Archive for November 28th, 2011

Digital Economy Strategy Has Become Government’s “Penske File”

Appeared in the Toronto Star on November 27, 2011 as Digital Economy Strategy has Become Federal Government’s “Penske File” Earlier this month, Industry Minister Christian Paradis held a press conference to launch the Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program, which will provide $80 million to small and medium sized businesses to […]

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November 28, 2011 1 comment Columns Archive

Will Paradis Fail To Can Canadian Spam?

Last year, a Quebec court upheld the largest spam damage award in the world, ordering Adam Guerbuez, a Montreal-based email marketer, to pay Facebook $873 million dollars for sending millions of spam messages to users of the popular social network. Two months later, the Conservative government passed long overdue anti-spam legislation that finally established strict rules for electronic marketing and safeguards against the installation of unwanted software programs on personal computers, all backed by tough multi-million dollar penalties.

Then-Industry Minister Tony Clement promised that the law would “protect Canadian businesses and consumers from harmful and misleading online threats,” but nearly a year later, my op-ed in the Hill Times (homepage version) notes the law is in limbo, the victim of an intense behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign that threatens to water-down the legislation such that Guerbuez, who maintains an active online presence, has publicly thanked the lobby groups for helping to keep him in business.

The spring election delayed the introduction of draft regulations for the anti-spam legislation, but since they were posted in early summer, lobby groups have used the process as an invitation to re-open the legislation and delay any implementation for months or even years. 

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November 28, 2011 9 comments Columns

The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 39: Literary Press Group of Canada

This week’s group of daily digital lock dissenters focuses on the book and writing world with organizations representing writers, publishers, and book sellers (the Canadian Bookseller Association was featured earlier). The Literary Press Group of Canada is a national organization representing those Canadian publishers who specialize in works of literary fiction, drama, poetry, belles lettres, and the fine arts. It 63 members, located in ten provinces, varying in scale from small, part-time operations to mid-sized firms that are commercially competitive in the global marketplace. As part of the 2009 copyright consultation, it said the following about digital locks:

We believe that copyright law should prohibit the circumvention of TPMs to a degree that would satisfy the World Intellectual Property Organization copyright treaties, but that would also provide for fair dealing, retail competition, security research, the protection of personal information, and accessibility for the disabled. Penalties for circumventing TPMs must apply only to cases of actual infringement. There is no merit in penalizing individuals who circumvent TPMs but do not distribute the unlocked materials or otherwise infringe on copyright in a fair-dealing context. The use of proprietary TPMs tied to reader or player devices must not be allowed to create an uncompetitive retail environment, or a retail environment in which Canadian content is only minimally visible or available to Canadian consumers.

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November 28, 2011 1 comment News