Four years ago, then-prime minister Stephen Harper used the first week of the 2015 federal election campaign to pledge that if re-elected his government would not institute a Netflix tax. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes that the Liberals responded with a no Netflix tax promise of their own, which became government policy when Justin Trudeau was elected a few months later. Yet as Canada heads toward another election this fall, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and his party seem ready to place the spotlight on Netflix taxes once again. Only this time, the government will call out opposition parties that do not commit to new Internet taxes.
Archive for August, 2019
The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 23: The WIPO BRIP Database – Rick Shera on the MEGA Experience and the Dangers of False IP Claims
The last episode of Season One of the Lawbytes podcast (new episodes will resume in September) returns to WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization and its proposed BRIP database. The BRIP database, which stands for Building Respect for Intellectual Property, will be a database of allegedly infringing websites. While some of the details remain sketchy, the basics are that BRIP will be a database of allegedly infringing websites that could be used by advertisers to stop advertising on those sites, payment providers to stop service, or even site blocking initiatives to mandate ISP blocking. Yet the BRIP database currently envisions the possibility of lobby groups such as the movie and music associations inserting sites in the database with no oversight, no review, and not even any transparent standards.
That approach caught the attention of Rick Shera, a lawyer in New Zealand with Lowndes Jordan and one of that country’s leading IP and Internet law experts. Rick posted a Twitter stream on the risks associated with false IP accusations, speaking from the experience of one of his clients. He joins me on the podcast this week to discuss the experience of MEGA and the risks of false IP claims.