Archive for November 24th, 2009

Government Introduces Mandatory Child Porn Reporting Law

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson today tabled the Child Protection Act (Online Sexual Exploitation).  As widely reported, Bill C-58 creates a mandatory disclosure requirement on Internet providers where they become aware of child pornography websites or have reason to believe a subscriber is using their service to violate child pornography laws.  Where an Internet provider submits a report on a user, they must preserve the relevant computer data for 21 days and they are prohibited from disclosing the disclosure to the customer.  Failure to report may result in fines or imprisonment and providers are granted immunity from liability for reporting the activity.  The definition of Internet provider is broad, extending beyond just ISPs to include those providing Internet access, hosting, or email services.  In other words, services like Google, Hotmail, and Facebook are all covered.

The bill shares similarities with provincial laws (ie. Ontario) and those that report under the provincial law are exempt from the federal version.  While few will criticize a bill targeting child pornography – everyone agrees that child pornography is abhorrent and we need to ensure that we have laws to deal with the problem – it is hard to see what this bill actually accomplishes.  Canada already has:

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November 24, 2009 27 comments News

Opposition Mounts in Europe To Three-Strikes Proposals

Multiple reports today indicate that opposition is growing in Europe to plans for three-strikes policies that could lead to the termination of Internet access for some subscribers.  In the U.K., protests are mounting over those plans in the recently introduced Digital Economy Bill.  The BBC reports that thousands of people have signed a petition urging the government to reconsider its approach, while the Open Rights Group says it has seen a big spike in membership.  The UK's Internet Service Provider Association has unsurprisingly voiced its opposition, stating "rather than focusing blindly on enforcement, the government should be asking rights holders to reform the licensing framework so that legal content can be distributed online to consumers in a way that they are clearly demanding."  The Telegraph reports popular author Stephen Fry has lent his support to opposing the bill, vowing to urge people to sign the petition until a million people have signed on.

Meanwhile, European Union Telecom Commissioner Vivianne Reding has warned Spain against adopting a three-strikes model without a procedure before a judge.  Reding added:

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November 24, 2009 2 comments News

U.S. Senators Call for ACTA Transparency

While the MPAA characterizes the calls for ACTA transparency as a distraction, at least two U.S. Senators do not agree.  Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have written to USTR, asking that the ACTA text be made public.

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November 24, 2009 2 comments Must Reads

Library Content Alliance on ACTA

The Library Content Alliance has produced an issue brief on ACTA demonstrating specific concerns to the library community.

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November 24, 2009 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Canton on Digital Copyright Reform

David Canton, writing in the London Free Press on digital copyright: "the three strikes proposal is not a palatable solution."

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November 24, 2009 1 comment Must Reads