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Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam with Hand by Jeff Djevdet speedpropertybuyers.co.uk/ (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/JxUtGa

Industry Committee Calls for CASL Clarification, Rejects Demands for Anti-Spam Law Overhaul

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has released its final report on CASL, Canada’s anti-spam legislation. While some groups pleaded for a legislative overhaul – Scott Smith of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce “urge[d] this committee to take a stand on this legislation and make recommendations for a significant overhaul” – the committee adopted a far more cautious tone, limiting the recommendations on substantive provisions to “clarifications” of the law. The emphasis on clarification (it even appears in the study title) is clearly intentional, stopping short of specifying any precise legislative amendments. I appeared before the committee, arguing that spam and spyware pose real risks and that there is evidence that the law has been effective in reducing spam and improving the effectiveness of electronic marketing.

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December 15, 2017 0 comments News
Bains tweet, https://twitter.com/NavdeepSBains/status/939546556222660609

As the U.S. Retreats, Canada Doubles Down on Net Neutrality: “An Open Internet is Critical to Our Democracy”

As the U.S. Federal Communications Commission prepares to rollback net neutrality protections, the Canadian government has used the controversy to double down on its support for net neutrality safeguards, linking it to democracy, equality, and freedom of expression. I’ve written several posts on how the U.S. decision may impact Canadian Internet users and businesses and noted how Canadian NAFTA negotiators have indicated that they support inclusion of a net neutrality provision within the agreement’s new digital trade chapter.

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December 14, 2017 2 comments News
Copyright Wordle by Chrissie H (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/6bJSMe

The Fight for Fair Copyright Returns: Canadian Government Launches Major Copyright Review

The Canadian government kicked off its review of the Copyright Act this afternoon with a motion to ask the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to conduct a study on the issue. The formal launch had been expected for months since the 2012 reforms included a mandatory review of the law every five years. Lobby groups have been steadily gearing up for the review, with some hoping to undo some of the balancing provisions of the last reform process or demanding new restrictions. Indeed, restrictions on fair dealing, takedown rules, website blocking, and copyright term extension will undoubtedly figure prominently in the lobby playbook. Yet for millions of Canadians, the copyright review offers an opportunity to ensure that the law meets the needs of education, innovation, consumer rights, and creators with more flexibility in the form of fair use and restoring neutrality on Canada’s restrictive digital lock rules.

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December 13, 2017 6 comments News
By The White House from Washington, DC (Foreign Leader Visits) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Donald_Trump_Justin_Trudeau_2017-02-13_05.jpg

Canadian Trade Committee Warns Against Unbalanced U.S. IP Demands in NAFTA

The House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade released its detailed study on the priorities of Canadian stakeholders in NAFTA earlier today. I appeared before the committee to discuss intellectual property and digital trade issues in September. The report includes notable recommendations on culture (retain the cultural exemption in NAFTA) and digital rights (ensure that digital trade provisions do not undermine Canadians’ privacy rights or security of their data, a nod to concerns over data localization and data transfer rules). It also features an important discussion on the intellectual property chapter, with clear support for retaining a made-in-Canada approach consistent with international standards.

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December 12, 2017 0 comments News
Boston Net Neutrality Rally by Tim Carter (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/CCkbMB

Net Neutrality Briefing: My Appearance Before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

As the concern over U.S. net neutrality rules heats up, last week I appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics to provide committee members with an hour-long briefing on the issue. The audio of the appearance can be found here. My opening remarks, which emphasized the Canadian net neutrality framework, the potential impact of U.S. policies, and the implications for privacy and freedom of expression, are posted in full below.

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December 11, 2017 2 comments News