Canadian Chamber of Commerce Leads the Way on IP Lobbying

Howard Knopf points to a Hill Times article that quotes Geoff Norquay as stating that the copyright lobby will be out in full force with the resumption of Parliament and that he expects a new bill within months.  Norquay is registered to lobby on copyright on behalf of both Microsoft and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.  While those groups will undoubtedly be active, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has emerged as one of the most active lobbyist on intellectual property.  Despite some dissension within the Chambers themselves, the national body formed a lobby specific group and it has been very active.  Another counterfeiting event is planned for next week where the "best practices" and special presentations come from the United States. 

More interestingly, the Chamber continues to lobby government directly.  According to the latest lobbying reports, Chamber President Perrin Beatty was active late last year, meeting with Assistant Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham to discuss copyright and digital rights management, as well as with senior Industry Canada officials to discuss copyright and the report on intellectual property by McGill professor Robert Gold that concluded that IP laws may be stifling innovation and that increased patent protection may hamper future innovation (the Gold report has also been the subject of an industry-led access to information request).

As for other IP lobbying, the pharmaceutical industry continues to meet regularly with policy makers and politicians, while the CPCC did pull together a major lobby effort at Canadian Heritage in support of the private copying levy last December.  Other meetings included Quebecor and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters with a senior Canadian Heritage official as well as eBay with Industry Canada on copyright.

Other interesting meetings include an eBay meeting with Canadian Heritage on network management issues, Bell CEO George Cope with Jean-Pierre Blais, ADM at Canadian Heritage on new media issues, and Nortel CEO Mike Zafirovski meeting with Industry Minister Tony Clement on November 12th.

Update: An earlier version of this posting incorrectly attributed recent lobby registrations by CRIA and the CPCC to a comment by Geoff Norquay. The new registrations was a factual report from the Hill Times and should not have been attributed to Mr. Norquay.


  1. link to Gold’s site is “not found”

  2. AND so it begins
    goo dand lets remind those certain liberals and ndpers what they promisoed about
    and also
    goto the cbc page and look what can happen wheni ask people to go read a page and reccomend some of my comments

    you did say you wanted passion.
    This time around were gonna get numbers on every place
    every blog every person young old
    smart and stupid
    yes we mean you get over there and speak
    we want a majority govt and iff IGGY dont want to be prime minister say so and step down as leader of the liberals
    let someone who will ride that coaltion to the sun
    cause one thing is for sure

    We’re not going to take it , NOOOO, we aint gonna take it. We’re not gonna take it ANYMORE.
    We’ll fight you’ll see, we’re right …..

  3. Blaise Alleyne says:

    Chamber of Commerce is using questionable tactics
    I saw the document the Canadian Chamber of Commerce sent to my MP regarding Bill C-61, because I’d met with him on behalf of Fair Copyright for Canada. It was astounding. They actually quoted a songwriter who is a friend of mine, completely out of context. I asked him about the quote, he couldn’t recognize the words used at all, and new very little about copyright law, nevermind Bill C-61. Of the three pages of similar artists quotes they provide, they included two or three artists from the Canadian Music Creators Coalition as well!

    The sneaky thing is that not a single artist mentioned Bill C-61. Just because artists want their interests represented doesn’t mean that Bill C-61 represents their interests. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce acted as if there were no alternatives, as if it was a choice between doing something or doing nothing.

    I was not impressed.

  4. Beatty is Chancellor of UOIT
    Mr. Beatty in Chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, which describes itself as “Ontario’s first laptop-based university”. I imagine the students there might not be thrilled to discover their Chancellor is lobbying for laws that would a) limit their ability to control their technology, b) block them from doing the very sorts of things they are going to university to learn, and c) potentially increase costs (I read recently copyright collective fees for coursepacks are typically in the $.10 per page range.)

    Incidentally, I could find no mention of any free or open source software on their site. They appear to use the proprietary WebCT system as their course management system (no Moodle; personally I have heard many bad words, and no good ones, about WebCT). The laptops themselves remain owned by the university and are loaded with proprietary software from Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and others.

  5. No wonder we kept getting the same letter-to-the-editors from the different CoC heads last summer. It was a canned response from the CCoC. Here I thought the government wrote it for them, but it turns out the CoCs are as shifty as the politicians.