Blackbeard is Back: Will he make it to the Supreme Court?

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Next month will mark three years since I started writing this blog. I have enjoyed researching interesting and sometimes arcane international copyright topics, and I hope you have enjoyed reading them. When I first embarked on this project, I wanted to write on copyright issues from the perspective of an interested and reasonably well-informed layman (or should I say “layperson”?). There are lots of really good legal blogs on copyright, put out by individual and collective legal practitioners and associations. I rely on them for guidance in many instances, although I try not to go too far into legal issues because, as a non-lawyer, I don’t feel qualified to do so. As we all know, copyright is complex (which is what makes it so interesting to me), with no “one size fits all” doctrine or interpretation. While 176 countries have signed the Berne Convention and have accepted its minimum standards, the application of copyright law varies widely. Between two close neighbours, like Canada and the US for example, the differences can be quite striking. Continue reading “Blackbeard is Back: Will he make it to the Supreme Court?”

What does Feminism have to do with Copyright in Canada?

In the ongoing review of the Copyright Act of Canada, the Parliamentary Committee tasked with receiving testimony and formulating recommendations has received hundreds of submissions, ranging from proposals that would totally gut the current copyright regime to ones that argue for much stronger copyright provisions, or perhaps a rollback of some of the changes introduced in the last review in 2012. The rollback could include, depending on one’s position, anti-copyright measures such as dismantling the protection afforded technological protection measures (provisions against hacking) or pro-copyright provisions such as a narrowing of fair dealing exceptions. A variety of arguments has been posited by the protagonists on both sides (and this being an unapologetic pro-copyright blog, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty in figuring out where I stand on the spectrum). Most arguments have some degree of merit, depending on your stance on the copyright issue, but the most fanciful that I have seen is the one that argues that a weakening of copyright protections is pro-feminist. Or, put another way, copyright is anti-feminist. Continue reading “What does Feminism have to do with Copyright in Canada?”

A Visit to Canada’s “Notorious Market”, The Pacific Mall in Toronto

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The Pacific Mall in Toronto’s northern suburb of Markham enjoys the dubious distinction of being the only “notorious market” for the physical sale of counterfeit and pirated products in Canada or the US to be specifically highlighted in both the USTR’s Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets (2017) and the EU’s Copyright and Piracy Watch List published just last month, the first time such a document has been released by the European Commission. The EU document mentions a few other flea markets in the Greater Toronto Area and one in Quebec, but the bulk of its report on Canada is dedicated to the Pacific Mall. In the USTR report the Pacific Mall finds itself in such undistinguished company as the infamous Silk Market in Beijing, El Tepito in Mexico City, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and the Tan Binh market in Ho Chi Minh City. The EU Commission’s comparison list is even more extensive. With regard to Pacific Mall, the Commission reported; Continue reading “A Visit to Canada’s “Notorious Market”, The Pacific Mall in Toronto”

AVIA: The “New” Kid on the Block in the Asian Content Industry

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There is a new kid on the block in the broadcasting and video space in Asia, AVIA (pronounced eh-VIA, as in Canadian, eh?), with the acronym standing for the Asia Video Industry Association. While the name is new, and the mission refocussed, the new AVIA has emerged (like a butterfly from its chrysalis) out of CASBAA–The Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia–an industry association established in 1991 at the dawn of the cable and satellite era in Asia. With these antecedents, AVIA is building on a solid base of work and reputation. However this is more than just a change of name; it indicates a refocus on video content across all platforms, including but not limited to cable and satellite broadcasting. AVIA stresses that it will speak on behalf of the full range of professional video production and those who help consumers to access it. It is no coincidence that Netflix has just become a member as content delivery increasingly moves online into the OTT (Over-the-Top) space. Continue reading “AVIA: The “New” Kid on the Block in the Asian Content Industry”

Looking Back at International Copyright Developments in 2018

Photo credit: Pixabay

It’s that time of year when we cast an eye back over the past year (probably in a vain attempt to try to predict what the New Year will bring), reflecting on important developments in global affairs–including those affecting international copyright. Last year I wrote a similar blog and it is always instructive to look back at what seemed important a year ago, and then see how things actually developed. Continue reading “Looking Back at International Copyright Developments in 2018”

Canadian Copyright Review: My Submission on International Site Blocking

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The Parliamentary Committee undertaking the mandated five year review of Canada’s Copyright Act closed receipt of submissions on December 10 and its hearing of witnesses two days later. The next stage will be for the committee to digest the many submissions and hours of testimony it received and come forward with recommendations for the government to consider. Continue reading “Canadian Copyright Review: My Submission on International Site Blocking”

The Kevin Lindgren Prize for Copyright: Insights from Young IP Lawyers-To-Be in Australia

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On my recent trip to Australia I was honoured to be asked to participate as a judge in determining the winner of the annual Kevin Lindgren prize for the best copyright presentation by an Australian law student. Named in honour of Dr. Kevin Lindgren, AM QC, former Federal Court Judge and President of the Copyright Tribunal, this year was the third year that the prize has been presented by the Copyright Society of Australia. Dr. Lindgren was there and participated as one of the three judges, along with lawyer Alida Stanley, Australian Copyright Council Board member, and yours truly. Continue reading “The Kevin Lindgren Prize for Copyright: Insights from Young IP Lawyers-To-Be in Australia”