Latest Posts

Large copyright sign made of colorful jigsaw puzzle pieces by Horia Varlan https://flic.kr/p/8nDt9B (CC BY 2.0)

Fixing Fair Dealing for the Digital Age: What Lies Behind the Copyright Review’s Most Important Recommendation

The long-awaited Canadian copyright review report features numerous good recommendations, many of which were rejections of industry lobbying: a rejection of new restrictions on fair dealing for education, rejection of Bell’s FairPlay site blocking initiative, and rejection of limits on safe harbours in response to the so-called “value gap.” Yet the most notable recommendation is the committee’s support for fair dealing for the digital age by expanding its scope and ensuring that it applies equally in the analog and digital worlds.

I wrote about the need to fix fair dealing for the digital age in May 2018:

Read more ›

June 5, 2019 0 comments News
Assignments of copyrights photostat copies by mollyali (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/5JbsPE

The Authoritative Canadian Copyright Review: Industry Committee Issues Balanced, Forward-Looking Report on the Future of Canadian Copyright Law

In December 2017, the government launched its copyright review with a Parliamentary motion to send the review to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. After months of study and hundreds of witnesses and briefs, the committee released the authoritative review with 36 recommendations that include expanding fair dealing, a rejection of a site blocking system, and a rejection of proposals to exclude education from fair dealing where a licence is otherwise available. The report represents a near-total repudiation of the one-sided Canadian Heritage report that was tasked with studying remuneration models to assist the actual copyright review. While virtually all stakeholders will find aspects they agree or disagree with, that is the hallmark of a more balanced approach to copyright reform.

Read more ›

June 3, 2019 14 comments News
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, ETHI Committee, http://www.parl.gc.ca

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 14: Big Data, Privacy and Democracy – A Conversation With Nathaniel Erskine-Smith on the International Grand Committee

The debate over big data, privacy and its implications for democracy came to Ottawa last week as the International Grand Committee brought together the world’s biggest technology companies, politicians from around the world, and leading thinkers. Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, the Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics joins the podcast this week to reflect on the three days of hearings, the prospect for global reforms, and what comes next for the committee.

Read more ›

June 3, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
Cogeco Warns Against Online Video Services Undermining Canadian Sovereignty in BTLR Submission

Cogeco Warns Against Online Video Services Undermining Canadian Sovereignty in BTLR Submission

Cogeco, the fourth largest cable operator in Canada (and number two in Ontario and Quebec), warns the broadcast and telecommunications legislative panel about the dangers of unregulated video services such as Netflix to national sovereignty in its previously secret submission. Obtained under the Access to Information Act (much like the previously discussed Bell and Shaw submissions), the Cogeco submission opposes new digital consumer protections and net neutrality rules but strongly supports increased regulation for online video services.

Read more ›

May 31, 2019 3 comments News
美墨加签署新版自贸协定 汽车关税措施即刻生效 by 禁书 网 https://flic.kr/p/2dgik2V (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Canada Introduces USMCA Implementation Bill…Without a General Copyright Term Extension Provision

The Canadian government tabled Bill C-100 yesterday, the bill to implement the Canada-US-Mexico Trade Agreement. I will have future post on the key provisions, which include new criminal provisions on trade secrets and tampering with rights management information. The bill also features several provisions related to copyright term but notably does not touch the current general copyright term of life of the author plus an additional 50 years. There are several new terms included in the bill with extensions for anonymous works, performances in sound recordings, sound recordings, and cinematographic works. The bill expressly states that none of the extensions are retroactive which means that the works that are currently in the public domain will remain there even after the new terms are established.

Read more ›

May 30, 2019 5 comments News