Australia’s Revolving Door for Prime Ministers, and Copyright Modernisation: How are they Connected?


It used to be that no one could remember the name of the Italian prime minister (PM) because this position changed so often as a result of the fragmented nature of party politics in Rome and the constantly shifting coalitions needed to form a government. No sooner did you hear the name of the PM and he was gone (yes, it was always a he; there has never been a female prime minister of Italy). Now it seems that Australia has usurped the dubious honour of having the fastest revolving door for prime ministers. Continue reading “Australia’s Revolving Door for Prime Ministers, and Copyright Modernisation: How are they Connected?”

FairPlay Canada, the CRTC and OpenMedia: Who Got the “Big Win” on Pirate Site-Blocking?


The CRTC’s decision on October 2 to deny FairPlay Canada’s application to implement a proposed website-blocking regime to address copyright piracy has not ended the issue although it has brought this phase of the process to a conclusion. The CRTC determined that it did not have jurisdiction under the Telecommunications Act to implement the proposal. This being the case, it denied the application without considering its merits. However, in its ruling the CRTC stated; Continue reading “FairPlay Canada, the CRTC and OpenMedia: Who Got the “Big Win” on Pirate Site-Blocking?”

The new NAFTA (USMCA): What it means for Copyright Industries in Canada


The first stage of the long saga of NAFTA renewal is over. Agreement in principle was achieved at the 11th hour on September 30 when Canada joined the previously agreed US-Mexico Agreement, just prior to the US Administration’s deadline imposed because it needed to notify Congress of the text of the Agreement by October 1. It has been relabelled as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) since, in the US at least, NAFTA is a dirty word despite the fact that much of the agreement preserves what was in the original NAFTA Accord. Continue reading “The new NAFTA (USMCA): What it means for Copyright Industries in Canada”

The Ius Imaginum of Ancient Rome: Was it the first Copyright Law?

photo by author

As any student of copyright knows, we can trace copyright law back to the Statute of Anne in 1709, (entered into force on April 10, 1710 as the Copyright Act of 1710), when the British Parliament passed the first legislation to protect the rights of British book publishers. The initial period of protection was 14 years. According to “commonly accepted wisdom” (i.e. Wikipedia), this was the first statute to provide for copyright regulated by the government and the courts, rather than by private parties. From there, copyright law evolved into the national and international regime that we know today, including its inclusion in the US constitution as Article 1.Section 8. Clause 8., giving to Congress the authority “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Is the Statute of Anne the first legislation to protect copyright as the expression and reproduction of ideas and images? I always thought so. After all, that was what Wikipedia said so it must be true! Continue reading “The Ius Imaginum of Ancient Rome: Was it the first Copyright Law?”

Opening the Book on Open Media


In last week’s blog I talked about the role of Open Media in trying to undermine the democratic process and manipulate political opinion by orchestrating widespread anti-copyright astroturfing campaigns in Canada and elsewhere. It’s not just the damage to democracy from the hijacking of the normal political process that gets under my skin, it is the barefaced hypocrisy of a group that claims to be a champion of freedom of expression.  Continue reading “Opening the Book on Open Media”

Did Google Astroturf Group Fail to Report Copyright Lobbying to Canadian Authorities?

I recommend this blog from David Lowery’s The Trichordist to readers of my blog.

The Trichordist

A few weeks ago this blog on the website of Michael Geist caught my eye.  Michael Geist is anti-copyright activist/professor at University of Ottowa and I generally try to keep up with his writings.  In this blog he claimed that lobbyist data showed groups representing artists and other copyright holders represented the vast majority of registered copyright lobbying meetings with Canadian officials.  Registered is the key word here. Bookmark that and we’ll come back to it in a minute.

While Geist might be technically right I don’t really get the point of the blog. What is so outrageous? It should be no surprise that artists and rights holders in Canada are actively lobbying their government on copyright. The 2012 Copyright Modernization Act, Notice and Notice, and lax enforcement of online piracy have been a disaster for Canada’s creators. So-called “copyright reforms” have further decreased revenues for many artists with academic authors particularly

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