Post Tagged with: "sopa"

Celebrating Internet Freedom Day: When the Internet Met Copyright

Today is Internet Freedom Day, a day to celebrate efforts to ensure an open and free Internet. Coming on the anniversary of the Wikipedia blackout that successfully stopped the Stop Online Piracy Act in the United States, it is worth thinking about the many successes (ACTA, Internet surveillance in Canada), […]

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January 18, 2013 8 comments News

The MPAA’s Secret Lobby Campaign on Bill C-11 and a Canadian SOPA

Over the past few years, the Motion Picture Association – Canada, the Canadian arm of the MPAA, has recorded nearly 100 meetings with government ministers, MPs, and senior officials. While their lobbying effort will not come as a surprise, last October there were several meetings that fell outside the norm. On October 18, 2011, MPA-Canada reports meeting with Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, Foreign Minister John Baird, and Industry Canada Senior Associate Deputy Minister Simon Kennedy, all on the same day. These meetings occured less than three weeks after the introduction of Bill C-11 and the decision to sign ACTA, and only eight days before SOPA was launched in the U.S.

To get a sense of how rare these meeting were, this is the only registered meeting John Baird has had on intellectual property since Bill C-11 was introduced and ACTA was signed by Canada. Similarly, since the introduction of Bill C-11, James Moore has only two intellectual property meetings listed – this one with MPA-Canada and one in March 2012 with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (in fact, Moore had only three meetings on intellectual property in all of 2011. Those meetings were with MPA-Canada, the Canadian Recording Industry Association, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce). Even the Simon Kennedy meeting was a rarity as he has had multiple meetings with pharmaceutical companies, but only two (MPA-Canada and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives) that appear to have included copyright.

Given how unusual it is for a single lobby group to gain access to two of Canada’s leading cabinet ministers and a senior department official on the same day, it begs the question of how they did it.

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June 14, 2012 46 comments News

The IP Lobby’s Post-Bill C-11 Playbook: ACTA, SOPA, Warrantless Search and the Criminalization of IP

The Canadian intellectual property’s lead lobby group, the Canadian IP Council (itself a group within the Canadian Chamber of Commerce) released a new policy document yesterday that identifies its legislative priorities for the coming years. Anyone hoping that the SOPA protests, the European backlash against ACTA, and the imminent passage of Bill C-11 might moderate the lobby group demands will be sorely disappointed. Counterfeiting in the Canadian Market: How Do We Stop It? is the most extremist IP policy document ever released in Canada, calling for the implementation of ACTA, SOPA-style rules including website blocking and stopping search results from resolving, liability for advertisers and payment companies, massive surveillance at the border and through delivery channels including searching through individual packages without court oversight, and spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars on private enforcement.

This long post reviews the report, focusing on the case it makes for addressing counterfeiting concerns in Canada and on the resulting recommendations. The recommendations are divided into five main groups:

  1. Introduce a Canadian SOPA
  2. ACTA Implementation
  3. New Search Powers Without Court Oversight
  4. The Criminalization of Intellectual Property
  5. Massive Increase in Public Spending Creating an IP Enforcement Subsidy

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June 8, 2012 78 comments News

Benkler on the SOPA & ACTA Protests

Harvard professor Yochai Benkler recently delivered an exceptional talk examining how the SOPA and ACTA protests unfolded. The talk highlights the role of online new sources and the rapidly changing key players in raising awareness or generating protest activity. The Guardian: Blueprint for Democratic Participation from The Guardian and The […]

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May 8, 2012 2 comments News

The Other Shoe Drops: Music Reps Want SOPA-Style Website Blocking Added To Copyright Bill

The Bill C-11 committee conducts its final witness hearing on copyright reform today and not a moment too soon. Based on the demands from music industry witnesses this week, shutting down the Internet must surely be coming next. The week started with the Canadian Independent Music Association seeking changes to the enabler provision that would create liability risk for social networking sites, search engines, blogging platforms, video sites, and many other websites featuring third party contributions. It also called for a new iPod tax, an extension in the term of copyright, a removal of protections for user generated content, parody, and satire, as well as an unlimited statutory damage awards and a content takedown system with no court oversight. CIMA was followed by ADISQ, which wants its own lawful access approach that would require Internet providers to disclose subscriber information without court oversight based on allegations of infringement (the attack on fair dealing is covered in a separate post).

Yesterday the Canadian Music Publishers Association added to the demand list by pulling out the SOPA playbook and calling for website blocking provisions. Implausibly describing the demand as a “technical amendment”, the CMPA argued that Internet providers take an active role in shaping the Internet traffic on their systems and therefore it wants to “create a positive obligation for service providers to prevent the use of their services to infringe copyright by offshore sites.” If the actual wording is as broad as the proposal (the CMPA acknowledged that it has an alternate, more limited version), this would open the door to blocking thousands of legitimate sites. The CMPA admitted that the proposal bears a similarity to SOPA and PIPA, but argued that it was narrower than the controversial U.S. bills. While that may technically be true – SOPA envisioned DNS blocking and targeting advertising and payment networks – the website blocking provisions look a lot like the legislation that sparked massive public protest.

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March 7, 2012 30 comments News