Canada, Special 301 and NAFTA

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This is the time of year when the US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) goes through its annual “Special 301” exercise to prepare a report for the US Congress evaluating the state of intellectual property (IP) protection in countries around the world with a view to identifying those states with shortcomings that negatively affect US industries that rely on IP rights. As I noted in my blog at about the same time last year, the Special 301 law was enacted by the US Congress in 1988 with a view to providing for;

“the development of an overall strategy to ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights and fair and equitable market access for United States persons that rely on protection of intellectual property rights.” Continue reading “Canada, Special 301 and NAFTA”

Copyright in Canada: When Ten Percent is Too Much

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While the assault on writers and publishers by the university community in Canada continues, based on the dubious proposition that the educational exception for fair dealing means that institutions of higher learning no longer need to obtain licences to reproduce material in course packs and other classroom material, there is some hope for redress through the courts. On February 9 the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned a ruling from a year earlier by the Quebec Superior Court thus allowing the Société québécoise de gestion collective des droits de reproduction (Copibec for short) to bring a class action suit against Université Laval on behalf of all authors and publishers from Quebec, the rest of Canada and other countries.” The lawsuit in Quebec parallels the one in English Canada where the copyright collective, Access Copyright, is suing York University (and indirectly most other post-secondary institutions in the rest of Canada) for similar infringements. Continue reading “Copyright in Canada: When Ten Percent is Too Much”

Who Does OpenMedia Really Speak For?

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The other day an alarming message crossed my screen. “Stop the Censorship Machine”, it screamed to me in bold type. Whoa. This looks serious. I had better read on. Continue reading “Who Does OpenMedia Really Speak For?”

Is the TPP really “dead”? Maybe not if you believe in “Twelve minus One”

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Late last year, after Mr. Trump’s election but before his inauguration, I wrote a blog on the “Demise of the TPP and its Impact on Copyright”. The President-elect had declared the TPP to be “a potential disaster for our country” and “the death blow for American manufacturing”. He stated that he would notify the TPP partners of the intent of the United States to withdraw from the Agreement as soon as he became President. And he was true to his word, signing an Executive Order to that effect on January 23. Continue reading “Is the TPP really “dead”? Maybe not if you believe in “Twelve minus One””