The 2009 Canadian Copyright Lobby Scoreboard

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


  1. I spy a chamber says:

    Forces at work
    Same chamber of commerce who want the government to prevent wholesaler ISP’s from being able to get and sell anything more than 5-meg internet, and locking up anything faster than 5-meg to Bell and Telus only.

    Forces at work…

    I still haven’t seen anything in Quebecor media (Videotron) or the French papers.

  2. Sal749493 says:

    No doubt in my mind that Canadians are getting set up for some crappy things down the line.

    I’m curious. I wonder what it would take for Dr. Geist (Who speaks for a hell of a lot more Canadians than any of these groups) to get such access.

  3. I spy people says:

    More forces
    Also, I don’t know if its just me, or just coincidence, but I Spy some other oddities:

    Canadian Chamber of Commerce:
    – Line Maheux, Director, Government Affairs, Bell Montreal, QC
    – Michael Roberts, CA Vice President, Human Resources, Bell Aliant Regional Communications Halifax, NS
    – Janet Yale, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs TELUS, Ottawa, ON

    Canadian Conference Board:
    Gilles Rhéaume, Vice-President
    He’s the one who fought till the last minute just before the CBoC pulled the 3 reports, saying “Basically what is happening is that we are a major laggard when it comes to protecting intellectual property rights on the Internet. That is a big issue for us,” said Gilles Rheaume, vice-president, public policy at the Conference Board. “We are the illegal file swapping country of the world – the leading country, when you look at Canada compared to other OECD countries.” Canada+failure+protect+intellectual+property+hinders+innovation+Conference+Board/1636134/story.html

    Yup, He worked Bell Canada regulatory. Surprise!

    Then you have the CMPDA website up for reporting Telco signal theft, and the
    “crime” of piracy etc.. There is no full list of members I see on their site.

    The Entertainment software association of Canada (a fast look reveals they targeted a certain person before 😉 ): Is asking for, and wants ISP co-operation in getting blackmail money. Their website includes these gems:

    Some additional facts on piracy in Canada:

    * Industry investigations have identified an alarming 20% to 30% of retail specialty stores visited in Toronto and Vancouver as selling pirate products.
    * In Canada, approximately 34% of gamers have acquired pirated games. This is especially notable when considering only 17% of gamers in the US have acquired pirated games.
    * On average, 22% of pirates’ video game collections are pirated games.
    * In Canada, approximately 22% of gamers have modified their consoles or handhelds to play pirated games.

    We believe Canada requires stronger measures to combat piracy, such as:

    * Enacting prohibitions specifically addressed to the act of circumvention and to trafficking in circumvention devices;
    * Strengthening remedies for retail piracy, and increasing damages and penalties under the Copyright Act;
    * Implementing deterrent criminal and civil remedies against those engaged in the provision of services and tools that circumvent TPMs;
    * Providing to law enforcement the resources and training required to effectively combat piracy;
    * Providing incentives for ISPs to co-operate with rights holders when informed of an infringing activity occurring on their networks;
    * Adopting measures to facilitate the rights holder’s action against online piracy;
    * Adopting measures that would provide more effective enforcement against P2P services and other sites that facilitate unauthorized downloading

    Anyone know where they got their statistics from that targeted only gaming?

    As for CRIA, “CRIA represents the Canadian recording industry’s international interests as a member of the governing council of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).”

    Well it was already determined the IFPI is full of it with their made up and fabricated reports and statistics.

    I just find it all very odd to see Bell Canada (and other Telco) employees and ex-employees on these associations and the Conference Board that are fighting in many different arena’s, as it relates to the internet.

    Maybe its nothing. Maybe there is some Telco forces in all of this. I definitely believe so with what is going on in Telco land at the CRTC and in cabinet (post above) and how Bell claims how they have to throttle due to the now famous “5% of the Bell internet population pirating on P2P” 😉 and now finding out that the CBoF & the Chambers are full of Bell/Telco.

    Hmmm… forces.

    Maybe I’m off topic. Sorry if I am. But I just can’t help expressing what I am seeing here.

  4. My Meeting?
    So when do I get my meeting with the Prime Minister, James Moore, and Tony Clement? I am a living individual Canadian citizen with the ability to vote…not a lifeless branch of an American corporate entity. This is absolutely disgusting.

  5. Crockett says:

    I agree with Sal & Ben
    Is there not a Canadian association that lobbies for consumer digital rights? If so do they get the same access that these US “backed” interest groups? If not how can we form a group to do so? And how can we convince Micheal to head it up?

  6. I Spy,

    It’s simple. The content industry wants ‘consumers’ to pay a monthly fee, or to pay per view/listen. And the Telco’s want to be the stores that collect the money take their % off the top.


  7. Headache
    Do we not have laws about cartels, this is what all this amasses to.

    One huge cartel that includes Canadian telecommunications.

    The propaganda and rhetoric is out of control and the politicians doors are open.

    And the Conference Board of Canada (an independent think tank) is out to be part of it, and contribute to the rhetoric and propaganda with their one sided IP reports with fabricated and fictitious data and stats.

    Collusion at its best.

  8. In a truly honest & civilized political world, lobbying would be illegal.

    (I Spy, your link in the first post leads to a 404 Not Found.)

  9. @Crockett
    I think that in Canada we have some organizational/educational issues which need to be addressed; at least from the point of view of “regular joe citizen.” We need some centralization on IP matters.

    In the meantime, I’d suggest looking at the following groups:


    The last is a little more on the “professional side,” however if you’re a fan of FOSS this might be a good group for you. For more info, also check the CSIA FAQ at

    Of course there’s also CIPPIC (Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic) at which has tonnes of information.

  10. Response: Forces at work
    In this morning’s Journal de montreal(quebecor media) there was a very small article about this. No mention on what the report was tougth

  11. Surveys
    “* In Canada, approximately 34% of gamers have acquired pirated games. This is especially notable when considering only 17% of gamers in the US have acquired pirated games.”

    I’m not sure why anyone thinks the honesty rate on these surveys in the U.S. is comparable to ours… Everyone knows their privacy laws don’t hold water… Would you admit to pirating games if you lived in the U.S.? There would probably a corporate laywer at your house the day after the survey.

  12. Martin Smith says:

    Any prospect of you taking a sabbatical and doing something similar down here in the US?

  13. for Maebnoom
    Maebnoom, URLS in this blog sometimes go funny. I will try again for you (put the URL together w/o spaces):
    /eic /site/ smt-gst.nsf/ eng/ sf09450.html

  14. For Random
    Thanks, I’ll check it out.

    When I wrote my QC MP about Bill C61 (the Bill that made everyone into a criminal), He didn’t even reply to me. Instead he sent if off to the then heritage minister who gave a blanket statement how this was good for everyone and good for QC.

    A few months ago Videotron (who owns Quebecor media) said they wanted to disconnect people who gets “notice-on-notice”. Videotrons video-rental stores and Archambault Book stores and music stores probably figure revenue’s will go up if they do.

    Quebec has its own agenda with the Quebecor force behind it.

    Quebecor Media never did properly cover and follow C-61. It was barely in the papers (and the details surely were not). It was good for everyone.

    Seeing how you said there was nothing to the article, this should come as no surprise. I find QC is completely in the dark on a lot. Their media is controlled by telco.

    What QC needs is a French version of Dr. Geist. Someone to reach the population (and a non-Quebecor media news agency) and open eyes.

    Videotron/Quebecor shamelessly uses stats like what we’ve seen here to justify a type of France 3-strikes action that they want.

    It should also be noted the Bloc is gunning for their own QC CRTC.

    So Telco is deeply rooted within the ruling parties in QC with QC’s Quebecor media.

    That’s my opinion on what I seen in QC. The only ones I see fighting there for QC peoples rights are the Quebec Consumer Union (unless I missed others while searching) and a few articles from someone from Le Devoir Calling for Inet being made an essential service.

    This is one topic the parties in QC won’t fight the other parties on. They want it as well. Its good for Videotron, and if they can’t get it, they want their own QC CRTC to pass their own agenda justified by the propaganda and rhetoric we seen here that past week.

    The parties and the individuals (all of them) need to be called out on it, and its needs to be shown who is siding with the propaganda or shown who is standing behind the propaganda and also using it for their agenda.


    Look at the Gov link in the post above. QC chambers are listed there as well. They want no other telco or wholesalers being able to match.

    That gov site shows some of the other forces (who are telco polluted) behind whats going on. Look up who is on these boards. All VP’s of Bell or other telco’s.

    Coincidence? This telco control and copyright control has been going on for a long time now and the agencies/people behind it are starting to be shown.

    Anyhow I’m just a regular schmuck. What do I know. What can I do?

  15. SARKOZY SAYS 1$ FER YOU says:

    i got a reply i posted on dslreports form del maestro
    however it appears to be a generic one meant to stem the flood of ..harper you noob smarten up you are getting me too much mail , words out this wil never fly in canada as we got to see the results in the usa and it aint gonna happen

    heck ill bet you combine it with BCE actions and run on a we’ll clean both up you might just get elected for the hate of both of them.

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