Fair Dealing by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dRkXwP

Fair Dealing by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dRkXwP

Copyright

SOPA/PIPA Protest in NYC Yesterday by Andrew Dallos (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bfjN8c

Canada’s SOPA Moment: Why the CRTC Should Reject the Bell Coalition’s Dangerous Internet Blocking Plan

Six years ago, then Public Safety Minister Vic Toews was challenged over his plans to introduce online surveillance legislation that experts feared would have significant harmful effects on privacy and the Internet. Mr. Toews infamously responded that critics “could either stand with us or with the child pornographers.” The bill and Mr. Toews’ comments sparked an immediate backlash, prompting the government to shelve the legislation less than two weeks after it was first introduced.

This week, telecom giant Bell led a coalition of companies and associations called FairPlay Canada in seeking support for a wide-ranging website blocking plan that could have similarly harmful effects on the Internet, representing a set-back for privacy, freedom of expression, and net neutrality. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes the coalition’s position echoes Mr. Toews, amounting to a challenge to the government and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the regulator that will consider the plan) that they can either stand with them or with the pirates.

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February 2, 2018 8 comments Columns
Press Conference with the Prime Minister of Canada by World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/E8nVj4

Don’t Make the TPP Mistake Again: Why Canada Needs to Maintain a Progressive Approach on IP in NAFTA

The intellectual property chapter has not been a focal point of the NAFTA negotiations this week in Montreal, but the successful conclusion of the TPP11 (or CPTPP) serves as a reminder that it is likely to emerge as a contentious issue in the months ahead. The U.S. position on the NAFTA IP chapter is clear: it wants to replicate the original TPP IP chapter. Yet Canada now stands opposed to that chapter having backed the suspension of many of its provisions including copyright term extension, digital locks, notice-and-takedown, patent protections, biologics protections, and pharmaceutical plan rules. In fact, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week cited changes to the IP provisions as one example of how the government worked to make the TPP more progressive.

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January 26, 2018 6 comments News
TPP townhall by @CommerceCanada https://twitter.com/CommerceCanada/status/743239245188435968

When Consultations Count: Why the TPP is a Reminder of the Value of Speaking Out

In June 2016, I appeared at one of the government’s public town hall meetings on the TPP.  Alongside then-International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland (now Global Affairs minister), C.D. Howe’s Daniel Schwanen, and Unifor’s Jerry Dias, I had the chance to raise concerns with the TPP’s IP and e-commerce provisions and then hear from dozens of people who raised a wide range of issues. The town hall was part of a broad public consultation that was frequently derided by critics as a stalling tactic, yet the impact of the consultation was felt with yesterday’s announcement of a deal on a slightly re-worked TPP that includes suspension of many of the most controversial IP provisions.

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January 24, 2018 2 comments News
2017 Jumping Happy New Year 2018 New Year Design, http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/2017-Jumping-Happy-New-Year-2018-New-Year-Design-2711676 CC0 Public Domain

Looking Back at 2017: My Top Ten Posts

With 2018 nearly upon us, many sites are taking a moment to reflect back on the past year and the posts and issues that attracted the most attention. On my site, the top issues are easy to spot: net neutrality, privacy, copyright, website blocking and Netflix issues dominate the top ten. My top ten new posts published in 2017:

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December 28, 2017 3 comments News
Copyrighted button by ntr23 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/7jvE7i

The Canadian Copyright Review in the Age of Technological Disruption

The Canadian government launched its much-anticipated copyright review last week, asking the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to conduct a study on the issue that is likely to run for much of 2018. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes that while the timelines suggest that major changes will have to wait until after the next election, the report will be the foundation for future reforms to Canadian copyright law.

The instruction letter to the committee from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains and Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly points to the challenges of copyright, which invariably engages a wide range of stakeholders with differing perspectives.

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December 22, 2017 2 comments Columns