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the television will not be... by aesthetics of crisis (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dT9oyX

Canada’s Tough Anti-Piracy Copyright Law: Federal Court Awards Millions in Damages Against Unauthorized Streaming Site

When the Bell coalition filed its website blocking application earlier this year, the immediate response from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains was to point to the strength of existing copyright law:

We understand that there are groups, including Bell, calling for additional tools to better fight piracy, particularly in the digital domain. Canada’s copyright system has numerous legal provisions and tools to help copyright owners protect their intellectual property, both online and in the physical realm. We are committed to maintaining one of the best intellectual property and copyright frameworks in the world to support creativity and innovation to the benefit of artists, creators, consumers and all Canadians.

I emphasized the point in my first post making the case against site blocking, arguing that Canada already has many legal provisions designed to assist copyright owners.

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April 16, 2018 11 comments News
Balancing Act by mpauliks (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/EnZaAU

Against Copyright Balance: Canadian Heritage Officials Say It’s Time “To Move Beyond the Notion of Balance”

As the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) prepares for its first copyright review hearing next week featuring various representatives from the education community, MPs will regularly hear witnesses talk about the “copyright balance.” For Canadian copyright policy, balance has long been a foundational goal, regularly reflected in the views of both government and the courts. Yet according to a document obtained under the Access to Information Act, last fall officials at the Ministry of Canadian Heritage advised Minister Melanie Joly to abandon the emphasis on a copyright balance.

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April 12, 2018 6 comments News
Broken record by Tomi Tirkkonen (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/9GZZxM

Broken Record: Why the Music Industry’s Secret Plan for iPhone Taxes, Internet Tracking and Content Blocking is Off-Key

The long-awaited Canadian copyright review is set to kick off hearings next week as a House of Commons committee embarks on a year-long process that will hear from a wide range of stakeholders. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes that according to documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, however, one stakeholder – the Canadian Music Policy Coalition, an umbrella group representing 17 music associations – got an early start on the review process last fall by quietly submitting a 30-page reform proposal to government officials.

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April 11, 2018 4 comments Columns
25 Under 25 (2017) by Internet Society ©Tsutsumida Pictures (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/Y5wvzo

CRTC Website Blocking Submissions Confirm Over-Blocking Risks: “Every Blocking Technique Suffers from Over-blocking and Under-blocking”

With broad-based criticism of the Bell website blocking plan, supporters have tried to dismiss the opposition by characterizing much of their analysis as “misinformation”. Yet a review of many expert submissions reveals widely held concerns regarding the proposal. Many point to the absence of court orders as a key flaw and no one – whether supporter or critic – disputes that the majority of countries that have used site blocking require court orders. Further, claims that human rights concerns are unfounded ring hollow in light of the critical submission from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression. Efforts to dismiss the cost implications of site blocking are undermined by the clear position of the majority of Canadian Internet providers that the expenses associated with blocking are likely to lead to increased consumer costs and reduced competition.

Many submissions similarly point to the risks of over-blocking legitimate content.

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April 10, 2018 2 comments News
GDPR & ePrivacy Regulations by Dennis van der Heijden Convert GDPR https://www.convert.com/GDPR/ (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2524HfE

Data Rules in Modern Trade Agreements: Toward Reconciling an Open Internet with Privacy and Security Safeguards

CIGI’s essay series on data governance in the digital age has shone a spotlight on the need for a national data strategy. My contribution notes that central to any data strategy will be some measure of data control. Given the implications for privacy, security and innovation policies, this includes some control over where data is stored and the conditions under which it is transferred across borders. Yet, despite the mounting data concerns, Canada may have already signed away much of its policy flexibility with respect to rules on both data localization and data transfers, severely restricting its ability to implement policy measures in the national interest.

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April 9, 2018 1 comment News