Archive for November, 2015

TPP protest at U.S. Trade Representative Office 11-16-2015 by Vision Planet Media (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/B9fQ4K

Why the TPP is a Canadian Digital Policy Failure

The official release of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a global trade agreement between 12 countries including Canada, the United States, and Japan, has sparked a heated public debate over the merits of the deal. Leading the opposition is Research in Motion founder Jim Balsillie, who has described the TPP as one of Canada’s worst-ever policy moves that could cost the country billions of dollars.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that as Canadians assess the 6,000 page agreement, the implications for digital policies such as copyright and privacy should command considerable attention. On those fronts, the agreement appears to be a major failure. Canadian negotiators adopted a defensive strategy by seeking to maintain existing national laws and doing little to extend Canadian policies to other countries. The result is a deal that the U.S. has rightly promoted as “Made in America.” [a video of my recent talk on this issue can be found here].

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November 18, 2015 10 comments Columns

Why the TPP is a Digital Policy Failure for Canada

Appeared in the Toronto Star on November 15, 2015 as TPP Will Kill Digital Policy The official release of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a global trade agreement between 12 countries including Canada, the United States, and Japan, has sparked a heated public debate over the merits of the deal. […]

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November 18, 2015 1 comment Columns Archive
Canada and the TPP: My Talk on a Digital Policy Failure

Canada and the TPP: My Talk on a Digital Policy Failure

Last week, I had the opportunity to deliver the keynote address at a Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) panel on the TPP.  My talk, which begins at 4:25 and runs until 41:00, focused on the digital policies within the massive agreement, including intellectual property, privacy, and Internet governance.  After the talk, there was a panel discussion featuring Myra Tawfik, Warren Clarke, Barry Sookman, and David Lametti.  The full event can be found here and is embedded below.

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November 16, 2015 4 comments News
Gambling by Alan Cleaver (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4ntZz8

Quebec Bets on Internet Blocking: New Bill Mandates ISP Blocking of Gambling Websites

The Government of Quebec has introduced new legislation that requires Internet service providers to block access to unlicensed online gambling sites. The provisions are contained in an omnibus bill implementing elements of the government’s spring budget, which included a promise to establish website blocking requirements. The bill provides that “an Internet service provider may not give access to an online gambling site whose operation is not authorized under Québec law.” The government’s lottery commission will establish the list of banned websites:

“The Société des loteries du Québec shall oversee the accessibility of online gambling. It shall draw up a list of unauthorized online gambling sites and provide the list to the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, which shall send it to Internet service providers by registered mail.

According to the law:

“An Internet service provider that receives the list of unauthorized online gambling sites in accordance with section 260.35 shall, within 30 days after receiving the list, block access to those sites.

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November 13, 2015 25 comments News
paywall_nyt by Christoph Borer (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/czkcBm

Flawed Copyright Case Places Spotlight on Canada’s Digital Lock Problem

Does asking a friend for a copy of a newspaper article from a subscription website constitute copyright infringement? According to an Ottawa small claims court, it does.

The court recently issued a deeply flawed copyright ruling, providing a timely warning about the dangers of Canada’s restrictive digital lock rules that were enacted by the Conservatives over the strong objection of many copyright watchers.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that the case involved the president of the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA), who received an email from Blacklock’s Reporter, an Ottawa-based political publication, advising that he was quoted in an article discussing a recent appearance before a House of Commons committee. The man did not subscribe to the publication, which places its content behind a paywall, so he contacted a member of the association who was a subscriber and asked if he could see a copy of the article. When Blacklock’s Reporter learned that he had received a copy from the subscriber, it demanded that he pay for a full subscription or face a copyright infringement lawsuit.

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November 10, 2015 9 comments Columns