The Internet

Task Force on Spam presents final report to Minister of Industry

Date: 2005-05-17

OTTAWA, May 17, 2005 -- The Government of Canada's Task Force on Spam today presented its final report entitled, Stopping Spam: Creating a Stronger, Safer Internet, to the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry.

The report calls for new, targeted legislation, as well as more rigorous enforcement, which would strengthen the legal and regulatory weapons that Canada could use in the global battle against spam. It also supports the creation of a focal point within government for coordinating the actions taken to address the spam issue and other related problems like spyware.

Spam Task Force Report - CIPPIC News Release

NEWS RELEASE: May 17, 2005, Ottawa, ON


The federal government's Spam Task Force today issued its report and recommendations on what Canada should be doing to stem the tide of unsolicited e-mail, known as "spam".

The Task Force made recommendations for new anti-spam legislation with meaningful penalties, new powers for consumers to sue spammers, more resources to government agencies tasked with fighting spam, industry self-regulation, and greater international cooperation to track down and stop those responsible for the floods of unwanted messages clogging Canadians' e-mail inboxes.

Geist: The Wrong Analogy - More on the CRTC VoIP Decision

Michael Geist's regular Law Bytes column (freely available linked version, Toronto Star version) focuses on the CRTC's VoIP decision.

Piracy is Good? How Battlestar Galactica Killed Broadcast TV

This MindJack article by Mark Pesce includes:

While you might assume the SciFi Channel saw a significant drop-off in viewership as a result of this piracy, it appears to have had the reverse effect: the series is so good that the few tens of thousands of people who watched downloaded versions told their friends to tune in on January 14th, and see for themselves. From its premiere, Battlestar Galactica has been the most popular program ever to air on the SciFi Channel, and its audiences have only grown throughout the first series. Piracy made it possible for "word-of-mouth" to spread about Battlestar Galactica.

This Week Changed the World of High Tech Forever, Though Most of Us Still Don't Know It

The amount of technology, cultural and competition/innovation policy implications of Robert X. Cringely article this week would take many articles to discuss. He talks about a inflection point in technology, but the real test will come when this technology bumps up against antiquated laws intended to regulate old-media such as broadcast and publishing in the next level of new-media that this article discusses.

I suspect some of those antiquated book-publishing area lobbiests like Access Copyright will try to levy Google's Web Page Accelerator (WPA). Unlike some of the current generation Internet creators who's rights are under constant attack by Access Copyright, and the educational institutions who's thinking is also stuck in the past, Google has the technical, legal and financial resources to stand up to Access Copyright.

Music stealing all around

This letter to the editor by Roger Dannenberg, a professor of Computer Science and Music at Carnegie Mellon University, includes:

Cary Sherman's opinion piece on Sunday, "Mellifluous Discord: Universities' High-Speed Internet2 Used by Students to Pilfer Music," was as one-sided and illogical as the whole Recording Industry Association of America he represents, as president.

Doc Searls talks about Getting Flat

In this second part of his look at Tom Friedman's new book on open source and technology, Doc Searls "examine[s] the human origins of the open-source materials we're using to build this new world" and "distinguish[es] them from corporate origins".

It is a must-read for those who want to learn about the ecosystem behind peer production, and how it is different from old-economy Industrial-era manufacturing.

Face to Face With the Great Firewall of China

Michael Geist writes:

My regular Law Bytes column (, free hyperlinked version; Toronto Star version) reflects on a recent trip to China and the frustrations I encountered dealing with censorship of the Internet. Despite similar appearances with broadband access in my Beijing hotel, I found sites blocked, email downloads short-circuited, and Google searches cut off.

The column notes that the experience was a powerful reminder that unfettered Internet access is far more fragile than is commonly perceived.

Michael Geist's Response to the Net's Sour Note

Michael Geist's BLOG includes:

The Globe and Mail ran an editorial yesterday in which it expressed strong support for CRIA's file sharing lawsuit appeal.

This morning the paper published my letter to the editor. The letter states:

Your editorial on music downloading opens by noting that copyright holders should receive a satisfactory royalty for music downloading. Unfortunately, you fail to acknowledge that Canada has in fact established just such a royalty. The private copying levy, which consumers pay each time they purchase a blank CD, has raised more than $120 million over the past five years, the majority of which is scheduled to be distributed to Canadian music artists. Both the Copyright Board of Canada and the Federal Court of Canada have concluded that payment of the levy covers personal, non-commercial copying such as Internet music downloading.

Digital world forces copyright rethink

This article by Robert Jaques, at Les Blogs conference in Paris, includes:

Ito, who is also on the board of Creative Commons and Icann, said: "It is very important to understand that the notion of intellectual property was created to protect traditional content. The idea now is that creativity can happen outside of corporations."

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