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Danger: High Voltage by Rhys A (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8jQYkS

Federal Court Short-Circuits Voltage Pictures’ Canadian File Sharing Class Action Copyright Lawsuit Strategy

The Federal Court of Canada has strongly rejected an attempt by Voltage Pictures, one of Canada’s most litigious copyright companies, to use a reverse class action lawsuit approach to sue potentially thousands of Canadians. The court ruled that Voltage met none of the requirements for class action certification and in the process confirmed doubts that merely pointing to an IP address is sufficient grounds for a copyright infringement claim. The Voltage strategy was launched in 2016 as it sought certification of the class, a declaration that each member of the class had infringed its copyright, an injunction stopping further infringement, damages, and costs of the legal proceedings (the issues were discussed in this Lawbytes podcast episode with James Plotkin).

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November 14, 2019 8 comments News
CISAC Global Collections Report 2019, https://www.cisac.org/Media/Studies-and-Reports/Publications/Royalty-Reports/2019-CISAC-Global-Collections-Report-EN, pg. 45

CISAC Labels Canada a “Digital Champion” for Digital Music Royalty Growth

The Canadian music industry has engaged in extensive lobbying efforts on copyright invariably pointing to concerns regarding revenues from digital music services. But the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), which brings together 239 collective management organizations in 122 countries and five regions, recently released a global report that told a much different story, calling Canada a digital champion given the share of royalty revenues coming from digital services.  CISAC represents over four million creators active in five major repertoires: audiovisual, dramatic, literature, music and visual arts. Its report identifies five digital champions within its top 20 global markets. Canada sits third in terms of both digital share and five year growth.

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November 13, 2019 0 comments News
Newspapers by Sean Davis (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/enSuZy

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 31: Is Canadian Media in a Financial Crisis? – Marc Edge With a Different Take on What the Data Says

Is the Canadian media in a state of financial crisis? Stories on newspaper closures and journalist layoffs have become frustratingly commonplace in recent years, leading to increasingly vocal calls for policy reforms or public funding measures. But Marc Edge, a longtime journalist, editor, and professor at universities around the world, has studied the state of the industry for years and offers a different take. While he is quick to point out the crisis of journalism given cutbacks, he argues that a journalism crisis is not the same as a media crisis. He joins the podcast this week to discuss the historical development of the Canadian media and what the data tells us about the current situation in Canada.

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November 11, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
Budget 2019 copyright page, https://budget.gc.ca/2019/docs/plan/budget-2019-en.pdf

Episode 30: “It’s Only Going to Get More Important” – Amanda Wakaruk and Jeremy deBeer on Crown Copyright in Canada

The Canadian copyright review conducted earlier this year heard evidence on a remarkably broad range of issues. One issue that seemed to take committee members by surprise was crown copyright, which captured considerable attention and became the subject of two supplemental opinions from the Conservative and NDP members as well as the basis for a private members bill from NDP MP Brian Masse. Why all the interest in crown copyright?

This week’s Lawbytes podcast digs into crown copyright with two guests. First, Amanda Wakaruk, a copyright librarian at the University of Alberta and one of the country’s leading advocates on the issue joins me to explain the concept of crown copyright and why she thinks it needs to be abolished. I’m then joined by my colleague Professor Jeremy DeBeer to discuss the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on Keatley Surveying v. Teranet, which was on the first opportunities for Canada’s highest court to grapple with the scope and implications of crown copyright.

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November 4, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
Macron at GFAIH by Michael Geist

The Global Forum on AI for Humanity: A Global Forum That Excluded the Globe

Earlier this week, I traveled to Paris to attend the Global Forum on Artificial Intelligence for Humanity (GFIAH). The by-invitation event featured one day of workshops addressing issues such as AI and culture, followed by a two days of panels on developing trustworthy AI, data governance, the future of work, delegating decisions to machines, bias and AI, and future challenges. The event was a part of the French government’s effort to take the lead on developing a new AI regulatory framework that it describes as a “third way”, distinct from the approach to AI in China and the United States. The French initiative, named the Global Partnership on AI, is particularly notable from a Canadian perspective since Canada is an active participant in the initiative and will host the next global forum in 2020.

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November 1, 2019 0 comments News