Archive for March 7th, 2012

The Other Shoe Drops: Music Reps Want SOPA-Style Website Blocking Added To Copyright Bill

The Bill C-11 committee conducts its final witness hearing on copyright reform today and not a moment too soon. Based on the demands from music industry witnesses this week, shutting down the Internet must surely be coming next. The week started with the Canadian Independent Music Association seeking changes to the enabler provision that would create liability risk for social networking sites, search engines, blogging platforms, video sites, and many other websites featuring third party contributions. It also called for a new iPod tax, an extension in the term of copyright, a removal of protections for user generated content, parody, and satire, as well as an unlimited statutory damage awards and a content takedown system with no court oversight. CIMA was followed by ADISQ, which wants its own lawful access approach that would require Internet providers to disclose subscriber information without court oversight based on allegations of infringement (the attack on fair dealing is covered in a separate post).

Yesterday the Canadian Music Publishers Association added to the demand list by pulling out the SOPA playbook and calling for website blocking provisions. Implausibly describing the demand as a “technical amendment”, the CMPA argued that Internet providers take an active role in shaping the Internet traffic on their systems and therefore it wants to “create a positive obligation for service providers to prevent the use of their services to infringe copyright by offshore sites.” If the actual wording is as broad as the proposal (the CMPA acknowledged that it has an alternate, more limited version), this would open the door to blocking thousands of legitimate sites. The CMPA admitted that the proposal bears a similarity to SOPA and PIPA, but argued that it was narrower than the controversial U.S. bills. While that may technically be true – SOPA envisioned DNS blocking and targeting advertising and payment networks – the website blocking provisions look a lot like the legislation that sparked massive public protest.

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March 7, 2012 30 comments News

Bill C-11 Extremism Continues: The Attack on Fair Dealing

The extremist demands on Bill C-11 are not limited to the music industry’s massive overhaul of Canadian copyright reform that would require Internet providers to block access to foreign sites, take down content without court oversight, and disclose subscriber information without a warrant. Over the past two days, several groups have also taken aim at fair dealing. While those groups start by focusing on the extension of fair dealing in Bill C-11 to include parody, satire, and education, under questioning it becomes clear that they their real target is the full fair dealing provision and the desire to undo the Supreme Court of Canada’s CCH decision.

On Monday, the Writers’ Union of Canada told the committee:

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March 7, 2012 3 comments News

U.S. Says Canada Will Not Have A Say in the TPP

At a stakeholder meeting yesterday, the U.S. Trade Representative indicated that Canada would not have a voice in negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership. The USTR has adopted the position that late entrants such as Canada, Japan, and Mexico will have to take the agreement “as is”, potentially including copyright term […]

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March 7, 2012 5 comments News