Bill C-32

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.

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.

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.

MP vows to quickly revive Copyright Bill in next Parliament

A Hill Times article discusses copyright, including some interesting quotes from Mr. Dean Del Mastro.

"If we want to maintain good trade relationships with the United States, if we want to be able to get a free trade agreement in place with the European Union, if we want to see the kind of growth in the knowledge-based economy that we believe is so important to Canada, then we have got to update the Copyright Act," Mr. Del Mastro said.

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".

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.".

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.

'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.

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.

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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