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Liberal MP Dan McTeague: Repeat Copyright Infringer?

Liberal MP Dan McTeague has responded to my recent post on his linkages with CRIA in a 2,200 word "rebuttal." The McTeague post confirms that his earlier letter to the editor came directly from content supplied by CRIA and adopts the contradictory position that when CRIA launches a lawsuit, it is only an unproven claim that should not have an impact on copyright reform, but when isoHunt files a lawsuit it demonstrates that there is a "legislative holiday" in Canada that demands immediate action.

The McTeague post provided the opportunity to take a closer look at his website, which reveals what may be widespread copyright infringement. Since the introduction of Bill C-32, McTeague has posted dozens of full-text articles from mainstream media organizations on his website, at times without attribution. In addition to the articles, McTeague has also reposted many photographs associated with the articles. While it is possible that McTeague has fully licensed the reproduction and posting of each article and photograph, this seems unlikely since the licences offered by many organizations do not even permit this form of reproduction. No other Liberal MP appears to have established a similar practice.

Alternatively, it is possible that McTeague believes that copying full-text articles and photographs without permission is covered by fair dealing. If so, his interpretation would extend beyond the views of virtually any education group who typically argue that a portion of an article may be posted or exceptionally a full article where the poster in engaged in criticism or review, but that a full text article without more on the open Internet would rarely constitute fair dealing (particularly when, as in this case, a paragraph and a link would suffice). Moreover, some of the articles do not provide attribution to the author and therefore would not meet the fair dealing attribution requirements. None of the photographs include attribution.

The more likely scenario is that this is a case of repeated copyright infringement under which there would be the possibility of hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential statutory damages. Targeted Canadian mainstream media organizations include the Globe and Mail, Postmedia, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Canadian Press, CTV, QMI (Sun News), Hill Times, and many local news organizations.


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Liberal Party On Usage Based Billing

Liberal Industry Critic Marc Garneau has submitted a five page brief to the CRTC that outlines his party's position on UBB. Garneau sides with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in calling for an expanded review of Internet services. It "fundamentally disagrees" with the CRTC's claim that Internet service is analogous to utilities such as electricity or water. It also suggests that UBB is primarily about how to manage congestion on the network, though there is little to support claims that there is much correlation between congestion and current UBB practices.

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Petition Launched in Opposition to CETA

A new petition has been launched against the Canada - European Union Trade Agreement.  The inclusion of copyright in the agreement is referenced as reason to oppose the agreement.
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What if We Treated Election Law like Copyright?

Russell McOrmond has a clever post contrasting the responses to election law violations with proposed reforms to copyright infringement.
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SAC Music Sharing Proposal Garners Attention

  The recently revised Songwriters Association of Canada proposal for licensed peer-to-peer music sharing garnered considerable attention over the weekend.  The SAC is no longer seeking legislative change as it argues the approach can be adopted through private licensing. 

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