The Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia is a provincial association of book publishing companies representing 50 BC owned and controlled publishers. Its members are based throughout the province and they publish in all genres: scholarly, Aboriginal, literary, general trade, children’s, educational and reference. Its 2009 national copyright consultation submission included the following on digital locks:

copyright law should prohibit the circumvention of TPMs to a degree that would satisfy the World Intellectual Property Organization copyright treaties, but that would also provide for fair dealing, retail competition, security research, the protection of personal information and accessibility for the disabled.

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November 30, 2011 Comments are Disabled News

Digital Economy Strategy has Become the Federal Government’s “Penske File”

Later today, Industry Minister Christian Paradis will deliver a speech that will provide an update on the government’s digital economy strategy. The speech is likely to point to the recently launched Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program, talk about moving forward with copyright and privacy legislation, describe work on spectrum, and indicate that a decision has still not been made on the removal of foreign investment restrictions. In other words, basically repackage several earlier speeches on the same issue.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the lack of movement on the digital economy strategy, arguing that it has emerged as the government’s “Penske File”- the source of considerable discussion and much “work” but thus far few tangible results (for non-Seinfeld watchers, the Penske file has become synonymous for a non-existent work project).

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November 29, 2011 10 comments Columns

Observations on Anti-spam Law’s Regulatory Process

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s blog features a post I wrote on the anti-spam regulatory process.

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November 29, 2011 1 comment Must Reads