The Latest Tactics of those Opposed to “Piracy Site Blocking” in Canada: Try to Discredit the Process and the Proponents

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In the famous 1942 film Casablanca, Police Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) declares himself to be “shocked, shocked”, that gambling is going on in Rick’s (Humphrey Bogart’s) Bar, as Rains quietly palms his winnings while closing the bar. This line has become synonymous with feigned outrage and is a good description of Michael’s Geist’s “exposés” of the FairPlay Canada Coalition campaign to convince the CRTC (Canada’s broadcasting and telecommunications regulator, aka the Commission) to adopt a process of requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block offshore websites that are “blatantly, overwhelmingly or structurally engaged” in content piracy. Using the Access to Information process, Geist has “revealed” that Bell Media, one of the leading elements in the Coalition, actively sought out support from various stakeholders, including George Brown College and Brock University. Continue reading “The Latest Tactics of those Opposed to “Piracy Site Blocking” in Canada: Try to Discredit the Process and the Proponents”

So You Admire Your Neighbour’s House? Best Not to Copy the Design

Steve Russell/Toronto Star

If you have always admired or even envied your neighbour’s house—those special features like the gabling, the placement and colour of the windows and window frames, the design of the chimney, and so on–and are tempted to hire an architect to copy it, perhaps you should think again. That’s the lesson that has emerged from what we could call the “Strathearn design case” in Toronto. (named after the street on which the home with the copyrighted design was located). Continue reading “So You Admire Your Neighbour’s House? Best Not to Copy the Design”

Copyright Developments Down Under: There’s a Lot Going On

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The wheels of copyright change are grinding away in Australia, both through legislative review and court actions. I hesitate to call the process “copyright reform” because one person’s reform is another’s regressive step. The government has chosen the term “copyright modernisation” and a public consultation has been launched with a final submission date of July 4. The review is designed, in part, to gauge public support for copyright proposals included in a report on intellectual property issued by the Productivity Commission back in 2015 and 2016. Continue reading “Copyright Developments Down Under: There’s a Lot Going On”

Google “Thumbs its Nose” at New Zealand’s Courts: Kiwis Should Look to Canada for a Precedent

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Google is at it again. According to press reports in the New Zealand Herald, Google refused to comply with a New Zealand court order to suppress details and remove content related to a local murder trial because, according to a representative of Google NZ, “Google LLC, was a separate legal entity incorporated in the US, meaning New Zealand’s courts and laws held no power over it.” Tell that to the Supreme Court of Canada. Continue reading “Google “Thumbs its Nose” at New Zealand’s Courts: Kiwis Should Look to Canada for a Precedent”