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Canadian Newspaper Association on C-61

Can You Hear Us Now?

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The second reading debate on Bill C-11 will conclude today with the bill headed to committee for further hearings and possible amendment. Yesterday, the Globe published an opinion piece by Peter Nowak that juxtaposes the widespread consultation on copyright reform in Canada with digital lock provisions that "wilfully ignores" public opinion. Nowak notes how the U.S. ultimately responded to public concern in stopping SOPA, while the same appears to be happening in Europe as protests over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continue to grow (there are continent-wide protests planned for February 11th).

One of my posts this week focused on concerns that Industry Minister Christian Paradis has said he cannot speculate on how Bill C-11's digital lock rules will be enforced. The post identifies numerous examples of how the rules could harm creators, students, researchers, consumers, and even the visually impaired (further background information on Bill C-11 here and here). Yet these concerns are not new and have been raised for several years. Indeed, it is instructive to see how the public concern over the digital lock rules and now possible inclusion of SOPA-style amendments has mushroomed over the years.


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Latvia Freezes ACTA Ratification, Germany Won't Sign For Now

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Latvia has become the latest European country to freeze ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and Germany has said it will await the European Parliament vote before deciding whether to sign the agreement. The moves comes as the mainstream media takes increasing notice of the ACTA protests (coverage from the Economist here) and continent-wide protests are planned for Saturday.
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Supreme Court of Canada Rules ISPs Are Not Broadcasters

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The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Internet providers are not broadcasters for the purposes of the Broadcasting Act when they simply transmit content to subscribers.  The court noted "when providing access to the Internet, which is the only function of ISPs placed in issue by the reference question, they take no part in the selection, origination, or packaging of content. We agree with Noël J.A. that the term 'broadcasting undertaking' does not contemplate an entity with no role to play in contributing to the Broadcasting Act's policy objectives." ACTRA vowed not to give up and continue to find ways to force ISPs to make financial contributions to new media creation.
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Lawful Access and Data Preservation/Retention

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Christopher Parsons has posted an exceptional new report on Lawful Access and Data Preservation/Retention which contrasts policies and experiences in several jurisdictions, providing a timely contribution to the Canadian lawful access debate. The report comes as rumours circulate the bill will be introduced next week.
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