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.