chris_brand's blog

Canada's latest Free Trade agreement

With the trend in recent years for free trade agreements to include all sorts of terms requiring countries to give ever greater monopoly rights to copyright and patent holders, I was more than a little worried when the Minister of International Trade announced a new free trade agreement with part of Europe.

Fortunately, this press release states that :

Cory Doctorow gets to the root of the copyright problem

This is well worth watching


House of Commons copyright and YouTube

Apparently, the speaker of the House holds copyright on CPAC coverage of the House of Commons.

So when somebody uses that footage to create a parody (i.e. political commentary), the House can ask for it to be taken down as an infringement of copyright.

According to The Tea Makers, this has happened recently.

Standards Council of Canada to consider Office Open XML

A press release announces the consultation. Comments are due by 5th July.

This is, of course, Microsoft's "open standard" that is allegedly designed to devalue the OpenDocument format.

The Wikipedia article on OOXML has links to lots of related documents.

Response to comment about Question Time

In response to Maka Kotto's question in parliament, in which he asked about the WIPO treaties that he said we ratified in 1996, I sent him an email and got a response from his office.

BTW, if anyone can translate the response, please do so. I get the gist of it, but my French is pretty awful.

My email :

Drop DRM to reduce customer complaints and increase sales

An article on ARS Technica reports that Deutsche Telekom's Musicload service claims that 75% of customer support calls end up being due to problems with DRM.

They also say that

Championing the "Comeback of MP3," Musicload said that artists choosing to drop DRM saw a 40 percent increase in sales since December, and that more artists and labels are showing interest.

Author thinks 5 years is long enough for movie copyrights

Jonathan Lethem has an interesting policy for the movie rights for his novel - any movie has to go into the public domain after 5 years.

I like this quote :

After a reasonable interval of exclusive use – a phase where the only way to access this story is as an audience member of the book or film – anyone else can use it to make new artworks, without any fear of being accused of violating anyone else’s copyright.

Universal tries not to sell DRM-free downloads

This article tells us that Universal is quietly trialling DRM-free digital sales.

Sounds like an experiment designed to fail :
"The sale [...] is not advertised on Simon's Web site and is not available elsewhere, with other French online retailers selling the album with DRM.

Hands up all those who expect them to report that "we tried selling DRM-free downloads, and people showed us that they wanted the DRMed version instead."

How does Canada compare to other countries ?

http://pcpitstop.com/research/regionaldigcopy.asp is an attempt by PC Pitstop to assess the validity of the recent claims by US industry that Canada is a "haven for piracy". Their conclusion ?

Our results do little to support the premise that Canada is a safe haven for digital media piracy.

Shadow Cabinet announced

Full details are at http://www.liberal.ca/pdf/docs/070118_liberal_caucus_en.pdf.

The main ones of interest to us :
Tina Keeper gets Heritage.
Scott Brison gets Industry.

Also possibly of interest :
Belinda Stronach gets "Competitiveness and the New Economy".
Ujjal Dosinjh gets Foreign Affairs.
Navdeep Bains gets International Trade.
Raymond Simard gets Treasury Board.

I'm sure they are all keen to hear how we feel about copyright reform...

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