Knitting, Crocheting and Copyright: Unravelling the Truth



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Recently a Manitoba based writer, Joanne Seiff, posted an op-ed on CBC (Time to Assess the True Cost of Digital Piracy) commenting on how digital piracy is undermining the delicate economic equation that allows both aspiring and established writers to continue to create new content for the benefit of the consuming public. Joanne has published two books, Fiber Gathering and Knit Green, available on Amazon, on the subject of knitting and textiles. Continue reading “Knitting, Crocheting and Copyright: Unravelling the Truth”

The TPP and Intellectual Property: Tilting at the Wrong Windmill

Don-Quixote-Windmill-e1424097291880( Balsillie, former co-CEO and founder of RIM, now Blackberry, has saddled up, mounted his horse and pointed his lance squarely at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Charge! One of his recent opinion pieces, in Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, is headlined, “For Canadian innovators, will TPP mean protection – or colonialism?” Not content with this coverage, he has taken his message beyond the print media to national radio, reiterating earlier criticisms in which he said that that Canada’s decision to sign the TPP would be the “worst thing in policy that Canada’s ever done” because of provisions hidden in the Intellectual Property (IP) chapter. Balsillie’s criticism was quickly picked up by arch-TPP critic Michael Geist who has made a cottage industry of criticizing the TPP. His creativity knows no bounds; so far he is on his 49th blog as to why the TPP is a bad idea from an intellectual property, privacy, cultural, internet, etc., etc. perspective. When will he make it a nice round 50? One could be forgiven for believing that Prof. Geist subscribes to the “every sparrow that falls” syndrome, used to describe critics of the original Canada-US Free Trade Agreement back in the 1980s. Continue reading “The TPP and Intellectual Property: Tilting at the Wrong Windmill”

A Whale of a (Copyright) Tale: An Update

whaleA few weeks ago I posted a blog about a lawsuit filed by the Vancouver Aquarium against film-maker Gary Charbonneau for copyright infringement. Charbonneau had made a film critical of the Aquarium’s cetacean (whale, porpoise and dolphin) rehabilitation program, in which he had used, without permission, copyrighted material from the Aquarium’s website in his film. The Aquarium sued for damages and sought an injunction compelling Charbonneau to remove the film from his website, and restraining its publication elsewhere, such as on Youtube.  Continue reading “A Whale of a (Copyright) Tale: An Update”

The Costs and Benefits of Copyright: Getting the Facts Straight


Last week I wrote about ‎the exaggerated and wildly inaccurate claims made by opponents of copyright term extension in Canada regarding the supposed economic losses to the Canadian economy of extending the term of protection from 50 to 70 years. Continue reading “The Costs and Benefits of Copyright: Getting the Facts Straight”

The TPP and Copyright Term Extension: What is the true cost to Canada?


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The Trans-Pacific Partnership seeks to provide greater uniformity and harmonization of regulations among its members as a means of reducing regulatory barriers and facilitating trade. Continue reading “The TPP and Copyright Term Extension: What is the true cost to Canada?”

Copyright Reform: Don’t Play Fast and Loose with Copyright Exceptions

On March 4 another attempt in Hong Kong’s never-ending saga to amend its Copyright Ordinance to bring it into the 21st Century failed with the government announcing that it was withdrawing the Bill after weeks of discussion, debate and protests. Continue reading “Copyright Reform: Don’t Play Fast and Loose with Copyright Exceptions”

Hijacking the Special 301 Process: We will all suffer the consequences

It’s Special 301 season again. This is the time of the year when the US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) conducts its annual Special 301 reviews on the policies and practices of foreign governments regarding whether they deny adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights, and whether there is denial of fair and equitable market access for US products that rely upon IP rights. Continue reading “Hijacking the Special 301 Process: We will all suffer the consequences”

A Whale of a Tale…a Copyright Tale


The treatment of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) arouses strong emotions, as evidenced by the film Blackfish, the story of Tilikum, literally the killer whale, or The Cove, the film that turned the spotlight on Japan’s bloody annual dolphin hunt. Continue reading “A Whale of a Tale…a Copyright Tale”

“Happy Birthday” and all that: What does the “Happy Birthday” decision prove when it comes to copyright law?


News of Warner/Chappell’s US$14 million settlement of the “Happy Birthday” copyright settlement made headlines world wide. It even made my local paper—and not much world news does. It is a story that everyone can relate to. Continue reading ““Happy Birthday” and all that: What does the “Happy Birthday” decision prove when it comes to copyright law?”

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