Post Tagged with: "vanoc"

Olympic Marks Bill Amended to Protect Bloggers and Parody

The Industry Committee completed its short review of Bill C-47 this morning by approving several amendments to the bill.  These notably include amending the exceptions provision (which previously only referred to the use of the Olympic marks for criticism or in the publication or broadcast of a news report) in two important ways.  First, parody was added to the list, so that the use of the Olympic marks for parody purposes falls outside the Act.  Second, the bill now specifically refers to electronic media as enjoying the same exception as other forms of media. 

The importance of these amendments could extend far beyond this particular bill.  In the case of the parody exception, it arguably highlights a clear shortcoming in current Canadian law (parody is missing from the Copyright Act as well) – one that ought to be addressed in any future intellectual property reform package.  Moreover, providing specific protection for electronic media in this bill may open the door to similar media equality in other legal areas.

While the Committee added several other amendments (including a sunset clause for Schedule 3, which contains many generic words), the other notable occurrence was the submission of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, a leading Canadian IP organization, and its Past-President Cynthia Rowden.  IPIC did the profession proud – as the only neutral, non-governmental witness to appear before the committee, it rightly criticized the bill for providing exceptional rights to one specific group. 

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June 5, 2007 Comments are Disabled News

Industry Committee Hearing on Olympic Marks Bill

The Industry Committee conducted its first hearing yesterday afternoon on Bill C-47, the Olympics marks bill (the second and likely final hearing goes this morning).  With the exception of one Conservative MP who raised the prospect of whether the bill should include criminal provisions for ambush marketing, most of the […]

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June 5, 2007 2 comments News

Olympic Marks Bill on the Fast Track

Bill C-47, the government's Olympic marks legislation, has been quietly placed on the fast track.  The very fast track.  With no warning, the bill heads to committee this week with hearings today (Industry Canada, VANOC) and Tuesday (several Olympic athletes and committees, clause by clause).  With clause-by-clause review already on the schedule, the Industry Committee will only conduct a limited review and the bill could head back to the full House of Commons for third and final reading by the end of the week.

I've posted several items about the bill, expressing concern about substantive shortcomings and legislative fairness.  Given the government's determination to fast track this bill, the most that can be done is to suggest some modest reforms to the bill (dropping the bill is out of the question and major surgery is not permitted at this stage).  With that in mind, the Committee should consider recommending at least two changes:

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June 4, 2007 1 comment News

Library of Parliament Releases C-47 Legislative Summary

Seventeen page analysis of the Olympics mark bill here.

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May 31, 2007 Comments are Disabled News

Debating the Olympics Marks Bill

Members of Parliament devoted nearly two hours on Wednesday to debating Bill C-47, the Olympic Marks bill.  While much of the discussion predictably veered toward completely unrelated issues (child obesity, French language coverage of the Olympics, the "world class" status of Vancouver, camcording), the core elements of the discussion were encouraging.  With one notable exception (BC Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal, who urged the government to push foward on the bill without any committee hearings), most of the MPs engaged in the debate recognized that the bill grants the Vancouver Olympic Organizing committee (VANOC) enormous power that should be carefully analyzed and should not be permitted to chill free speech, parody, or other legitimate activities.  There were strong calls for committee hearings from Liberal Hedy Fry (who referenced some of my comments) and the NDP's Charlie Angus.

The free speech issue in particular was raised by several MPs. 

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May 17, 2007 2 comments News