Cooperation in the Pacific Rim by Jakob Polacsek, World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/48179628441

Cooperation in the Pacific Rim by Jakob Polacsek, World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/48179628441

Digital Trade

copyright-trap-action-3 by EFF https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/08/tpps-copyright-term-extension-isnt-made-artists-its-made-and-big-content-companies (CC BY 3.0 US)

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 40: “Copyright Term Extension is a Tax on Consumers” – Paul Heald on What Extending Copyright Term Could Mean for Canada

Copyright term extension has emerged as a major policy issue in Canada in recent months. Canada’s general copyright term is life of the author plus 50 years and successive governments have rejected lobbying pressure to extend by an additional 20 years. That changed with the new NAFTA, which includes a life plus 70 years requirement. Canada negotiated a 30 month transition period with no need to extend the copyright term during that time. The Canadian copyright review recommended that any extension include a registration requirement for the extra 20 years.

Paul Heald is a law professor at the University of Illinois, where he has led the world in conducting extensive empirical analysis on the effects of copyright term extension and the value of the public domain. His work has used some creative methods examining data on sites such as Amazon and Wikipedia to learn more about the effects of term extension. He joined me on the podcast to discuss his findings and new work he has been doing on the data in Canada.

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February 24, 2020 3 comments Podcasts
President Donald J. Trump at the G20 Summit by the White House https://flic.kr/p/R8swYf Public Domain

The BTLR and USMCA, Part One: Why the Broadcast Panel Recommendations Conflict With Canada’s Emerging Trade Obligations

Since the release of the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel report late last month, I’ve posted on several key issues including an overview of concerns, news regulation, Canadian Heritage Minister Guilbeault’s comments, net neutrality, discoverability claims, consumer costs, and a podcast debate with panel chair Janet Yale. The blog now shifts for the next two days on trade-related concerns arising from the report’s recommendations. This issue is particularly timely since the House of Commons has been debating Bill C-4, the implementation bill for the US-Canada-Mexico (USMCA) Trade Agreement and the government had made treaty implementation one of its top legislative priorities.

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February 12, 2020 2 comments News
My Solace - Emily Of New Moon by Susan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/aJuNCF

Making the Best of a Bad Provision: Why Canada Should Work Toward a Copyright Term Extension Registration Requirement

The agreement on a revised Canada-US-Mexico Trade Agreement this week featured both good news and bad news. Among the positive changes in the revised agreement is the significant changes to the patent provisions, including the elimination of the ten years of protection for biologics. That provision would have required changes to Canadian law and added significant new costs to pharmaceuticals. Moreover, the retention of the Internet safe harbour provision is a win for freedom of expression in Canada as it will help ensure that free speech is not lost in the current rush to regulate Internet platforms.

On the downside, many of the problematic digital trade provisions remain unchanged (they can also be found in the CPTPP so their inclusion does not change much) as does the requirement for a copyright term extension to life of the author plus 70 years. The additional 20 years of protection beyond the international standard found in the Berne Convention will be costly for Canadians with little discernible benefit.

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December 11, 2019 12 comments News
TPP Signing, February 4th, 2016 by US Embassy (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/DCM31U

Canadian Government Consults on Expanding Pacific Trade Treaty to UK, Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand

The Canadian government has launched a public consultation on expanding the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, formerly TPP) to other countries, specifically citing the UK, Taiwan, South Korea, and Thailand. The consultation could raise significant concerns as the UK would be the first non-Pacific country in the agreement and Taiwan could spark a response from China. Moreover, opening the agreement to new countries must likely factor in the possibility that the U.S. might want to re-enter the agreement if there is a change in administration in 2020.

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July 30, 2019 Comments are Disabled News
Plateau de la Godivelle - 29-07-2008 - 11h42 by Panoramas (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/5cGyem

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 15: Cows, Cars, and Copyright – A Conversation With Myra Tawfik on the IP Concerns With Implementing the USMCA

The new NAFTA – dubbed the USMCA or CUSMA depending on where you live – took a significant step forward recently with the introduction of Canadian legislation designed to ratify the treaty. The economic implications of the agreement are enormous, particularly with respect to digital issues and intellectual property. Myra Tawfik, a law professor at the University of Windsor and Senior Fellow with CIGI, joins the podcast this week to discuss Canada’s longstanding history of facing external pressure on copyright, the role that trade negotiations now play with that pressure, and the implications of the USMCA.

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June 10, 2019 Comments are Disabled Podcasts