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March 9, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Pro-infringement lawyers smear Canadian Bar Association (CBA)

By now many will have heard about the campaign by a group of lawyers to smear the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), making allegations about the process that was used to create a submission to government on Bill C-32 (now C-11).

Since he was directly mentioned as part of the smear campaign, Law professor Michael Geist has responded (National Post, his website). How you interpret these events partly come down to a matter of trust, and I believe we should afford far more trust to Mr. Geist clarity than the misdirection from these specific lawyers. (Update: Andrew Bernstein — Chair, CBA Intellectual Property Section responded)

The participants in this smear campaign are lawyers whose customers are increasingly building business models upon infringing other peoples rights (See my brief to C-11 committee). These lawyers, sometimes registered as lobbiests and sometimes claiming to represent themselves, have been working to legalize and legally protect these infringements.

We should offer these lawyers the same level of respect and trust that they might lawyers or executives at organizations like ISOHunt or the Pirate Bay.

Notes: Howard Knopf has provided links to relevant articles and submissions.

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September 1, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Industry Minister misinterprets "Who is Candice Hoeppner" letter.

In May I sent a Who is the Candice Hoeppner for information technology owners letter to each MP. The following reply from The Honourable Christian Paradis, P.C., M.P. indicates that he didn't understand what owner I was focused on.

The letter referenced the 4 owners (copyright owner, owner of media, software copyright holder, owner of hardware). I specifically emphasised the owner of the hardware, which is what the term "IT property rights" referenced. He misunderstood and spoke only about copyright owners.

It is critical the government understands that Bill C-32 didn't recognise or respect the rights of the owners of information technology (hardware), otherwise they will make the same mistake in any upcoming technology bills.

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April 20, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Kitchener-Waterloo Debates and C-32

Reading message from the Kitchener-Waterloo Linux Users Group, I'm learning that non-owner locks protected by the Conservatives in C-32 is turning out to be an election issue.

A video of a debate included discussion of the massive transition costs that C-32 would put on people wanting to adopt RIM's Playbook (The "Playbook tax"), and the incumbent defending the bill. Mr Braid repeated his misunderstanding of the effect of non-owner digital locks, demonstrating that being on the committee and hearing from experts didn't help him in understanding this technology.

Michael Geist weighs in on issue with: Digital Locks Emerge As Election Issue in Battleground Riding.

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March 23, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Technology issues in Budget 2011?

I haven't read Budget 2011, and would like to hear in comments what people think.

I read on Twitter a few times about a mention of Copyright legislation under "Recent Federal Initiatives in Support of Canada’s Digital Economy" where they said, " Modernizing policies to build confidence in e-commerce through the passage of new anti-spam legislation and tabling privacy and copyright legislation" (Page 142 of the paper/PDF version)

While most of the technology community will agree about the benefits from the passed anti-spam legislation, the claims about Bill C-32 will seem absurd for those of us on this side of the technology law debate. As I indicated in my intervention, "legal protection for access controls in copyright law can be abused to circumvent the traditional contours of contract, e-commerce, privacy, trade, and consumer protection and property law".

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February 27, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Is passing 'any' copyright bill better than passing 'no' copyright bill?

I was sent a link to some interesting Canadian Copyright debate related cartoons by Rob Labossiere. While I liked the cartoons, something said in the text around the cartoons caught my eye even more:

But it will be a shame if Bill C-32 is never passed, for two reasons, neither of which ironically has to do with the substance of it.

I saw something similar last evening when law professor Jeremy de Beer tweeted a link to a Globe and Mail article, adding "So now any new law is better than no new law?? Sad.".

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February 5, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Anti-competition everywhere in Canadian telecom/broadcast sectors.

I'm not a proud Canadian these days. It seems that everywhere I look I see some monopolist trying to wipe out free markets in Canada, and not enough government intervention to protect the market. There are individuals in the current cabinet who appear on the surface to share some ideas, but who are sending mixed messages. I also don't get the impression that there is enough support elsewhere in cabinet, with other parliamentarians and parties, or with the larger bureaucracy who should be working for us.

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January 1, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» 'Tis the season... to sign better petitions

Mike De Souza blogged about a petition from Bloc Québécois heritage critic Carole Lavallée. While I haven't seen the exact text of the petition, I can speculate that it is against the compromise position on fair dealings (between those like myself who wanted US Fair Use style and those who are opposed to any limitations or exceptions in Copyright), and in favour of an expansion of the failed private copying regime.

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December 31, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Copyright related policy discussion for 2010

(This article originally posted to CLUE's blog)

For New Years eve I thought I would be useful to visit our Copyright-related Policy summary in the context of events in 2010. After a summary I will offer some suggestions of what people should do in the coming year to protect our rights and interests.

The Conservative government tabled a copyright Bill C-32 on June 2 which was debated and then passed at second reading on November 5'th. It was sent to a special legislative committee that held 8 meetings before parliament was adjourned until Monday, January 31, 2011. Being passed at second reading doesn't make it law, and there are many more stages for this bill to follow.

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December 28, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Comments from Australian and Canadian artists on the controversial art resale right

One of the Liberal party proposed amendments to C-32 is to "Introduce a new resale right on art, similar to European laws". I believe it is important for Canadians thinking about copyright policy to recognise that the idea is quite controversial within the art community that this policy alleges to support.

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December 16, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Comments on Liberals' propose amendments to copyright bill C-32

The Liberal party has sent out a release where they propose amendments to copyright bill C-32. Overall I think it is a positive direction they are taking, but the devil may be in the details. I know I don't understand in detail what they are proposing.

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December 15, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The property rights statements I wish opposition parties were making.

Since Michael Geist had fun with a derivative of the statements from Ministers tony Clement and James Moore, I thought I would do the same.

While I am not a fan of levies on devices, I consider this a much lesser evil than non-owner locks on devices. I've written a modification of the statements with what I wished the opposition parties were saying.

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December 14, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Smoke and mirrors from Clement and Moore

Today Ministers Clement and Moore had a little show in Ottawa's Rideau Center where they made statements about the so-called "iPod tax". (See press release)

I find it frustrating that the Ministers claim to be so concerned about a levy on devices, while at the same time including legal support for non-owner locks on our devices in C-32. If I had to choose between non-owner locks or levies, I would choose levies every time. This whole exercise seems to be smoke and mirrors aimed at misdirecting technology owners from the attack on their rights embedded within C-32.

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December 12, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» An honest expansion of cinema into the home

I have never hidden that I consider so-called Digital Rights Management (DRM) to be dishonest, often calling it Dishonest Relationship Misinformation. I have also suggested that fairness is a matter of law and not technology. I will use the expansion of cinema into the home to illustrate the differences.

Read full article on IT World Canada's BLOG >>

» The politics of C-32

The following was posted as a comment on the Maclans education blog.

I have to really wonder about the politics of C-32.

There are two issues which are getting undeserved attention.

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December 3, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» IT property rights and the Xbox-Modding case

According to a Wired Magazine article by David Kravets, federal prosecutors have dropped their prosecution of the first case involving the DMCA and Xbox-modding on Thursday, “based on fairness and justice.” This is not to say that the US courts considered what was done to be legal, but that the methods used to investigate were inappropriate.

This case offers me an opportunity to discuss my own history and feelings on the matter.

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» Angus calls on Moore to compromise on copyright bill

A press release from the NDP includes the following:

“Nowhere is the Conservative’s assault on artists more clear than in their attack on the private copying levy. And the digital lock provisions in this bill are even worse than those found under the notorious DMCA law in the United States,” said Angus. “The government is attacking educators, artists and consumers and, so far, are refusing to back down.”

November 28, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Where do you draw the line with Canadian Copyright?

Canadian copyright is excessively complex, and makes illegal things which most Canadians don't even believe are illegal when you tell them. Given this complexity and over-coverage, I believe nearly every Canadian infringes copyright many times a week.

There is a line that each of us draws that fits our sense of right and wrong. It sits somewhere between recording a television show to watch later, and mass producing videos to be sold for profit. Both of these activities are illegal under current Canadian law. Most Canadians believe the first is a perfectly legitimate activity, even if they are part of that small minority that realize it is illegal in Canada. Most Canadians believe the second is wrong, know it is illegal, and agree it should be illegal.

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November 19, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Actors reading Copyright fiction from a script + a fact based alternative position

Actors Zaib Shaikh and Wendy Crewson were interviewed for CBC's Power and Politics that aired on November 17'th (time 01:17:00 onward for their interview followed by Minister James Moore).

In theory these actors were talking about Canadian copyright and the modifications proposed in C-32, but you couldn't tell that from listening. They got nearly everything wrong in understanding current Canadian law and the modifications.

They were reading fiction from a script, just as they do in their regular jobs.

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» Bill C-32 legislative committee has been struck.

A report from the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs lists the 11 members of the new Legislative Committee on Bill C-32 as follows:

Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)
Kelly Block (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, Conservative)
Sylvie Boucher (Beauport—Limoilou, Conservative)
Peter Braid (Kitchener—Waterloo, Conservative)
Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke, Bloc Québécois)
Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, Conservative)
Marc Garneau (Westmount—Ville-Marie, Liberal)
Mike Lake (Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, Conservative)
Carole Lavallée (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, Bloc Québécois)
Dan McTeague (Pickering—Scarborough East, Liberal)
Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Liberal)

Addition (via twitter): Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville, Conservative) has been named Chair

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November 15, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» No need for copyright law to be so complex

My opinion piece has been published in the November 15'th issue of The Hill Times. This was in reply to an opinion piece by lawyer James Gannon who took NDP MP Charlie Angus to task for something said in the House of Commons.

Using misinterpretations of the impacts of C-32 on real-world technology by Mr. Gannon's McCarthy Tétrault LLP colleague Barry Sookman, I demonstrated the complexity of Bill C-32's anti-circumvention rules.

I concluded by saying:

While I believe we should excuse Angus' usage of a few legal terms in a larger speech, we should be far more critical of those who promote excessively complex law that they are not always able to understand themselves. I believe that the more complex copyright law becomes, the less it will be possible for Canadians to understand and respect it. If the lobbyists promoting these laws get it wrong, how can average Canadians, including our children be expected to always get it right?

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