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Proper old school piracy! by Gary Denham (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8qqZcp

The “Bulte Report” Redux: Canadian Heritage Committee Releases Embarrassingly One-Sided Remuneration Models Study

The Canadian government announced its plans for a copyright review in December 2017, tasking the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology with the review. That report has been in the drafting stage for several months and is expected before the summer. In an effort to dampen concerns that Canadian Heritage would play a diminished role in the review, the responsible ministers asked the Industry committee to ask the Heritage committee to conduct a review on remuneration models for artists and creative industries. The formal request asked the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to “call upon the expertise of a broad range of stakeholders impacted by copyright to ensure a holistic understanding of the issues at play.”

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May 15, 2019 10 comments News
Mark_Zuckerberg_F8_2018_Keynote, Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Zuckerberg_F8_2018_Keynote_(41118883004).jpg

Does Canadian Privacy Law Matter if it Can’t be Enforced?

It has long been an article of faith among privacy watchers that Canada features better privacy protection than the United States. While the U.S. relies on binding enforcement of privacy policies alongside limited sector-specific rules for children and video rentals, Canada’s private sector privacy law (PIPEDA or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), which applies broadly to all commercial activities, has received the European Union’s stamp of approval, and has a privacy commissioner charged with investigating complaints.

Despite its strength on paper, my Globe and Mail op-ed notes the Canadian approach emphasizes rules over enforcement, which runs the risk of leaving the public woefully unprotected. PIPEDA establishes requirements to obtain consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, but leaves the Privacy Commissioner of Canada with limited tools to actually enforce the law. In fact, the not-so-secret shortcoming of Canadian law is that the federal commissioner cannot order anyone to do much of anything. Instead, the office is limited to issuing non-binding findings and racing to the federal court if an organization refuses to comply with its recommendations.

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May 2, 2019 6 comments Columns
Rear View of Man Working in Office by Pixabay https://www.pexels.com/photo/rear-view-of-man-working-in-office-256401/ Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

Myths and Reality About Canadian Copyright Law, Fair Dealing and Educational Copying

Seeking to debunk many of the misleading claims on the state of Canadian copyright, fair dealing and education, I’m grateful that InfoJustice.org has published my post on the myths and realities of the current situation. The post relies on actual data presented at the recent copyright review to demonstrate how the Canadian market has experienced increased spending on licensing, e-book licensing has been a central part of the education licensing strategy, and educational institutions are paying for licences even when they retain collective licences.

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May 1, 2019 0 comments News
Screenshot from Wikipedia’s #FairCopyrightOz campaign, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/2017/05/23/wikipedia-says-time-fair-use-australia/

My ADA Keynote: What the Canadian Experience Teaches About the Future of Copyright Reform

In late March of this year, I travelled to Canberra, Australia to deliver a keynote address at the Australian Digital Alliance’s 2019 Copyright Forum. The ADA is a leading voice on copyright issues in Australia and its annual Copyright Forum brings together government, creators, education, libraries, and the broader public to explore copyright issues. This year’s event included innovative film makers, the President of the Australian Society of Authors, European Parliament MEP Julia Reda, as well as leading academics, trade negotiators, government policy experts, and many others.

My talk focused on the Canadian copyright experience, using real data to dispel the misleading claims about the impact of Canada’s 2012 reforms. A video of the keynote has been posted to YouTube and is embedded below.

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April 17, 2019 1 comment News
Privacy Blue by Richard Patterson http://www.comparitech.com/ https://flic.kr/p/25cUnjs (CC BY 2.0)

Rewriting Canadian Privacy Law: Commissioner Signals Major Change on Cross-Border Data Transfers

Faced with a decades-old private-sector privacy law that is no longer fit for the purpose in the digital age, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has embarked on a dramatic reinterpretation of the law premised on incorporating new consent requirements. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes the strained interpretation arose last Tuesday when the OPC released a consultation paper signalling a major shift in its position on cross-border data transfers.

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April 16, 2019 7 comments Columns