The Conference Board of Canada has released its long-promised report on intellectual property policy in Canada. Readers will recall that last spring the Board withdrew three reports funded by copyright groups after admitting that the reports contained plagiarized passages. In fact, the copyright report recommendations and text were taken directly from the IIPA, the leading copyright lobby in the United States.
The new report, which weighs in at 113 pages, was completed by Ruth Corbin, a Toronto-based IP expert. Corbin started from scratch, reading a broad range of materials, conducting interviews, and leading a private roundtable on the issue (I participated in the roundtable and met separately with her). While there is much to digest, the lead takeaway is to marvel at the difference between a report cribbed from lobby speaking points and one that attempts to dig into the issues in a more balanced fashion. Three examples:
First, the report puts intellectual property policy into perspective as just one portion of the innovation agenda, noting that over-protection can be lead to diminishing returns: