Appeared in the Toronto Star on May 25, 2009 as Two Clicks and You're Out, Panel Rules Appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on May 26, 2009 as System of Business Method Patents Could Face Rough Ride Most people think of patents in terms of legal protection for new technological inventions. […]
Archive for May 27th, 2009
As part of the attempt to characterize Canada as a "piracy haven," the Business Software Alliance's annual Global Piracy Report plays a lead role. The Conference Board of Canada references the findings, as do their funders in their reports on the state of Canadian intellectual property laws (Chamber of Commerce, CACN). Moreover, the report always generates considerable media interest, with coverage this year in the Globe and Mail and Canwest papers. For example, the Globe cited the data directly in the Download Decade series stating that "about 32 per cent of the computer software in Canada is pirated, contributing to losses of $1.2-billion (U.S.) in 2008 alone, according to a report from the Business Software Alliance."
This year the BSA reported that Canada declined from 33 to 32 percent. Michael Murphy, chair of the BSA Canada Committee claimed that "despite the slight decline, Canada’s software piracy rate is nowhere near where it should be compared to other advanced economy countries. We stand a better chance of reducing it significantly with stronger copyright legislation that strikes the appropriate balance between the rights of consumers and copyright holders."
Yet what the BSA did not disclose is that the 2009 report on Canada were guesses since Canadian firms and users were not surveyed. While the study makes seemingly authoritative claims about the state of Canadian piracy, the reality is that IDC, which conducts the study for BSA, did not bother to survey in Canada. After learning that Sweden was also not surveyed, I asked the Canadian BSA media contact about the approach in Canada. They replied that Canada was not included in the survey portion of the study, explaining that:
The Conference Board of Canada's Digital Economy report makes the front page once again as the Ottawa Citizen runs a second major story on the questions raised by its report. Following on yesterday's front page story on plagiarism concerns, the paper today reports on the Conference Board's decision to ignore […]