Policy

Parliamentary week in review: Nov 13-16

I have done a few weekly reviews of parliament, the previous one being to November 2. Sorry for not keeping up with these as I had intended. Parliament is currently debating a concurrence to committee report from Heritage committee (Broadcasting policy or the telecommunications policy for Canada), which reminded me that I should be posting these summaries. Some very interesting speeches by opposition members, with the Conservative government claiming a discussion of media obstructs/delays their crime bill.

RCMP do not consider file sharing a priority

A recent article from Le Devoir suggests that the RCMP is not concerning itself with prosecuting people who share files online. A quote form the force suggests that they are much more concerned with those counterfeit goods (fake drugs, for example) that have a real impact on Canadians.

The real question now is whether the copyright industry and music lobbyists will use this as another verse in their ongoing refrain for legislation that "gives them the tools to prosecute".

Federal Ministers, students, educators and experts gather to discuss impact of technology on society

A Univesity of Ottawa Press release discusses The Dialogue on Technology, Society and the Future event tomorrow (March 20, 2007) at 6 p.m.

The University of Ottawa is proud to host the first-ever Dialogue on Technology, Society and the Future in partnership with Telus. Led by honourary co-chairs, Industry Minister Maxime Bernier and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women Bev Oda, the dialogue will help to unlock students' imaginations, expand their horizons, and encourage them to pose compelling questions about technology and its impact on everyday life.

Charlie Angus at the University of Ottawa

I was privileged to be invited by the University of Ottawa Technology Law program to the most recent Torys Speaker Series talk by Member of Parliament Charlie Angus. Mr. Angus is an independent musician and the Heritage critic for the NDP.

As anticipated, the talk was inspiring, and I only managed to write a few things down for notes. I noticed that a recording was made by the TechLaw folks, and this might be added to one of their Audio Blogs in the future.

Canadian Tech Law Research Hurt By Budget Cuts

Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column examines the recent Canadian government decision to cut funding for the Law Commission of Canada. He notes that the LCC has made an important contribution to technology law research and that the cancellation will have negative repurcussions for research in all legal areas in Canada.
Toronto Star version, Homepage version

Globe and Mail on Kazaa vs. RIAA

Today's Globe and Mail editorial offered up its own comments on the Kazaa vs. RIAA settlement last week, and offered the following conclusion

"Whatever the mix of benefit and injury, if copyright is to mean anything, it should be enforceable on the copyright holder's terms. It's good to see another Wild West renegade acknowledge that."

Unfortunatly that argument wins frequently with more than just copyright. It results in daycares being sued for painting pictures of Mickey Mouse, or companies with domain names like volvo-tuning.com which specialize in Volvos losing their domain because Volvo asserts its trademark "rights". Books, films and music get routinely suppressed, all in the name of Intellectual Property.

Ottawa Citizen article on the Government 2.0 Think Tank: Passion for progress

An Ottawa Citizen article by Peter Hum discusses the Government 2.0 Think Tank.

Cormier has attracted other public servants who share his desires and are willing to spend their own time furthering their common cause. As well, private-sector participants, especially those who embrace the open-source spirit of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, are signing up for G2TT. Some were already members of GOSLING (Getting Open Source Logic Into Governments), an Ottawa group that wants to change the way Canadian governments buy and develop software.

Apple to Zundel, the year in tech law

Michael Geist's Lawbytes (Toronto Star, Freely available version, p2pnet, vivelecanada) included:

As 2005 comes to a close, my annual A to Z review of the year in Canadian law and technology reveals a remarkably busy 12 months. From legislative proposals involving copyright, network surveillance, and Internet pharmacies to case law focused on popular consumer products such as the Apple iPod and the Lego brand of toy blocks, there were few dull moments this past year.

Government should introduce and pass a "meaningful public consultation" law

While not related to our petition, a list of accountability changes proposed by Democracy Watch includes:

# introduce and pass a "meaningful public consultation" law to ensure Canadians have a strong and direct say in policy-making;

Toronto Star: Banner year for digital decisions

Professor Geist's weekly Toronto Star Law Bytes column contains an annual A to Z review of the top stories in Canadian Internet, privacy, and technology law. The column highlights several leading cases and policy initiatives including copyright and privacy decisions as well as other noteworthy developments involving domain names, VoIP, spam, and patents.

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