The “enabler provision” has emerged as one of the major demands by copyright lobby groups, who want to see significant expansion of the current provision by including SOPA-style reforms that could target sites such as Youtube. In fact, the music industry has gone even further with demands
that could create liability risk for social networking sites, search engines, blogging platforms, video sites, and many other websites featuring third party contributions. Jason Kee of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada argues
that unless the enabler provision is expanded “the provision is useless.” All of these demands come despite the fact that the industry is using existing law to sue isoHunt
for millions of dollars under current copyright law.
In addition to expanding the provision, the same groups want to add statutory damages to the mix (the music industry recently argued that statutory damages should be unlimited). Yet a June 2010 letter to SOCAN from Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore’s department indicates it is opposed to the change since it stems from a lack of understanding about how statutory damages work. The letter states:
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Imagine a scenario in which a country enacts a law that bans the sale of asbestos and includes the power to seize the assets of any company selling the product anywhere in the world. The country tests the law by obtaining a court order to seize key assets of a Canadian company, whose operations with hundreds of employees takes a major hit. The Canadian government is outraged, promising to support the company in its efforts to restore its operations.
That is the opening of my technology law column this week (Toronto Star version, homepage version) which continues by noting this scenario became reality last week, though the product was not asbestos and the Canadian government has yet to respond. The case involves Bodog.com, a Canadian-owned online sports gaming site and the country doing the seizing was the United States. Supporting online gaming operations will undoubtedly make governments somewhat squeamish, but the broader implications of last week’s seizure touch on millions of websites and Internet companies who now find themselves subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
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Appeared on March 4, 2012 in the Toronto Star as Bodog.com case sends warning to all Canadian websites Imagine a scenario in which a country enacts a law that bans the sale of asbestos and includes the power to seize the assets of any company selling the product anywhere in […]
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Last week I wrote about the astonishing demands
of the Canadian music industry as it seeks a massive overhaul of Bill C-11, the copyright reform bill. The Canadian Independent Music Association is seeking changes to the enabler provision that would create liability risk for social networking sites, search engines, blogging platforms, video sites, and many other websites featuring third party contributions. If that were not enough, it is also calling for a new iPod tax, an extension in the term of copyright, a removal of protections for user generated content, parody, and satire, as well as an increase in statutory damage awards.
CIMA and ADISQ, which represents the Quebec music industry, appeared before the C-11 committee last week and the demands only seemed to increase. For example, ADISQ is asking the government to add a requirement for Internet providers to disclose customer name and address information to copyright owners without court oversight. Conservative MP Paul Calandra rightly noted the obvious parallels to Bill C-30, where the government wants similar disclosures to law enforcement. In this case, however, ADISQ wants the information disclosed to a private party based on nothing more than an allegation of infringement. Calandra’s comments suggest that the government recognizes the dangers of such an approach.
The proposed lack of due process is not limited to the disclosure of subscriber information. During its appearance, CIMA said it wanted a takedown system without any due process.
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