With the Canadian mainstream media featuring prominent coverage of the Conference Board of Canada's decision to recall its now discredited IP reports (Globe and Mail, CBC, Montreal Gazette, IT Business, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Chronicle of Higher Education) it is worth remembering why the copyright lobby funded the Conference Board to produce the report in the first place. I believe the answer is fairly clear – the plan was to use it for media coverage, to support its conference (chaired by the Canadian Recording Industry Association's Graham Henderson) and to provide in the regular meetings between the lobbyists and Canada's politicians and policy makers.
The media and conference side of the story is obvious. The degree to which these lobbyist meetings occur, however, may come as a surprise. I've been tracking the monthly lobbyist reports and offer up the following scorecard, which covers just the first four months of 2009. It shows that the movie and music industry lobbyists meet with either politicians or policy makers roughly twice per month with access at the very highest levels of government. Note as well the breadth of the meetings with meetings extending beyond Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, to the Prime Minister's Office, Foreign Affairs, Justice, and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
|Lobby Group||Number and Dates of Meetings (Jan – April 2009)||Details|
|Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association (CMPDA)||8
(April 28, 28, 17, March 27, 26, 20, Feb 2, Jan 8)
|Meetings with Industry Minister Tony Clement, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, chiefs of staff, senior officials at Heritage and Industry|
|Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA)||7
(March 24, 23, 12, 10, Feb 3, Jan 23, 8
|Meetings with Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, chiefs of staff, senior officials at Prime Ministers Office, Heritage, Industry. No registration for Juno Awards, which Moore attended.|
|Microsoft/Entertainment Software Association||4
(April 2, March 30, 5, Feb 18)
|Meetings with senior officials at Prime Minister's Office, Justice, Heritage, and Industry. No registration for ESA sponsored event attended by Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Parliamentary Secretary Mike Lake.|
|Canadian Chamber of Commerce||3
(April 20, March 18, Feb 12)
|Meeting with Industry Minister Tony Clement, Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart (DRM and privacy), and senior official at Department of Foreign Affairs|