An interesting “gap analysis” argument has been taking place in Canada, played out in op-eds in insider news outlets such as Ottawa’s Hill Times (sorry, subscription only) and in broader discussion forums. The debate, if I can call it that, was initiated by Michael Geist, a prolific commentator on copyright and technology issues, who is based at the University of Ottawa. According to Dr. Geist, there is a “fair dealing gap” in Canada as a result of copyright reforms in 2012 that allowed Canada to implement the WIPO Internet treaties that it had signed a number of years previously. This alleged “fair dealing gap”, according to Geist, is a result of the Technological Protection Measures (TPM) provisions that were established as part of the legislation. These provisions prevent illegal circumvention of the digital protections rights-holders place on their content in order to control and prevent unauthorized access to that content. Continue reading ““Minding the Gap” in Canada: But Which Gap?”
Month: February 2017
The GIPC Index: Measuring Global IP Standards
Mark Twain is reported to have said there are, “lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Just about anything can be measured but, as the economists say, it all depends on the assumptions (the design of the study) and, of course, the data. The better and more objective the design, the better will be the results. The same goes for the data. A just-released study by the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) of the US Chamber of Commerce meets the criteria of both good design and strong data points. Continue reading “The GIPC Index: Measuring Global IP Standards”
Here Come the Vikings: Piracy in the Nordic World
What is it about Scandinavia and piracy? In Iceland the Pirate Party was touted to win the recent general election and form a government, going from just three members in the Icelandic Parliament, or Althing, to being the largest party among the more than dozen parties represented in the Parliament. In the end the Pirates made strong gains, more than tripling their seat representation, to 10 members in the 63 seat Parliament, although a conservative party won the most seats. It took many months to form a governing coalition and for a time it looked as if the Pirate Party would be asked to lead the formation of a government, but in the end they “sailed away”. After weeks of negotiations a government has just been formed, but without Pirate representation. Continue reading “Here Come the Vikings: Piracy in the Nordic World”
Where does Copyright Governance fit within Government?
The recent controversy over the effective dismissal/forced resignation of Maria Pallante, the former Register of Copyrights of the US Copyright Office (USCO) by the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, and the debate as to whether it was logical for the custodian of copyright (and the advisor to Congress on copyright issues) to be located within the Library of Congress, raises the issue of how and where copyright registration is managed in other countries. The US model has long historical antecedents of course, but as far as I know is not replicated elsewhere. That does not mean the US model does not work, or that the Copyright Office should be placed elsewhere within government, but it may be informative to look at what other countries have done. Continue reading “Where does Copyright Governance fit within Government?”