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Michael Geist's Blog

Tariff 22 Continues - SOCAN Seeks 25% Levy on iTunes

My regular Law Bytes column (non-registered version or Toronto Star version, homepage version) highlights the continuing saga of Tariff 22. SOCAN, a leading Canadian copyright collective, recently filed a revised application that targets all websites that communicate music to the public. The tariff proposal includes an astonishing 25 percent of gross revenue for music download services and 15 percent for webcasters. When combined with other tariff proposals, Canada's collectives are seeking at least 40 percent of gross revenues from music download services, representing a far greater threat to the business model than peer-to-peer file sharing.

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Copyright Reform and the Canadian Medical Community

The Canadian Medical Association Journal features my opinion piece on the impact of potential copyright reform on the medical community.

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The Three Stages of Canadian Privacy Law

My regular Law Bytes column (non-reg. hyperlinked version or Toronto Star version, homepage version) examines the development of Canadian privacy law, arguing that it is unfolding in three stages. The first stage focused on self-regulatory initiatives such as the CSA Model Code. When few companies were willing to bind themselves to the Code, Canada embarked on stage two by establishing national privacy legislation that emphasizes mediation and light regulation.

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Copyright Reform and the Canadian Medical Community

The Canadian Medical Association Journal features my opinion piece on the impact of potential copyright reform on the medical community.
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Canadian Copyright Petition Presented to Parliament

Yesterday Peter Julian, an MP from Burnaby, BC, presented to the House of Commons the first of what is likely to be several petitions calling for a balanced copyright approach in Canada.

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Copyright vs. Freedom of the Press

Readers of this blog may know that I publish a daily Internet law news service (if you don't, you should subscribe, it's free). I don't usually recount the stories here, but today's issue features a remarkable number of noteworthy court decisions and developments.

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When Good Technology Goes Bad

A rather chilling case from Connecticut -- the Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that Acme Auto levied an illegal $150 fine against car renters that drove their car over 79 mph. How did the car rental company identify the speeders?

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Copyright's Convergence

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version and non-reg hyperlinked version, homepage version) reflects on two major copyright events of the past ten days -- last week's Grokster case and the recently announced Canadian copyright reforms. Of all the interesting anecdotes about the Grokster case, I found the fact that people began lining up at 2:30 p.m. the day before the hearing the most interesting. As I argue in the column, when people are willing to line up for nearly 24 hours to hear a copyright case, something far bigger than accessing free music is taking place.

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B.C. Court Dismisses Privacy Claim Over Data Outsourcing

The British Columbia Supreme Court has dismissed a claim by a B.C. union challenging the outsourcing of the management of health information to a U.S. company.

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The Real Story Behind Canada's Copyright Plans

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version or free hyperlinked Ottawa Citizen version, homepage version) provides some context for last week s announcement on the government s plans for Canadian copyright reform. The immediate spin from the recording industry was that they were delighted with the push toward copyright reform. While I am sure they are happy that the government is doing something, a closer look at the actual proposals suggest that they did not get much of what they wanted.

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