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Michael Geist's Blog

WIPO Development Agenda Deserves Support

Professor Geist's weekly Toronto Star Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, HTML backup article, homepage version) focuses on the World Intellectual Property Organization's Development Agenda. It notes that years of international agreements have failed to balance the interests of the developed and developing worlds and have predictably led to annual outflows of billions of dollars from the developing world to the developed world. The introduction of a development agenda represents the best opportunity to reshape global intellectual property law in a manner that benefits both the developed and developing world.

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Downloading Nation

The Ottawa Citizen re-runs a piece from late last year focusing on the popularity of music downloading. Professor Geist comments on the exaggerated loss claims of the Canadian Recording Industry Association and highlights the benefits of P2P distribution. Professor Geist expanded on the issue in a two-part series in the Toronto Star last December (part one, part two).

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Time for Canada to Create National Digital Library

Professor Geist's weekly Toronto Star Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, HTML backup article, homepage version) returns with a new year's resolution -- Canada should become the first country in the world to to create a comprehensive national digital library. The library, which would be fully accessible online, would contain a digitally scanned copy of every book, government report, and legal decision ever published in Canada. The column argues that the most significant barriers to a national digital library do not arise from fiscal challenges but rather from two potential copyright reforms -- an extended licensing system and an extension on the term of copyright -- currently winding their way through the system.

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Copyright and Privacy Issues in the News

Professor Geist comments on two of the hottest issues for the coming year -- copyright and privacy. In a Silicon Valley North piece, he assesses the current reform situation, while in a Globe and Mail article he notes the issues raised by email privacy in the workplace.

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Amazon v. Corbis decision

is below.  
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The Year in Canadian Tech Law From A to Z

My weekly Toronto Star Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, HTML backup article, homepage version) contains an annual A to Z review of the top stories in Canadian Internet, privacy, and technology law. The column highlights several leading cases and policy initiatives including copyright and privacy decisions as well as other noteworthy developments involving domain names, VoIP, spam, and patents.

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More on the Private Copying Decision

The Canadian media provides further coverage of the federal court's private copying decision. Professor Geist comments in the National Post, CBC, and CTV on the impact of the decision on MP3 players.

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Federal Ct. Affirms Private Copying; Drops iPod Levy

The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has released its decision (2.5 MB file) in case challenging Canada's private copying system. Professor Geist comments in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star on the court's ruling which held that the levy is not a tax and is therefore constitutional. It also upheld the Copyright Board's decision to declare the Canadian Private Copying Collective's zero rating system illegal. However, the court struck down the application of a levy to digital audio recorders such as the Apple iPod, ruling that the levy was improperly applied to a device rather than a medium. An appeal to the Supreme Court is likely.

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CIBC Breach Spotlights Jurisdiction Gap in Canadian Privacy Law

Professor Geist's weekly Toronto Star Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, HTML backup article, homepage version) examines the emergence of a jurisdictional gap in Canada's privacy law. According to a recent letter from the Privacy Commissioner, the legislation does not extend to investigating organizations without a physical presence in Canada. The column argues that that approach leaves Canadians with a significant hole in their privacy legislation and less protection that U.S. residents in certain instances.

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Canadian Lawyer Finds Information Disclosed By U.S. Authorities

The Edmonton Sun reports that a Canadian lawyer that sued a skinhead for the personal injury of a client had his personal information revealed to the man while he was in a U.S. prison. The skinhead was fighting deportation and was provided with a 1,000 page immigration file that included personal and financial information on the lawyer and his family. Professor Geist comments on the issue.

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