Post Tagged with: "c-32"

Bloc Sets Terms For Its Support of Bill C-32

The Bloc has posted a public letter stating its demands for support of Bill C-32.  Demands include extending the private copying levy, dropping the extension of fair dealing to include education, and retention of the ephemeral rights provision that results in millions in payments by broadcasters.

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March 8, 2011 6 comments News

Liberal MP Dan McTeague: Repeat Copyright Infringer?

Liberal MP Dan McTeague has responded to my recent post on his linkages with CRIA in a 2,200 word “rebuttal.” The McTeague post confirms that his earlier letter to the editor came directly from content supplied by CRIA and adopts the contradictory position that when CRIA launches a lawsuit, it is only an unproven claim that should not have an impact on copyright reform, but when isoHunt files a lawsuit it demonstrates that there is a “legislative holiday” in Canada that demands immediate action.

The McTeague post provided the opportunity to take a closer look at his website, which reveals what may be widespread copyright infringement. Since the introduction of Bill C-32, McTeague has posted dozens of full-text articles from mainstream media organizations on his website, at times without attribution. In addition to the articles, McTeague has also reposted many photographs associated with the articles. While it is possible that McTeague has fully licensed the reproduction and posting of each article and photograph, this seems unlikely since the licences offered by many organizations do not even permit this form of reproduction. No other Liberal MP appears to have established a similar practice.

Alternatively, it is possible that McTeague believes that copying full-text articles and photographs without permission is covered by fair dealing. If so, his interpretation would extend beyond the views of virtually any education group who typically argue that a portion of an article may be posted or exceptionally a full article where the poster in engaged in criticism or review, but that a full text article without more on the open Internet would rarely constitute fair dealing (particularly when, as in this case, a paragraph and a link would suffice). Moreover, some of the articles do not provide attribution to the author and therefore would not meet the fair dealing attribution requirements. None of the photographs include attribution.

The more likely scenario is that this is a case of repeated copyright infringement under which there would be the possibility of hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential statutory damages. Targeted Canadian mainstream media organizations include the Globe and Mail, Postmedia, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Canadian Press, CTV, QMI (Sun News), Hill Times, and many local news organizations.

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March 7, 2011 46 comments News

The Canadian isoHunt Litigation: The CRIA Cease and Desist Letter That Started it All

Over the past several weeks, there has been considerable discussion about the lawsuit launched by more than two dozen record labels against Canadian-based isoHunt that relies upon current Canadian law. The lawsuit is noteworthy since contrary to repeated claims that Canadian law is unable to address sites like isoHunt, the recording industry has filed both a statement of defence and a statement of claim in the B.C. courts that cite current law as the basis for a takedown order and millions in liability.

CRIA’s supporters have argued that the discussion has been misleading since isoHunt initiated an action asking a court to declare its activities legal before the record labels responded with their own court filings. For example, Barry Sookman told the Globe my comments were “misleading” and that “isoHunt started this and the recording industry was simply defending [itself].” Liberal MP Dan McTeague rose on a point of order in the Bill C-32 committee to similarly declare my column “misleading and false” and stating that “I just want it clear for the record that isoHunt itself initiated this legal action.”

As I told the Globe, I think the timing issue misses the larger point – the recording industry has argued in multiple court documents that current Canadian copyright law can be used to shut down isoHunt and to force the site to pay millions in damages. While this must still be proven in court, the good faith reliance on current Canadian law certainly undermines claims that the law is ill-equipped to address the site and raises questions about why the industry has persistently painted Canadian law facilitating a piracy haven when its legal actions suggest otherwise.  However, if the timing matters to some people, it is worth noting that the legal chess match began not with the isoHunt lawsuit but rather with a cease and desist letter that Sookman sent in 2008 on behalf of CRIA to isoHunt months before isoHunt filed its suit.  

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March 4, 2011 54 comments News

The CCA’s $126 Million Wheel of Fortune: Guessing at Bill C-32’s Costs

The financial impact of Bill C-32 has been one of the key issues throughout the recent rounds of the copyright reform hearings. Numbers have been bandied about, but when challenged by MPs such as Dean Del Mastro and Mike Lake, the evidence for claimed losses has been lacking. The Canadian Conference of the Arts recently attempted to address the issue by floating a figure of $126 million that is says is “at serious risk of disappearing” for artists and rights holders as a result of Bill C-32. While it is good to see the CCA effort to quantify a number, the $126 million does not stand up to even mild scrutiny.

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March 3, 2011 32 comments News

Canadian Broadcasters Say C-32 Needed to Save Local Radio

Last year, Canadian broadcasters launched a major public campaign to “Save Local TV”, which was their effort to rally support for new fees for retransmission of local television signals. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled this week that the CRTC has the legal power to authorize networks to negotiate to […]

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March 2, 2011 22 comments News