Archive for September, 2006

Industry Minister Should Put Spam Law Back on Agenda

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) highlights the failure of the Canadian government to follow through on a task force report that recommended new anti-spam legislation.  Industry Minister Bernier was recently asked about his efforts in combating spam, an ongoing nuisance that costs Canadian business millions of dollars while harming the consumer confidence needed to support emerging businesses.  Bernier indicated that he had just received the 2005 National Task Force on Spam report (I was a member of the task force) and would respond to its recommendations in the coming weeks. 

While he acknowledged that a "big group of experts" had called on the government to do something, he seemed to foreshadow a rejection of the Task Force's legislative recommendations, commenting that "the question is, what can we do? And I'm not sure right now. Maybe the market will decide in the end."  I argue that should the Minister take the time to carefully read the report, he will find that a broad cross-section of Canadians representing Internet service providers, marketers, and the public, do not share his doubts about the role of government. 

Moreover, the Minister's claim that he only recently received the Task Force report is contradicted by documents recently obtained under the Access to Information Act.  They reveal that just days after Bernier was sworn in as Canada’s Industry Minister, department officials delivered a briefing titled "Building Business Confidence and Consumer Trust Online."

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September 25, 2006 3 comments Columns

Industry Minister Should Put Spam Law Back on the Agenda

Appeared in the Toronto Star on September 25, 2006 as As Spam Flow Grows, Harper Government Sleeps []  Earlier this month Industry Minister Maxime Bernier traveled to Saskatoon to deliver the keynote address at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting.   Bernier's speech focused on the value of entrepreneurialism and […]

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September 25, 2006 1 comment Columns Archive

Sony Hit With Privacy and Consumer Protection Complaints

As Sony seeks court approval of its class action settlement today (word is that the judge took note of the objections to the settlement and asked the parties to go back and try to address the concerns, likely leading to some modest amendments), CIPPIC has filed an avalanche of complaints […]

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September 21, 2006 1 comment News

One Web Day

One Web Day, the brainchild of Susan Crawford, an exceptional law professor, is planned for this Friday.  The event is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of the Internet on our lives and our communities.  Here in Canada, CIRA has been an active proponent of One Web Day with a […]

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September 21, 2006 Comments are Disabled News

CRIA and Private Copying

CRIA is currently leading a coalition that includes Apple, Bell, Rogers, and Napster in opposing an application for a new tariff for online downloads (I briefly posted on Graham Henderson's appearance before the Copyright Board last week and his startling claim that he had not read Nielson SoundScan data months after he referenced that data in a speech).  The lead statement in the case includes a discussion of private copying, after CSI (the group seeking the tariff) sought compensation for the copies that consumers make from digital downloads.  CSI argues that the recording industry authorizes consumers to make those copies.

CRIA's response?  They say they do no such thing – "the Online Music Services do not 'authorize' any further reproduction of downloads by the consumer."  Rather, CRIA notes that:

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September 20, 2006 3 comments News