Archive for September, 2007

Edmonton Journal on a Better Day

The Edmonton Journal ran a masthead editorial on the weekend supporting Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day's about-face on lawful access

Read more ›

September 17, 2007 Comments are Disabled News

NFB Collection in Peril Due to Lack of Digitization

The Canadian Press is reporting that it has obtained a National Film Board document that indicates that thousands of Canadian films are at risk due to the absence of digitization technologies.

Read more ›

September 17, 2007 Comments are Disabled News

Fearing Legalized P2P Downloading, CRIA Declares War on Private Copying Levy

The Canadian Recording Industry Association this week quietly filed documents in the Federal Court of Appeal that will likely shock many in the industry.  CRIA, which spent more than 15 years lobbying for the creation of the private copying levy, is now fighting to eliminate the application of the levy on the Apple iPod since it believes that the Copyright Board of Canada's recent decision to allow a proposed tariff on iPods to proceed "broadens the scope of the private copying exception to avoid making illegal file sharers liable for infringement." 

Given that CRIA's members collect millions from the private copying levy, the decision to oppose its expansion may come as a surprise.  Yet the move reflects a reality that CRIA has previously been loath to acknowledge – the Copyright Board has developed jurisprudence that provides a strong argument that downloading music on peer-to-peer networks is lawful in Canada.  Indeed, CRIA President Graham Henderson provides a roadmap for the argument in his affidavit:

"First, the Board has stated, in obiter dicta, on several occasions that the Private Copying regime legalizes copying for the private use of the person making the copy, regardless of whether the source is non-infringing or not.  Therefore, according to the Board, downloading an infringing track from the Internet is not infringing, as long as the downloaded copy is made onto an 'audio recording medium'…

Second, also in obiter dicta, the Board stated that the private copying exception in Section 80 is not conditioned on the existence of a tariff to collect royalties covering the medium onto which copies are made.

Third, in combination with the aforementioned obiter dicta in the Board's other decisions, the Decision [the iPod decision] could potentially be interpreted to allow the copying of music files from any source – whether legitimate or illegitimate – onto any type of device ordinarily used by individuals to copy music, such as personal computers…"

While Henderson and CRIA make it clear that they disagree with this interpretation, they are obviously sufficiently concerned that it reflects Canadian law that they have burned their remaining bridges with Canadian music in order to try to persuade the Federal Court of Appeal to allow them to intervene in iPod hearings.  

Read more ›

September 15, 2007 29 comments News

Library and Archives Canada Faces Storm Over Opening Hours

The Internet and new technologies provide some terrific opportunities for new efficiencies, but do they mean that libraries should start curtailing their hours?  That is the question at the heart of a brewing storm involving Library and Archives Canada.  Last month, the LAC announced that it cutting back most services […]

Read more ›

September 14, 2007 3 comments News

Canada Expresses Concern With IP Clauses in UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Sara Bannerman notes that Canada's decision to vote against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has an intellectual property law component as the government has indicated that it has concerns with the declaration's IP provision that grants indigenous peoples "the right to maintain, control, protect and develop […]

Read more ›

September 14, 2007 1 comment News