Fake News Comes to Canada: Misleading Headlines and Distortion of the Facts Regarding the Fight Against Copyright Infringement

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The term “fake news” was rarely heard a couple of years ago, before Donald Trump’s rise to power, but it has unfortunately become ubiquitous. Whether it is the President accusing the media of “fake news” because it has reported something that he doesn’t like, or the creation of fake news by Trump himself by making statements and observations that are loosely or not at all tethered to the facts, fake news has come to dominate the headlines. One way to propagate fake news is to create a misleading but attention-grabbing headline and selectively assemble (or ignore) “facts” to support it. Regrettably some Canadians appear to be adopting the same tactics. I was reminded of this when I read Michael Geist’s bizarre recent blog which he titled “Movie Industry Denies Lawsuit Strategy Despite Proliferation of Lawsuits and Settlement Demands Against Thousands of Canadians”. While somewhat amusing for its leaps of logic, the title and the blog itself are a perfect example of the fake news phenomenon. Continue reading “Fake News Comes to Canada: Misleading Headlines and Distortion of the Facts Regarding the Fight Against Copyright Infringement”

India Joins WIPO Internet Treaties: A Major Step Forward

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On July 4, the Indian government announced that India will accede to the two WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Internet treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), 1996 and the WIPO Performance and Phonographs Treaty (WPPT), 1996. The Press Information Bureau statement indicated that accession to the Treaties will allow India to enable creative rights holders to secure a return on investment on the production and distribution of creative works, to create a level playing field for Indian rights holders and to “contribute to the development of a vibrant creative economy and cultural landscape.” Continue reading “India Joins WIPO Internet Treaties: A Major Step Forward”

Inside Dale Chihuly’s Studio “The Boathouse”

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Last October I wrote a blog posting about glass artist Dale Chihuly’s travails with a lawsuit brought against him by a former associate (or employee, his status is not clear), Michael Moi, who claims that he co-authored many of Chihuly’s works over the past 15 years. Moi is suing Chihuly for copyright infringement, and (naturally) substantial damages. As far as I am aware the case has yet to be heard, although there were legal wranglings in the fall that led to the disqualification of Moi’s lawyers. Continue reading “Inside Dale Chihuly’s Studio “The Boathouse””

Piracy, Technology and Economic Development: The Indonesian Case

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It’s a perverse paradox that technological advances and economic development–something that all developing countries strive for in order to raise productivity and the welfare of their citizens–‎come with a heavy price tag. In some cases, it is economic despoliation; in others it is growing corruption and highly unequal distribution of wealth; in still others it is the exploitation of technology by bad actors for undesirable ends. We are all aware of the blessings of technology, from medicine to manufacturing to communications–and have been told that nothing should be allowed to slow down this progress. In the area of communications, the Internet has become the bearer of many good things–and some not so good things—such as invasion of personal privacy and content-theft (piracy). Continue reading “Piracy, Technology and Economic Development: The Indonesian Case”