BoingBoing points to a NY Times article from 1897 discussing claims from the U.S. music publisher industry about "Canadian pirates." Earlier this year, I sat on the doctoral committee of Sara Bannerman, who has written a remarkable dissertation that traces the pressure Canada faced on copyright from both the U.S. […]
Archive for April, 2009
The Globe and Mail's Report on Business magazine with an article on the need for a Canadian CTO (along with an unlikely candidate).
While the focus of attention on the Electronic Commerce Protection Act has obviously been on the anti-spam provisions (more on the enforcement as well as changes to privacy and competition law shortly), possibly the biggest story in the bill is one that has been unreported and is not discussed in the government briefing materials. Buried at the very end of the bill, are provisions that would kill the National Do-Not-Call list. Section 86, the second last provision in the bill, states simply that Sections 41.1 to 41.7 of the Telecommunications Act are repealed. Those sections are the provisions that create a legislative framework for the national do-not-call list.
What is going on?
It would appear that the Government is laying the foundation for killing the do-not-call list with plans to replace it with the approach found in the ECPA. That could be a good news story, since the ECPA adopts an opt-in model (ie. companies need consent before sending electronic commercial messages). This means that Canadians would not need to register their phone numbers on the list, since the presumption would be that there is no right to call unless the caller/marketer has express or implied consent. While many of the current do-not-call exceptions are found in the ECPA, some are not. For example, the newspaper exception contained in the do-not-call list is not part of the ECPA and would therefore disappear with this transition.
The Electronic Commerce Protection Act (aka Bill C-27 or the anti-spam bill) is a lengthy, complicated piece of legislation. At 69 pages, it involves many new prohibitions, enforcement measures, and changes to existing laws. Given its complexity, I'll divide the substance of the bill into several separate postings. This post focuses on the prohibitions – there are three primary prohibitions but it quickly gets complicated. The short version of this is that the bill requires all senders to obtain express consent before sending commercial electronic messages (including email, instant message, etc.) and to include contact and unsubscribe information. It also includes provisions designed to counter phishing, spyware, and botnets used to send spam.
The more detailed version is:
Four years after the National Task Force on Spam unanimously recommended that the Canadian government introduce anti-spam legislation, the Government today took an important step forward by tabling Bill C-27, the Electronic Commerce Protection Act (bill not online yet). Although the bill requires careful study before commenting in any detail, […]