CBA Responds to Smear Campaign: Not a Secret Committee, No Plagiarism

The Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s IP Committee, Torys lawyer Andrew Bernstein, has sent a public letter to the thousands of IP Committee members responding to the media reports of pressure to withdraw a CBA copyright submission. The CBA letter not only debunks claims of secrecy and plagiarism, but calls into question the motivation of the 34 lawyers who signed onto the letter.

The CBA letter confirms my previous post that there was no plagiarism given the use of materials from a predecessor committee. It also includes two important revelations (both new to me). First, Bernstein reveals that he personally provided the original letter writers – Casey Chisick and Claude Brunet – with an explanation for how the drafting of the submission occurred and why claims of plagiarism were false. Despite being briefed on the issue, Chisick and Brunet proceeded with the letter and 32 others signed it.

Second, the repeated claims that the working group membership was secret are unfounded. Bernstein notes “the names of the Working Group members are available to any Section member who undertakes not to disclose the names outside the CBA for lobbying purposes.” In other words, thousands of CBA members have access to the membership list on the single condition that it not be used for lobbying purposes. That the 34 lawyers presumably decided not to accept those terms points to what may be a key motivation for many behind the letter. It is not about CBA process concerns nor about plagiarism. It is lobbying, designed to distract from the SOPA-style demands, iPod taxes, and reduced fair dealing reforms many of the lawyers and their clients are seeking to be included within Bill C-11. As I stated yesterday, the best response to this shameful attack is for Canadians to speak out with their views on copyright before it is too late. 

Tags: / /


  1. I doubt that this will get any of the people who signed it to stop trying to get the submission withdrawn or somehow seen as less valid.

  2. @Geist “It is not about CBA process concerns nor about plagiarism. It is lobbying …”

    To anyone with a degree of wit, the above was obvious & transparent. Furthermore, it is self serving spin that should be embarrassing to anyone with a shred of decorum … but then we are talking about media lobbyists 😀

    ‘Follow the money’ – Deep Throat


    @Dwayne “The copyright maximalists such as Barry Sookman, James Gannon, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Musicians … repeating bogus claims of wealth destruction. The biggest problem with all of this is not the underlying faulty economics and total absence of meaningful evidence, but rather the COMPLETE BANKRUPTCY of the lawyers and lobbyists peddling the case. They appear to have NO MORAL COMPASS when it comes to these matters.”

    I know the world if full of greedy individuals who will peddle anything for a dime, but these corporate ambulance chasers are some of the worst. Everyday folks are finally starting to sit up and pay attention to these snake oil hawkers … tar and feathers soon to follow. {metaphorically speaking JD, don’t fret}

  4. No Plagiarism
    I think that No Plagiarism will help worldwide internet will be better! But everybody should choose his path!

  5. Plagiarism is just like stealing
    I wonder, how plagiarism has spread like an infection in so many fields that we often listen about such incidences so often. It would not be difficult to detct the plagiarized write-ups with the help of plagiarism checker free software.