As the media coverage of the Conference Board's Digital Economy report continues (CBC, Mediacaster), a new revelation has emerged. The Conference Board of Canada's defence included the following statement:
In the course of the research, the authors reviewed the full spectrum of arguments surrounding the issue of intellectual property rights in Canada. The final report includes those arguments considered most relevant to the policy under review.
A review of the report finds that the only arguments that the Conference Board seems to have adopted come directly from the International Intellectual Property Alliance, since it is their work (and words) that are recycled repeatedly in the report. What the Conference Board does not mention in its defence (nor in the report) is that it actually commissioned a study on the copyright issues from an independent Canadian legal expert. That report was completed by Professor Jeremy deBeer, a colleague at the University of Ottawa and frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail on copyright matters.
Professor deBeer has just revealed his involvement and posted a working paper based on his report submitted to the Conference Board of Canada. It turns out the deBeer was precluded from using the work for 12 months, a period that concluded today. It is immediately apparent that the deBeer paper arrived at very different conclusions from the IIPA and the Conference Board. In particular, it recommends: