Archive for October 17th, 2012

BC Government Launches Open Textbook Initiative

The BC government has become the first Canadian province to launch an open textbook initiative, committing to 40 new online, open textbooks for 40 popular post-secondary courses. The open texts can be freely accessed and modified and could be in use for the 2013-14 academic year.

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October 17, 2012 1 comment News

CETA Negotiations Continue Under Cloud of ACTA Concerns

The Canada – EU Trade Agreement negotiations continue this week in Brussels with both parties hoping to wrap up many outstanding issues. According to information provided by Canadian officials at a briefing earlier this month, the plan is to narrow the areas of disagreement to no more than ten issues, with ministers meeting in Europe in November to try to forge an agreement on the contentious areas. While patent issues will clearly be part of the November discussion, Canadian officials advised that the copyright chapter was largely concluded. In fact, when I asked directly whether the text would require changes to current Canadian copyright law, the response was that it would not. 

Notwithstanding those reassurances, Canadian officials acknowledged the border measures issues were still unresolved. Moreover, days later a European briefing offered a somewhat different take on the copyright provisions. La Quadrature du Net, a leading European NGO, reports that the European Commission confirmed that the controversial criminal ACTA provisions were still included in the CETA draft.

The reports have sparked a wave of new concern (see here, here, here, here, and here) with suggestions that ACTA is “back from the dead in Europe.”

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October 17, 2012 14 comments News