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Without the CETA text, it is very difficult to assess many of the purported benefits of the draft agreement (additional posts on the need to release the text, the IP provisions, and the big win for pharmaceutical companies despite declining Canadian investment in research and development). Consider the benefits for telecommunications and electronic commerce discussed in the government's summary document. On electronic commerce, the government states:
Businesses engaged in electronic commerce will benefit from greater certainty, confidence and
Twenty years ago, electronic commerce was in its infancy. Today, electronic commerce is a part of our daily lives. Canadians shop and plan holidays online, and buy and download software and entertainment content, including movies, television and music. Advertisers are making increased use of âsmart advertisingâ on the Web to track our shopping habits and promote specific deals likely to interest us.
I have no idea what this means - if anything - from a legal perspective, though the supportive references to tracking users online is a potential cause for concern. The telecommunications discussion is similarly evasive:
Improved competition ensures greater choice for consumers.
The telecommunications sector is important for the economies of Canada and the EU. Not only is
telecommunications an ever-growing service sector, it is also one of the most important enablers in the modern economy, providing the means of delivering other services that Canadians depend on.
CETA will ensure that all players in the telecommunications market have fair access to networks and
services, and ensure that regulators act impartially, objectively and in a transparent manner. Service
providers and investors will benefit from increased transparency and predictability of the regulatory
environment and secure, competitive marketplaces.
Does fair access mean a further removal of foreign investment restrictions? Any changes to the CRTC process? The answer is presumably no, that CETA will not change much on the existing telecom rules, but without the draft text there is no certainty on the issue.
Intellectual property was one of the most contentious aspects of the CETA negotiations, with copyright, patents, and geographic indications all sources of concern. A summary of the impact of CETA on each is posted below (additional posts on the need to release the text and the telecom and e-commerce provisions).
Early CETA drafts included extensive copyright provisions that would have rendered Canadian copyright law virtually unrecognizable from its current state. The EU position on copyright changed after two developments in 2012. First, Canada passed long-awaited copyright reform that addressed several concerns, most notably legal protection for digital locks and ISP liability. Second, the EU abandoned many of the remaining demands after the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in July 2012 to reject Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, striking a major blow to the hopes of supporters who envisioned a landmark agreement that would set a new standard for intellectual property rights enforcement. â¨
The resulting copyright provisions appear benign, as the government is claiming that CETA is consistent with current Canadian law:
CETA echoes the recent Copyright Modernization Act, which supports advances in technology and international standards. It will enhance the ability of copyright owners to benefit from their work while at the same time allowing Internet service providers, educators, students and businesses the tools they need to use new technologies in innovative ways. CETA also brings Canada in line with the World Intellectual Property Organization Internet Treaties. CETA upholds the right balance struck in the Copyright Modernization Act between the needs of creators and users and is supported by creator groups, consumer organizations and businesses that help drive Canadaâs economy.
Canadian law is already in line with the WIPO Internet treaties (the ratification process is currently underway) and the reference to "upholding the right balance" suggests no further legislative reforms will be needed.
Patents was the other major source of contention with Canada expected to cave on several reforms that would increase pharmaceutical costs for Canadians and benefit the large pharmaceutical companies. The summary document suggests that the pharmaceutical companies only got part of what they wanted. They had demanded both data exclusivity (which refers to restrictions on the use of clinical test data by generic competitors) and patent term restoration (which refers to the extension of patents to account for a period when a patent is granted but other approvals for sale of the drug are pending). The EU got patent term restoration, which will allow the large pharmaceutical companies to extend the term of their patents and keep generics off the market for an extended period of time. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has admitted that this will result in higher health care costs, while a new government report indicates that pharmaceutical investment in research and development in Canada continues to decline. The summary states:
With respect to the pharmaceutical sector, CETA will provide extended protection for innovators while ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to the affordable drugs they need. CETA reinforces the Government of Canadaâs commitment to attracting and retaining investments that support high-paying jobs in Canada as well as rewarding innovators and ensuring that Canadians are able to reap the fruits of such innovation. This helps keep Canada as an important destination for research and development and supports Canadiansâ access to the most innovative medical breakthroughs.
Once again, a draft text is needed to fully assess the impact.
Geographical indications (GI) are signs used on goods - frequently food, wine, or spirits - that have a specific geographical origin and are said to possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin. Given the quality associated with the product, proponents of GI protection argue that it is needed to avoid consumer confusion as well as to protect legitimate producers.â¨â¨
Europe has the most extensive geographical indication protections in the world. These include Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), which covers agricultural products produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognized know-how; Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), which covers agricultural products linked to the geographical area; and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG), which highlights traditional character, either in the composition or means of production.â¨â¨
The net effect of the European system is that hundreds of items enjoy special legal protection. Over the past two decades, Canada has made significant changes to its own geographical indications system. These include taking many popular terms - including Chablis, Champagne, Port, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Medoc, Grappa, Schnapps and Sambuca - off a generic list so that they could enjoy new geographical indication protection. CETA would appear to expand that list, though the government has not provided any specifics:
Geographical indications provide exclusive rights for a product based on its geographical origin in cases where origin is considered to confer a particular quality or character to the product. Canada already recognizes geographical indications for wines and spirits - for example, French Cognac and Canadian Whisky. CETA will include a wider recognition of EU geographical indications for foodstuffs, such as certain meats and cheeses (e.g., Chabichou du Poitou), that builds upon Canadaâs existing regime for geographical indications.
CETA also effectively confirms that the government will be moving ahead with its anti-counterfeiting legislation. The summary states:
CETA echoes the government's commitment to combatting trade in counterfeit goods, which is increasingly a source of concern for consumers, businesses and governments. Counterfeit goods are often of poor quality, can be dangerous to the health and safety of Canadians, and disrupt markets for legitimate companies. CETA will ensure simple, fair, equitable and cost-effective enforcement continues, leading to a more predictable regime for intellectual property rights.
This suggests that there will be new border measures provisions in Canada, including the power to seize allegedly infringing goods without a court order. Once again, the actual text is needed to compare CETA with current (and proposed) Canadian law.
Canada and the European Union this morning formally announced that it they have reached an agreement in principle on the Canada - EU Trade Agreement (CETA) (additional posts on the IP provisions, telecom and e-commerce provisions, and the big win for pharmaceutical companies despite declining Canadian investment in research and development). Unfortunately, there was no release of the text and one is apparently not forthcoming for some time as the government argues that there is still some drafting and legal analysis needed (and presumably translation into several languages). However, without the actual text, the public is forced to rely on summary documents that merely provide an overview of the agreement. A transparent process mandates that all Canadians have access to the full text. While the approval process will take a couple of years, Canada and the EU should release the draft text now.
Generations of Americans have grown up with Walt Disney shaping our imaginations. In 1955, Disney mixed up some fairy tales, a few historical facts, and a dream of the future to create an alternate universe. Not just a place for fun, but a scale model of a perfect world. “Everything that you could imagine is there,” says one young visitor. “It's like living in a fantasy book.” And not just for kids: one-third of Walt Disney World’s visitors are adults who go without children. Visiting the parks, according to actor Tom Hanks, is like a pilgrimage — the pursuit of happiness turned into a religion.
Futurist Cory Doctorow explains the genius of Disney World, while novelist Carl Hiassen even hates the water there. Kurt tours Disneyland with a second-generation “imagineer” whose dead mother haunts the Haunted Mansion. We’ll meet a former Snow White and the man who married Prince Charming — Disney, he says, is “the gayest place on Earth. It’s where happy lives.”
- Concerned about departing employees who might have confidential information about your business and clients? Or maybe you are the ex-employee and you are unsure of where the line is drawn when departing one job to start another. In Plaza Consulting Inc. v. Grieve et al , 2013 ONSC 5338 (CanLII), the court ...
The government's Speech from the Throne was billed in advance as a "consumers-first" agenda with Industry Minister James Moore talking up initiatives such as tackling wireless roaming fees and the unbundling of cable television packages over the weekend. Yet it turns out the consumers-first agenda is pretty thin: the roaming fee issue may be limited to domestic roaming (an issue that is invisible to many wireless customers), the unbundling will be useful for some though not all television subscribers, and promising enhanced broadband in rural communities is a far cry from committing to universal broadband access for all Canadians by 2015 (other issues such as the anti-digital economy measure of banning extra fees for paper bills is hardly worth mentioning and an airline passenger bill of rights wasn't mentioned).
Perhaps the real intended focus is a celebration-first agenda as the speech emphasizes that "Canada's Confederation is worth celebrating." The government therefore commits to marking the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Quebec conferences, to celebrating the 200th birthdays of Sir George-Ãtienne Cartier and Sir John A. Macdonald, the centennial of the first world war, and the 75th anniversary of the second world war.
Of course, the real focus of the speech isn't birthday celebrations or consumers. From a digital issues perspective, it is what the speech doesn't say that is important:
The Royal Bank of Canada updated its mobile application for Android users earlier this month. Like many banking apps, the RBC version allows users to view account balances, pay bills, and find bank branches from their smartphone. Yet when users tried to install the app, they were advised that the bank would gain access to a wide range of personal data.
The long list of personal data - far longer than that found in comparable applications from banks such as TD Canada Trust or Bank of Montreal - included permission to use the device's camera, to read the user's call history, to access the user's Internet browsing habits, and to even check out their browser bookmarks. After users took to Twitter and the Google app review section to complain, RBC advised that it would update the app and that users should "stay tuned" about the permission requirements.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that RBC is not alone in requiring users to disclose more personal information in order to access services. Aeroplan, the loyalty program linked to Air Canada, sent an email last week to hundreds of thousands of Canadians notifying them that it too was changing its data collection practices.
The company disclosed that holders of its popular financial credit cards (which can be used to earn Aeroplan points based on total spending) will soon be required to grant it access to detailed financial activity. Starting next year, Aeroplan will be privy to all cardholder transactions, including merchant names, transaction amounts, and dates of the transactions.
The personal data grab from two of Canada's best-known companies is part of a disturbing privacy trend involving a seemingly insatiable desire for customer information. These demands stretch Canadian privacy law to its limits and run the risk of placing user data at risk for security breaches.
Canadian privacy law requires organizations to obtain consent for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. The basic premise is that privacy is a negotiated bargain in which companies can ask for permission to do virtually anything with the personal information they collect so long as users grant their consent.
The law does contain an important limitation, however, stating that "an organization shall not, as a condition of the supply of a product or service, require an individual to consent to the collection, use, or disclosure of information beyond that required to fulfil the explicitly specified, and legitimate purposes." In other words, companies can ask for whatever information they believe is reasonable under the circumstances, but they cannot mandate the disclosure if it is not strictly necessary to supply the good or service.
Despite the legal limitations, the RBC and Aeroplan policies illustrate how companies have become increasingly aggressive in their personal information collection practices. Companies use data mining technologies (the same ones used by intelligence agencies to comb through the meta data of billions of telephone calls) to analyze customer habits and inform a wide range of business decisions.
Some uses may seem relatively innocuous, yet the practice of collecting as much data as possible raises serious concerns. The risk of a security breach increases as companies capture and retain more and more information. This is particularly true for sensitive financial data, which is now accessed by more than just a regulated financial institution.
Moreover, the collection practices push the legal envelope by requiring disclosures that are not strictly necessary to maintain a loyalty program or offer a mobile app. There have been relatively few complaints to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada on these issues, which may be a product of a public that has become increasingly cynical about the potential for privacy laws to stop invasive practices from both government and the private sector. Yet as companies seek mountains of customer data, it may be time for consumers to start saying no.
My team of research assistants has been viewing the webcasts and compiling notes on the recent WIPO General Assembly. The notes enable viewers of the webcasts of the General Assembly to zero in on the statements of particular countries, NGOs, or topics. Links are provided to the relevant webcast, along with the relevant time within the video, allowing viewers to find particular statements made by various delegates to the meeting.
Notes will continue to be added over the next week.
This is a pilot project. If these notes are useful, please let us know! @sarabannerman / sara.bannerman [at] gmail.com
As a follow-up to our earlier post (Combating Counterfeit Products Act), we wrote in March 2013 that Parliament had introduced a bill (Bill C-56) to amend the Copyright Act and the Trade-marks Act, to combat counterfeit products. With Prime Minister Harper's decision to prorogue Parliament, this Bill will die on the order paper. There was ...
The government's Speech from the Throne is set for this Wednesday with a "consumer first" agenda reportedly a focal point of the upcoming legislative agenda. Industry Minister James Moore discussed the speech over the weekend, pointing to a range of targets including wireless competition, wireless roaming fees, and the bundling of television channels that forces millions of consumers to purchase channels they do not want. Moore says that the government will require cable and satellite providers to offer a pick-and-pay option to consumers, though it is not clear which legislative tool they will use to do so. I wrote about the forthcoming throne speech last month, pointing to pick-and-pay services as a potential policy reform.
I also wrote about the benefits of a pick-and-pay system last year, arguing that the "broadcast community has long resisted a market-oriented approach that would allow consumers to exercise real choice in their cable and satellite packages, instead demanding a corporate welfare regulatory framework that guarantees big profits and mediocre programming." This is particularly true of Bell Media, Canada's largest media company that has been among the most vocal in opposing consumer choice. In a hearing before the CRTC that focused on consumer choice, Bell said that "we are dreadfully fearful of a penetration decline that would wipe out revenues that are necessary to support the obligations of these services." It reiterated its opposition when asked directly, claiming "there will be a potentially dramatic penetration drop, and hence volume drop and hence revenue drop, as repackaging moves along the continuum to, you know, set packaging all the way to standalone."
Opponents will warn that a pick-and-pay system could lead to less choice and higher prices for consumers. Their arguments will focus on the loss of "cross-subsidization". This occurs where consumers may individually only watch a handful of channels, but if each watch different ones, they effectively cross-subsidize their respective interests. Supporters will claim that without bundles, many channels will either disappear (the market being too small to support based solely on consumer choice) or be forced to raise prices in order to replace lost bundle revenue.
While it is true that the loss of cross-subsidization may hurt some niche channels, the more competitive broadcast environment will still leave consumers coming out ahead. First, pick-and-pay will only be one option since bundles will continue to exist. In fact, as broadcasters and broadcast distributors to compete for consumers who now have a pick-and-pay option, they are likely to respond by offering more attractive bundles to keep consumers paying for that format.
Second, as more consumers consider dropping cable or satellite for online services (such as Netflix or other streaming services), the pick-and-pay model will provide welcome relief, as they can create a customized model consisting of a mix of Internet-based services alongside the odd broadcast channel (ie. sports programming) as needed. Since broadcast distributors also offer Internet services, consumers will continue to pay either way.
Third, the arrival of pick-and-pay will inject much-needed competition into the broadcast environment. Niche broadcasters with small audiences will be forced to adapt by considering alternative distribution models, new sources of revenue, and other changes in order to survive in a marketplace where success requires more than just inclusion in a lucrative bundled package.
The real danger in the months ahead is not less choice (consumers now have virtually unlimited choice given Internet-based alternatives) or higher bills (consumers will have the option of paying more or less but the choice will finally be theirs to make), but rather the potential for the vertically integrated giants to use their broadcast distribution power to grant preferential treatment to their own broadcast properties. Cable and satellite companies should theoretically welcome the chance to offer more options to subscribers - including pick-and-pay - but the vertical integration between broadcasters and broadcast distributors may create anti-competitive incentives. With Bell, Rogers, Shaw, and Videotron each controlling a major broadcaster, it may make economic sense for those distributors to prioritize their own channels within bundles while offering their customers less choice. The government and the CRTC must safeguard against such activities as they focus on a transition that places consumers first within the broadcast distribution system.
This summer, I wrote about the prospect of a broadcast overhaul that could take a decade to play itself out. As the first of four major changes, I argued:
there will be growing pressure to eliminate all must-carry rules, instead adopting a must-offer system in which cable and satellite companies will be required to offer channels to their end users on a pick-and-pay basis. Those channels may prove costly, but the purchasing decisions will lie in the hands of consumers, not regulators or vertically integrated cable and satellite providers.
Even with pick-and-pay, there will be still be other policy reforms needed, including the removal of foreign ownership restrictions on broadcast distributors and a re-examination of the current mandatory contribution requirement system and simultaneous substitution policies.
The opening sentence sounds like wireline incumbent marketing.. The outage was likely in the wired part of network that interconnects much of the network.
Missing is the apology for the cable internet outage withing the last-mile which competitors must hire from Rogers.. Structural separation clearly needed when Rogers customers fine and competitors customers connected to other parts of same Rogers network fine - so clearly an internal Rogers failure that -- oh surprise -- only affected competitors...
In Hearst v. Aereo, brought in the District of Massachusetts, the Court has denied Hearst's motion for a preliminary injunction. The court also denied Aereo's motion to change venue to the Southern District of New York.
October 8, 2013, decision denying preliminary injunction, Hon. Nathaniel M. Gorton, District Judge Ray Beckerman, P.C.
- Agreements which contain non-disclosure obligations (also known as a confidentiality agreements, CAs, NDAs or confidential disclosure agreements) are common in many industries - from licensing deals to franchise agreements, from manufacturing to retail industries. Confidential information may be disclosed during early-stage negotiations, even before a formal contractual relationship is concluded. Or ...
While "famous" marks are handled differently in Canada than they are in the US, there is nevertheless a great advantage for marks such as the well-known McDonald's "family" of marks when it comes to effective trade-mark protection. In the recent case of CHEAH v MCDONALD’S CORPORATION, the Federal Court ...
Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage launched a consultation yesterday on the rules associated with the Internet service provider notice-and-notice system that was established in Bill C-11, the copyright reform bill enacted in June 2012. Responses to the consultation are due by November 8, 2013. Most of the bill took effect in November 2012, but the government delayed implementation of the ISP rules, with expectation of a consultation and regulations to follow. It has taken nearly a full year, but the consultation was sent to undisclosed stakeholders with the promise to bring the notice-and-notice system into effect "in the near future."
The notice-and-notice system allows copyright owners to send infringement notices to ISPs, who will be legally required to forward the notification to their subscribers. If an ISP fails to forward the notifications, it must explain why or face the prospect of damages that run as high as $10,000. ISPs must also retain information on the subscriber for six months (or 12 months if court proceedings are launched). Copyright owners may also send notifications to search engines, who must remove content that has been removed from the original source within 30 days. The notices must meet a prescribed form that includes details on the sender, the copyright works and the alleged infringement.
Despite some expectation that the consultation would place several issues on the table - form issues for notices, data retention, and costs for notices among them - the language used in the consultation letter suggests that the government is likely to simply bring the rules as articulated in the law into effect with no further regulations at all. It states:
It is our goal that a system be in place that is both balanced and functional; but, most importantly, it must endeavour to deter infringement. It is not clear at this time that regulation beyond the legislation will help better achieve this. Therefore, please provide concrete evidence and empirical data, where available, to support your views. As our primary goal is to deter infringement, we will not be consulting on the setting of a fee for the transmission of notices at this time.
The government's message is clear: it wants to get the notice-and-notice system operational and is reluctant to add new regulations or costs that might further slow that down. Interestingly, the departmental language on this issue has shifted in recent months. According to documents I obtained under the Access to Information Act, earlier drafts of the letter stated the following:
It is important that the system be balanced and functional for both copyright owners and internet intermediaries.
That sentence has now been replaced by the prioritization of deterring infringement:
It is our goal that a system be in place that is both balanced and functional; but, most importantly, it must endeavour to deter infringement.
Moreover, the documents obtained under ATIP suggest that the fees for notices was originally slated for consultation. Its exclusion, along with the move from balance to infringement, represent wins for the content industry, which have been opposing efforts to impose fees for notices and have told government that they have doubts about its effectiveness.
I will give a talk at Huntington University's Centre for Communication Studies on Monday October 28 2013 titled Canadian Copyright: Imperialism to Internationalism.
Canadian Copyright: Imperialism to Internationalism
Monday Oct 28 2013 at noonMost histories of international copyright focus on the "great powers", such as Britain, France, and Germany. Canada’s experience with the international copyright was very different from those countries' experiences. Bannerman reveals the history of international copyright from the perspective of a smaller country and a net copyright importer. Canada struggled and failed to gain independence from Britain over its copyright legislation in the early twentieth century, and the question remains: Can there be a Canadian copyright?
Correction: The talk is scheduled to take place October 28, not November 28.
With the cost of cybercrime in Canada on the rise - a new report released last week by Symantec, a security software vendor, pegged the cost at $3.1 billion annually - my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) reports that the Canadian government is quietly working behind-the-scenes to create a new Internet service provider code of conduct. If approved, the code would be technically be voluntary for Canadian ISPs, but the active involvement of government officials suggests that most large providers would feel pressured to participate.
The move toward an ISP code of conduct would likely form part of a two-pronged strategy to combat malicious software that can lead to cybercrime, identity theft, and other harms. First, the long-delayed anti-spam legislation features new disclosure requirements for the installation of software along with tough penalties for non-compliance. Recent comments from Industry Minister James Moore suggest that the government is ready to bring that law into effect. Second, the code of conduct would require participants to provide consumers with assistance should their computers become infected.
The proposed code, which is modeled on a similar Australian initiative dubbed the iCode, has been placed on a policy fast-track, with officials hoping to create a final version by the end of the year. The Australian version features a standardized notification system that requires ISPs to alert customers that their computer or electronic device may be compromised by malicious software (often referred to as botnets). The notification may include sending the customer to an information webpage advising them of the threat and the steps needed to address the problem. Repeated notifications may result in the customer having their Internet access suspended.
The Australian iCode also involves the creation of a comprehensive resource for ISPs on new cybersecurity threats and a reporting mechanism from ISPs to a centralized agency that gathers threat information. The approach has garnered support from other countries. South Africa adopted the iCode last year, while both Japan and Germany have implemented similar programs.
Yet not everyone is convinced that the iCode system actually works. When the U.S. began considering the Australian system in 2011, experts questioned its effectiveness. For example, the SANS Institute looked at the Australian results and concluded that the reduction in botnets was "insignificant." Moreover, Symantec highlighted the danger of fraudulent notifications, arguing that they could "aggravate the problem rather than alleviate it."
Notwithstanding the concerns, the Canadian government appears convinced that an ISP code of conduct is long overdue. According to government documents, Industry Canada quietly gathered the major Canadian ISPs in late July to present the concept of an industry code and the experience in other countries. The presentation noted that unlike current Canadian initiatives that do not include direct consumer support, the proposed code would require consumer assistance in addition to the creation of education programs, information sharing, and reporting requirements.
Last month, stakeholders were brought back for a follow-up meeting where government officials presented an ambitious timeline that envisions final approval on the code within the next three months.
One way to speed up the process appears to be the exclusion of any public participation. The government timeline offers several opportunities for ISPs and other stakeholders it has identified to comment on the draft code, but does not feature any public consultations or opportunities for feedback.
Despite the active government involvement, officials have worked hard to emphasize that the code would be voluntary, claiming that the approach will demonstrate industry consensus and that "the regime is not being imposed on the sector by the government." However, with the public excluded from the process and industry fears that the code could gradually expand into other issues, the rushed effort for a Canadian ISP code of conduct may need to slow down and give way to a more open, inclusive and transparent initiative.
The University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law will be hosting a panel featuring University of Ottawa faculty on Canadian privacy and surveillance on October 16th from 11:30 - 1:00 titled Who Is Watching the Watchers? I'll be participating on the panel along with Craig Forcese, Ian Kerr, Valerie Steeves, and Wesley Wark. Admission is free. Details here.
Public Safety Foreshadowed Rejection of MTS Allstream-Accelero With 2011 Foreign Investment Concerns
On the same day that revelations about CSEC spying on the Brazilian government for economic purposes generated headlines around the world, the Canadian government rejected the proposed acquisition of MTS Allstream's Allstream division by Accelero Capital Holdings, a company co-founded by Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian billionaire who first captured Canadian telecom attention by backing the entry of Wind Mobile. Industry Minister James Moore indicated that the rejection of the proposed deal involved the national security provisions of the Investment Canada Act. Both companies expressed disappointment with the decision, as MTS Allstream noted its surprise and disappointment and Accelero described it as an "unfounded and unexpected decision."
While the decision sends a disturbing signal about the government's willingness to block foreign investment just months after indicating that it was open to such investment, it is worth noting that the change in telecom foreign investment policy was publicly opposed by the Public Safety Canada. In 2011, Public Safety responded to Industry Canada questions about changes to the foreign investment restrictions with the following:
It is important to fully appreciate the scope of the potential impact of reducing or removing restrictions on foreign investment in Canada's telecommunications sector. The lessening of current restrictions could create new, and increase existing vulnerabilities in our telecommunications networks, further exposing them and the users and services that rely on them, to an increased threat of cyber espionage and denial of service attacks. It could also impede law enforcement and national security investigations by further challenging the ability of authorities to execute judicially authorized warrants to intercept telecommunications. As options are considered to maximize Canada's competitiveness in the telecommunications sector, Public Safety officials will work with Industry Canada to further develop options to help ensure that any change to the telecommunications market will be accompanied by necessary security safeguards.
When the Public Safety submission first came to light last year, the potential application of the national security provisions in the Investment Canada Act was discussed. In light of the MTS Allstream decision, it would seem that Public Safety may have lost the battle to retain foreign investment restrictions, but has won the war to keep out many potential competitors.
In ABC_v_Aereo, Magistrate Pitman has overruled Aereo's attorney/client privilege objections to testifying about their patent applications at deposition.
October 7, 2013, decision of Magistrate Judge Pitman, order further depositions of CEO & CTO re patent applications
[Ed. note] It seems a little scary to me to give copyright plaintiffs yet another 'in terrorem' power and motivation to sue -- the opportunity to use the lawsuit as a means for delving into the non-public details of a defendant's patented technology. ~ R.B. Ray Beckerman, P.C.
Other key sites
Digital Copyright Canada BLOG