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November 8, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Order Fixing Various Dates as the Dates on which Certain Provisions of the Act Come into Force

Many parts of the C-11 came into force on Wednesday as part of a notice in the Canada Gazette.

Also published on the same day: MicroSD Cards Exclusion Regulations (Copyright Act), which temporarily excludes MicroSD cards from the private copying levy. The government went out of their way to protect the levy (what they sometimes call a "tax") in Bill C-11 itself.

Sections relating to the two WIPO treaties will be delayed until it is confirmed that Canadian law conforms to the requirements of those treaties.

There is also a delay relating to the notice-and-notice regime for ISP liability.

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August 15, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Why do we have copyright?

Andrei Mincov is a lawyer who specializes in copyright and related areas of law, and is actively involved in the copyright revision discussion. In April of this year he posted a Response to William Patry in the form of a review of William's book How to Fix Copyright. While I agree more with Mr. Patry's take on the issues than Mr. Mincov, I found reading the article and Mr. Patry's critique of this response extremely informative to solidify in my mind why I believe what I do.

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July 4, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» To fees on devices the Harper Government says: yes, no,... err.. what was the question?

In a press release and news conference speech the "Harper Government" alleges to not want to increase costs or otherwise devalue the devices Canadians wish to purchase and own. Minister Paradis claimed that "Placing a new fee on devices with removable memory cards, such as BlackBerrys and smart phones, would increase costs for Canadian families and impact the adoption of the latest technologies."

I say claim not because I disagree that devaluing the devices we own is unwarranted and unfair to Canadians, but that the "Harper Government" did far worse within C-11 than they are alleging to "fix" now.

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July 1, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Before Canadian Copyright there was already Canadian Copyright

Since Bill C-11 will set back technology property rights, I thought to look back in time for Copyright law. As discussed in the chronology of Canadian Copyright Law, Canada was under the UK copyright Act until 1921 (and thus under the Berne convention from the beginning in 1887). This didn't mean there weren't Copyright related acts to deal with issues specific to Canada, with the largest being our proximity to the "pirate" nation of the United States.

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June 28, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Harry Page, CEO, UBM TechInsights

Yesterday I asked if there were any technical witnesses at the Senate committee studying C-11. I have been pointed to Harry Page, CEO, UBM TechInsights, who appeared before Industry Committee (press release, Hansard from committee, audio/video) and then again at the Senate Committee on June 26'th at the 09:00 meeting.

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June 27, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» ABC Copyright: slides and YouTube video

On June 4 I gave a workshop at the ABC Copyright Conference titled Access vs. Copyright: Technological measures, Paracopyright, and copyright.  I made my slides available and on June 17'th made an informal recording for YouTube based on the same slides.  Links to both, and to media made of other talks, have now been added to the program.

Summary:  I gave a brief history of TPMs being added to copyright law, then described the two narratives for discussing TPMs: 2-constituency involving copyright holders and users (and a magical incantation on content), and 4-constituency including copyright holders, users, software authors and hardware owners.

Since "digital locks" (technological measures) are often applied to both content and devices, I suggested people compare how the law and various people protect or disrespect the relevant rights-holders.  Each of copyright and technology property rights have primary and secondary infringers, and who is committing these infringements are quite different.

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» Latest correspondence with my MP, David McGuinty

I've been in communication with David McGuinty on technology law issues since May 2004, prior to the election when he became my MP. The latest correspondence was a package in the mail containing a copy of the official Hansard for Friday, June 15, 2012 with a tab highlighting his intervention on Bill C-11. On the front page was a hand-written note about the intervention, and his suggestion to me that I "keep up your good work".

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» Senate Study of C-11

The Senate Standing Committee Banking, Trade and Commerce did a study of Bill C-11 on Thursday June 21'st (1 meeting), June 22 (8:00 and 13:00 meetings), and June 26 (9:00, 13:00 and 19:00 meetings).  First meeting had the two Ministers and 3 bureaucrats from the departments of Industry and Heritage, and the 3 bureaucrats (plus one more) were recalled for questions on the last meeting.  There were 44 other witnesses called.

While others were happy as their views were heard, I was quite disappointed.  While I didn't listen to all the testimony yet, I did listen from time to time and looked at the witness list.  The list would have been very familiar from the witnesses in 1997 or in 1988 for those major copyright amendments.

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June 21, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Bill C-11 in the Senate: what would I say to them?

Bill C-11 started debate at second reading in the Senate on June 20'th, with debate resuming on the 21'st.

While it is unlikely that I will have a chance to speak in front of the Senate committee studying Bill C-11, the following is what I would have liked to say.

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June 9, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Truck control unconstitutional? What about computer control?

Justice of the Peace Brett Kelly ruled in Welland, Ont. (Central West Region) on Wednesday June 6 that the provincial law requiring large trucks be limited to 105 kilometres an hour is unconstitutional. This is expected to be appealed, and this process will be very informative to those of us concerned about government revoking owner control over other technology such as computers.

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May 16, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Elizabeth May and C-11

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, was the focus of attention for the debate at report stage of Bill C-11.  In her speech introducing amendments she spoke about why she introduced 18 amendments to the act.  It was also voting on each of these amendments that was taking the time yesterday during votes, and it was she that eventually "released the hostages" by allowing previous votes to apply to later motions.

Unlike other MPs and other parties, her amendments more closely reflected what Canadians said in consultations.   While there were other issues up for debate, such as educational copyright, the bulk of submissions and participation in the consultations were opposition to legal protection for "technological measures".  Given this, while she also addressed educational copyright, the bulk of her amendments addressed various aspects of technological measures.

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May 15, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Bill C-11 3'rd reading on Monday May 14.

The order paper for Monday May 14 included C-11 3'rd reading "debate".

There were motions to make amendments in the Order paper: Report Stage of Bills. These were from Mr. Bellavance (Richmond—Arthabaska) of the Bloc and Ms. May (Saanich—Gulf Islands) of the Greens, neither of which had party representatives in the committee studying the bill.

There are many more motions from Ms. May than the earlier list I commented on.

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May 1, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Not so special 301 report

The yearly joke from the USTR of their so-called "Special 301 report" came out yesterday. Not surprisingly, they kept Canada on their Priority Watch List in order to keep up their special interest lobbying efforts.

Does this mean Canada is a "piracy haven"? Not in the slightest.

It only means that the USTR continues to echo the unfounded lobbying rhetoric from the IIPA which isn't as interested in promoting the rights and interests of creators and innovators as they are protecting their members from legitimate competition.

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April 25, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Green Party C-11 Amendments

On March 30, 2012, Ms. May (MP for Saanich--Gulf Islands, Leader of the green Party) added a few motions to the Notice Paper, Report Stage of Bills.  I will offer my own quick comments on these motions in the hope that they are useful for the ongoing debate.

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March 21, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Technological measures in a land of myth and a time of magic

In a land of myth, and a time of magic, a young technology journalist conducts an interview on digital locks. His name… Jesse Brown.

The person he is interviewing is Financial Post editor Terence Corcoran. Mr. Corcoran, admitting he doesn't understand technology, speaks of magical incantations that can be done over digitally encoded copyrighted works.

While Jesse and I both normally focus on discussing science and technology, I thought it might be interesting to explore what my views would be if I lived in the land of young Merlin or with the magic of Harry Potter.

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March 19, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The double-standard: technology property rights infringement vs. copyright infringement.

Last week I had a letter to the Hill Times editor published which discussed the anti-competitive nature of the technological measures aspects of bill C-11.

I received the following question via twitter:

Read your letter in HillTimes. You really think Netflix should have no say how they want their content distributed?

My short twitter-length answer was:

There are infringing and non-infringing ways to do that http://c11.ca/brief - Businesses built on infringement not legit

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March 17, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Openmedia blog: The beginnings of the Internet Lockdown


by Russell McOrmond

I'm just a technical guy. I make my living as a systems administrator, software author and Internet consultant. After watching failures of the legislative process in the USA that lead to them passing laws that attacked the rights of technology owners and the interests of software authors, I decided I must get involved in Canada's political process. I participated in the consultation in the summer of 2001, and have been very active since. This includes sitting in on nearly all of the Bill C-32 and Bill C-11 committee meetings in-person, and being a witness in front of a Bill C-32 committee on March 8, 2011. I have been live tweeting and writing articles for each of these meetings. Now that committee work ended on March 13, the next steps will be a third reading in the House of Commons and then on to the Senate for whatever study they decide to do.

Read full article on OpenMedia.ca >>

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March 12, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» RE: Let's Talk about Bill C-11: An Informal Dialogue

The following was sent out to guests of an informal dialog held on March 6, 2012.



Dear Guests and Supporters,

I would like to thank all of you for the lively discussion on Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act. Special thanks go to Hon. MP Geoff Regan, Hon. Senator Wilfred Moore, Tamir Israel and David Fewer (unable to attend) from Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), and Russell McOrmond from http://c11.ca for accepting our invitation to attend this discussion.

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» Bill C-11 anti-competitive: McOrmond

After reading two articles in the Wire Report, I sent a letter to the editor which was published in this week's Hill Times.

My letter started with:



I noted with interest the Wire Report article indicating that, "Netflix Inc. says it does not have plans to develop apps that support Research In Motion Ltd.'s (RIM) Blackberry devices or Playbook tablet".

While Netflix may not have the resources to write the software themselves, it is the Conservative Government's Bill C-11 which will disallow any third party from developing their own compatible application.

(Subscribers can read full letter now. I will post full text here later.)

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March 11, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Informal dialog on C-11 at Carleton University

On the evening of March 6, 2012 I attended an informal dialogue about bill C-11 at Oliver’s Pub, Carleton University. It was organized by School of Information Technology Associate Professor Ali Arya, who invited MPs from the C-11 legislative committee, Tamir Israel from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), and myself as guests to talk to students and faculty at Carleton. Hon. Geoff Regan, the Liberal MP on the committee, and Liberal Senator Wilfred Moore attended.

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