Copyright Lobbying Behind Closed Doors

As thousands of individual Canadians speak out against C-61 this summer, certain groups have obtained special access to Industry Minister Jim Prentice and his political team to make their case.  The new lobbying rules require lobbyists to report their communications with politicians, political staff, and senior policy officials.  With the first round of reports now online (dating back to July 2nd), the following organizations have recently met with Prentice's political staff on intellectual property matters:

  • Canadian Recording Industry Association (lobbyist David Dyer meeting on August 11th with Prentice Chief of Staff Steven Kelly and political policy staff Zoe Addington and Bill Rogers)
  • Microsoft (lobbyist Geoff Norquay meeting on July 7th with Kelly)
  • CTVglobemedia (meeting on July 31st with Kelly)
  • Google (meeting on July 31st with Addington)

Meetings with policy officials (rather than political staff) includes ADISQ and Astral Media (with Canadian Heritage ADM Jean-Pierre Blais) and Telus, Shaw, and Rogers (with Industry Canada ADM Ron Parker).  There are no meetings on intellectual property reported with Prentice himself, who, with few exceptions (notably a Canwest meeting on broadcasting), limited most of his meetings to oil and energy companies (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Petro-Canada, Encana, Nexen, Enmax, TransCanada, Imperial Oil).


  1. Governments pirating stuff???
    It appears that policymakers on copyright want to stay above the law as they are trying to force lobbied laws on everyone else.

    British Government Caught Pirating On Prime Minister’s Website
    [ link ]

    and here is an old story about our honourable friend Jim Prentice:
    [ link ]

  2. Bill C-61
    I followed the link you provided to The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada – As an independent record producer I am particularly interested in seeing the minutes (or any other documentation) of the meeting with the CRIA. After spending some time on the website, my search came up with nothing. Do you have a specific link to what I’m looking for?

    Great work by the way in generating awareness about these proposed conservative copyright reforms. To all your readers I must recommend a very thought provoking and insightful book called Free Culture written by Lawrence Lessig – a pdf is available for free download at [ link ] – this book really helped me understand the motivations and possible ramifications associated with Bill C-61 and other right wing copyright ideologies.

    Also, I’ve been writing about this issue on my own blog – anyone cares to read the perspective of an independent music producer here’s the link
    [ link ]

    Great blog Micheal. Keep up the fight!

  3. List of meetings?
    Maybe I’m missing it, but I can’t find the list of meetings after poking around that link you posted and doing some Google searching..


  4. Google?
    Google? Intellectual property matters? Now that’s very strange. Doesn’t Google provide many thousands of links to many sites that offer all sorts of information and software that violates copyrights and intelectual property rights?

  5. @Hawk
    “Google? Intellectual property matters? Now that’s very strange”

    Google did not complain here.

    The violation was spotted by a commenter on

    Prentice’s site was displaying the map with copyright notice removed and without using Google Maps API. These action make the license not applying and the case simply becomes copyright infringement, same as the recent court case that reinforces GPL and other similar licenses.

    It’s not Google caring about intellectual property (though they do), it’s Minister Prentice and his team, who behave like they are above the law!

  6. @Hawk, 2
    As for Google being present in the list, it is a good thing, because Google needs fair copyright to innovate. It’s the “old media” who wants everyone to stay in 20th century.

  7. Living in a Corrupt and Broken Democracy
    Now there is PROOF that the Conservative government has little if anything to do with the so-called “Made in Canada” copyright reform. While citizens await their turn (a turn that will surely fall well short of the time and influence these large media and online players have had) the fat cats of broadcast and online media have already placed their orders. To call it corrupt is an understatement.

    These same fat cat corporations are the first to cry “the government shouldn’t regulate this or that” but when an apparent lack of legislation appears to be the cause of a shift of control over content and access in favour of the masses they’re very quick to arrange private meetings to “reaffirm” their belief in a “less regulated” market. What a bunch of B.S.!

  8. Prentice
    So, it seems even prentice just parrots the party propaganda and actually doesn’t understand the bill he’s trying to force on Canadians. And they do this just to keep the corporations handouts rolling in.

  9. Joe Canadian says:

    Enough – away with them!
    While it’s difficult to judge whether prentice is just another “useful idiot” or part of the conspiracy to sell out our rights and the country’s resources to the highest bidders (let’s not forget that C-61 is just a drop in their devious bucket), it matters not. This unnatural ruling party is damaging the country at an alarming rate while plotting in secret (neo-con harper’s definition of “transparent government” is apparently “invisible government”) and demonstrating contempt for The Canadian People that it pretends to represent.

    The current conservative party does not consist of honorable men and women. It must once again suffer ignominious defeat at the polls such that it and its ideology be dispatched permanently to oblivion.

  10. ya


    putting them in with microcrap is disgusting ( MSN – microsoft and bell ring your brain)

    oh and if all those govt computers and hospitals ran linux what savings would the tax payers get , on top of better security?
    hundreds of millions , millions MICROSOFT wants to protect buy buying off jim prentice.

    I SIT HERE AND SEE THE ENTIRE STREET I LIVE WITH THE SEWER SYSTEM that is now above ground while the conservative MP pushes to get a stupid train system so he can sell more foreign cars that wreck the economy,

  11. Not all meetings reportable! – HUGE loop
    \”The Harper government\’s new lobbying law contains a truck-sized loophole that allows a registered lobbyist to arrange a meeting between a corporate client and a cabinet minister that might never have to be disclosed publicly.\” [ link ]

  12. Who tried to get a meeting
    If any of the consumer groups tried to get a meeting with Minister Prentice and got a refusal, this should be announced to the general public.

  13. Warriorking
    Can’t find any of the info Geist put out despite following the link and trying a number of word combinations. Is there a direct link you could perhaps provide?