Archive for April, 2011

Wikileaks on CRIA and the U.S. Government: How They Combine to Lobby on Canadian Copyright

One of the most interesting revelations in the newly released Wikileaks cables is the close connection between the U.S. government and the Canadian Recording Industry Association on in lobbying the Canadian government on copyright reform.  Several cables reveal private meetings, access to internal documents, and strategy discussions. 

For example, a 2006 cable discusses efforts to convince Canada to join the U.S. WTO complaint against China (I wrote about the case here and here). The cable notes that embassy officials met with CRIA’s Graham Henderson to discuss “the U.S. Government’s role in encouraging the Government of Canada to pass legislation implementing the WIPO Internet Treaties.” Henderson also used the meeting to reveal the results of a private Canadian government consultation meeting on China and provided a private CRIA analysis on the case. The cable concludes that “CRIA is leading the charge to get the GOC to join the US case.”

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April 29, 2011 1 comment News

Wikileaks Cable Confirms Public Pressure Forced Delay of Canadian Copyright Bill in 2008

A new Wikileaks cable confirms that the Conservative government delayed introducing copyright legislation in early 2008 due to public opposition.  The delay – which followed the decision in December 2007 to hold off introducing a bill after it was placed on the order paper (and the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group took off) – lasted until June 2008.  The U.S. cable notes confirmation came directly from then-Industry Minister Jim Prentice, who told U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins that cabinet colleagues and Conservative MPs were worried about the electoral implications of copyright reform:

From December 2007 to mid-February, senior GOC officials and well-informed private sector contacts assured the Embassy that legislative calendar concerns were delaying the copyright bill’s introduction into Parliament.  Our contacts downplayed the small – but increasingly vocal – public opposition to copyright reform led by University of Ottawa law professor Dr. Michael Geist.  On February 25, however, Industry Minister Prentice (please protect) admitted to the Ambassador that some Cabinet members and Conservative Members of Parliament – including MPs who won their ridings by slim margins – opposed tabling the copyright bill now because it might be used against them in the next federal election.  Prentice said the copyright bill had become a “political” issue.  He also indicated that elevating Canada to the Special 301 Priority Watch List would make the issue more difficult and would not be received well.

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April 28, 2011 24 comments News

US Department of Homeland Security: ACTA Sweetheart Deal for IP Owners

Stewart Baker, who was with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security while ACTA was being negotiated, states: It seemed like a sweetheart deal for a few intellectual property owners, who’d get free government enforcement of their private rights, potentially to the detriment of security and traditional customs enforcement.  Worse, the […]

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April 28, 2011 1 comment News

Telus Calls on CRTC to Establish Vertical Integration Safeguards

Telus has called on the CRTC to establish new safeguards against the abuse of market power in light of the vertical integration that has occurred in the Canadian broadcast and telecom market in recent months. The company’s proposed safeguards include: Distributors should not withhold content from competitors. This will prevent […]

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April 28, 2011 5 comments News

Sony Security Breach Among the Biggest in History

Multiple reports focus on the massive Sony breach involving more than 75 million account holders with PlayStation Network. Account holders have received a warning that: For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony […]

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April 28, 2011 3 comments News