Archive for September, 2011

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore’s Missing Copyright Tweets

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore was busy on Twitter yesterday, pointing to many groups expressing support for Bill C-11, the new copyright bill. While he omitted pointing to releases from students (“anti-circumvention provisions will seriously undermine students’, teachers’ and the general public’s use of copyrighted works.”) and librarians (“legislation which does not include the right to bypass digital locks for non-infringing purposes is fundamentally flawed”), it is interesting to look at some of the organizations he did cite.

For example, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind is quoted as saying “this copyright legislation ensures Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have opportunities to participate in life.” What did the CNIB tell the Bill C-32 legislative committee in its brief?

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September 30, 2011 35 comments News

Liberals on the Copyright Bill: Digital Lock Rules Driven By U.S.

The Liberal release on Bill C-11, the new copyright bill, includes the following comments from MP Scott Simms: “Recent disclosures of diplomatic cables show that parts of the Conservative copyright plan were drafted to satisfy industry in the United States rather than the best interests of Canadians. In particular, the […]

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September 29, 2011 9 comments News

Canada May [Not] Be Signing ACTA This Weekend – UPDATED

Contrary to reports that Canada will be signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement this weekend, that may not be the case.  I asked the Department of Foreign Affairs for an update and received the following statement: Canada has demonstrated our commitment to working with the international community to develop effective tools […]

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September 29, 2011 7 comments News

Copyright Is Back: Why Canada is Keeping the Flawed Digital Lock Rules

Later today, the government will table Bill C-11, the latest iteration of the Canadian copyright reform bill that mirrors the previous Bill C-32. It was widely reported this fall that the government would reintroduce the previous bill unchanged, re-start committee hearings where they left off in March (with prior witnesses not asked to return), and move to quickly get the bill passed by the end of the calendar year. That seems to be what is happening with today’s tabling and a new legislative committee to follow.

Assuming it is the same bill, the government’s talking points remain relevant as does its clause-by-clause analysis, both of which I obtained under Access to Information.  From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda, the book that I edited on Bill C-32 that includes contributions from 19 leading copyright experts from across Canada, is still useful and is available from Irwin Law in paper or as a Creative Commons licensed download. For those looking for background information on key elements of the bill, there is my initial analysis, a five-part series on the C-32’s digital lock provisions in a single PDF, a lengthy post on C-32’s fair dealing reforms, data on the effectiveness of the ISP provisions, and a post that puts statutory damages into perspective.

When Bill C-32 was introduced in June 2010, I described it as “flawed but fixable”, noting that there was a lot to like in the bill but that the digital lock provisions constituted a glaring problem that undermined much of the attempt to strike a balance. Months later, those remain my views. The bill has some good provisions, but the unwillingness to budge on digital locks – even as the U.S. has created new exceptions – is easily its biggest flaw.

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September 29, 2011 53 comments News

Behind the Scenes of Bill C-32: Music Copyright Collectives Say Digital Locks Won’t Increase Revenue

Two of Canada’s largest music copyright collectives warned the Bill C-32 committee against digital locks, arguing that it was unrealistic to think that the implementation of digital lock rules would increase music industry revenues. While there is much to take issue with in the CMRRA and SODRAC submission, the following […]

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September 28, 2011 22 comments News