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    Who Gets a Large Share of Access Copyright Education Licensing Revenues?: US Publishers Say They Do

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    Friday February 07, 2014
    As the Canadian education community continues to shift away from the Access Copyright licence, relying instead on a combination of site licenses for materials, open access, fair dealing, and individual transactional licences, U.S. publishers are now urging the U.S. government to pressure the Canadian government to take action. The IIPA, the leading U.S. copyright lobby group, filed its submission today as part of the Special 301 process, a U.S. review of foreign intellectual property laws.

    This year's IIPA submission devotes several paragraphs to educational licensing, lamenting the shift away from Access Copyright and claiming that it is U.S. publishers that are being hurt in the process. According to the IIPA:

    as soon as the new Act came into force, virtually all K-12 school boards across Canada cancelled their licenses with Access Copyright. Anticipated 2013 annual licensing revenue of at least C$12 million to right holders and authors - much of it destined for U.S. publishers, which enjoy a large market share in the educational sector - evaporated.

    The IIPA urges the U.S. government to "engage" with Canadian authorities in the hope that they will tell Canadian educational institutions to pay Access Copyright. While that isn't likely to happen - the government rejected Access Copyright's demands for limitations on the expansion of fair dealing - the IIPA submission is notable for the claim that a large share of the Access Copyright educational licensing revenue was headed not for Canadian authors and publishers, but rather to the United States.
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    U.S. Copyright Lobby Takes Aim at Canadian Copyright Term Through Trans-Pacific Partnership

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    Wednesday August 07, 2013
    The U.S. copyright lobby, led by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, appeared last week before a U.S. Congressional Committee hearing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and made it clear that it wants the U.S. to use the trade agreement to force Canada to extend the term of copyright.  Canadian copyright law is currently at life of the author plus 50 years, which meets the international standard found in the Berne Convention. The U.S. extended its copyright term years ago to life of the author plus 70 years under pressure from the Disney Corporation (Mickey Mouse was headed to the public domain) and has since pushed other countries to do the same.

    The IIPA says that the TPP should require all members to extend their term of copyright (Japan and New Zealand are also at life plus 50 years), which it claims is needed to "maintain incentives for investment in the conservation and dissemination of older works." Yet a recent study found the opposite with far more public domain books available commercially than books still subject to copyright.

    When the Canadian government conducted a consultation on participation in the TPP, copyright was the top issue raised with many focusing on concerns associated with term extension. As I wrote last year, it is worth noting the many important authors who would be immediately affected since their works are scheduled to become public domain in the 2013 - 2033 period.


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    Copyright Lobby Groups Want Canada Back on Piracy Watch List

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    Thursday February 14, 2013
    The IIPA, the umbrella lobby group that represents the major movie, music, and entertainment software lobby groups, released its recommendations for the U.S. piracy watch list last week.  Those that thought passing Bill C-11 - the Canadian copyright reform bill that contained some of the most restrictive digital lock rules in the world - would satisfy U.S. groups will be disappointed. The IIPA wants Canada back on the piracy watch list, one notch below the Special Watch List (where the US placed Canada last year).


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    Are CRIA and the MPA-Canada Now Opposed to Canadian Content Rules?

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    Friday October 12, 2012
    This week, the government was formally included in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations with the next formal round scheduled for New Zealand in early December. I've written extensively about the copyright implications of the TPP as leaked versions of the intellectual property chapter and demands from U.S. copyright lobby groups point to a significant re-write of Bill C-11. Areas targeted for reform in Canada include ISP liability, statutory damages, and extending the term of copyright.

    An additional issue has begun to attract increasing attention as the same lobby groups seeking copyright reforms have also put dismantling Canadian content regulations on the table. The IIPA, the lead lobby group for the movie, music, and software industries, told the U.S. government:

    IIPA strongly believes that the TPP market access chapters must be comprehensive in scope, strictly avoiding any sectoral carve outs that preclude the application of free trade disciplines. We note that several market access barriers cited by USTR in its 2012 National Trade Estimate report on Canada involve, for example, content quota requirements for television, radio, cable television, direct-to-home broadcast services, specialty television, and satellite radio services. It should be possible to address such barriers to trade in the TPP, and thus augment consumers’ access to diverse content, while promoting local cultural expressions.

    Many concerned with Canadian culture have reacted with alarm as the U.S. government has focused on potential changes to television and radio content requirements, classification systems for movies, and online video.


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