Archive for February, 2012

Elsevier Withdraws Support for Research Works Act

Elsevier, which has faced enormous online protests over its support for the Research Works Act, has withdrawn its support for the U.S. bill.

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February 28, 2012 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Canadian Library Association Posts Its Technical Amendments to Bill C-11

The Canadian Library Association has posted its proposed technical amendments to Bill C-11. The CLA suggests two changes: one on alternative formats (it argues the bill is more restrictive than a proposed international treaty at WIPO) and one on digital locks. The digital lock proposal is one that should enjoy […]

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February 27, 2012 8 comments News

Could ‘Lawful Access’ Jeopardize Canada’s Adequacy Status with EU?

Constantine Karbaliotis, Chief Privacy Officer Americas for Mercer, has an interesting blog post that raises the question of whether Bill C-30 might jeopardize Canada’s adequacy status with the European Union. The adequacy status, which confirms Canadian privacy meets the EU Data Protection Directive standard, was obtained with the enactment of […]

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February 27, 2012 1 comment Must Reads

How to Fix Canada’s Online Surveillance Bill: A 12 Step To-Do List

Over the past ten days, I’ve been asked repeatedly what should be done to fix Bill C-30, the online surveillance bill. While the bill will require considerable study, below I’ve posted 12 amendments or undertakings that are needed to begin to address the massive public concern with the legislation. Given recent events, many understandably believe the bill is beyond repair and should be scrapped. However, assuming the government sticks with it and send the bill to committee with a mandate to consider a wide range of reforms and submissions, I’d start with the following non-comprehensive to-do list:

  1. Evidence, Evidence, Evidence
  2. No Mandatory Warrantless Access to Subscriber Information
  3. Reporting Warrantless Disclosure of Subscriber Information
  4. Remove the Disclosure Gag Order
  5. “Voluntary” Warrantless Data Preservation and Production
  6. Government Installation of Surveillance Equipment
  7. Reconsider the Internet Provider Regulatory Framework
  8. Improve Lawful Access Oversight
  9. Limit the Law to Serious Crimes
  10. Come Clean on Costs
  11. The Missing Regulations
  12. Deal With The Failure of Privacy Laws To Keep Pace

Details on each follows:

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February 24, 2012 37 comments News

Why Canada Does Not Belong on the U.S. Piracy Watchlist

In what has become an annual rite of spring, each April the U.S. government releases its Special 301 report – often referred to as the Piracy Watch List – which claims to identify countries with sub-standard intellectual property laws. Canada has appeared on this list for many years alongside dozens of countries. In fact, over 70% of the world’s population is placed on the list and most African countries are not even considered for inclusion.

While the Canadian government has consistently rejected the U.S. list because it “basically lacks reliable and objective analysis”, this year I teamed up with Public Knowledge to try to provide the U.S. Trade Representative Office with something a bit more reliable and objective. Public Knowledge will appear at a USTR hearing on Special 301 today. In addition, last week we participated in meetings at the U.S. Department of Commerce and USTR to defend current Canadian copyright law and the proposed reforms.

The full submission on Canadian copyright is available here. It focuses on four main issues: how Canadian law provides adequate and effective protection, how enforcement is stronger than often claimed, why Canada is not a piracy haven, and why Bill C-11 does not harm the interests of rights holders (critics of Bill C-11 digital lock rules will likely think this is self-evident). The section challenging the piracy haven claims states the following:

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February 23, 2012 28 comments News