Is the TPP really “dead”? Maybe not if you believe in “Twelve minus One”

Source: http://www.shutterstock.com

Late last year, after Mr. Trump’s election but before his inauguration, I wrote a blog on the “Demise of the TPP and its Impact on Copyright”. The President-elect had declared the TPP to be “a potential disaster for our country” and “the death blow for American manufacturing”. He stated that he would notify the TPP partners of the intent of the United States to withdraw from the Agreement as soon as he became President. And he was true to his word, signing an Executive Order to that effect on January 23. Continue reading “Is the TPP really “dead”? Maybe not if you believe in “Twelve minus One””

“Minding the Gap” in Canada: But Which Gap?

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Source: http://www.pixabay.com

An interesting “gap analysis” argument has been taking place in Canada, played out in op-eds in insider news outlets such as Ottawa’s Hill Times (sorry, subscription only) and in broader discussion forums. The debate, if I can call it that, was initiated by Michael Geist, a prolific commentator on copyright and technology issues, who is based at the University of Ottawa. According to Dr. Geist, there is a “fair dealing gap” in Canada as a result of copyright reforms in 2012 that allowed Canada to implement the WIPO Internet treaties that it had signed a number of years previously. This alleged “fair dealing gap”, according to Geist, is a result of the Technological Protection Measures (TPM) provisions that were established as part of the legislation. These provisions prevent illegal circumvention of the digital protections rights-holders place on their content in order to control and prevent unauthorized access to that content. Continue reading ““Minding the Gap” in Canada: But Which Gap?”

The GIPC Index: Measuring Global IP Standards

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Used with permission

Mark Twain is reported to have said there are, “lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Just about anything can be measured but, as the economists say, it all depends on the assumptions (the design of the study) and, of course, the data. The better and more objective the design, the better will be the results. The same goes for the data. A just-released study by the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) of the US Chamber of Commerce meets the criteria of both good design and strong data points. Continue reading “The GIPC Index: Measuring Global IP Standards”

Here Come the Vikings: Piracy in the Nordic World

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Source: shutterstock.com

What is it about Scandinavia and piracy? In Iceland the Pirate Party was touted to win the recent general election and form a government, going from just three members in the Icelandic Parliament, or Althing, to being the largest party among the more than dozen parties represented in the Parliament. In the end the Pirates made strong gains, more than tripling their seat representation, to 10 members in the 63 seat Parliament, although a conservative party won the most seats. It took many months to form a governing coalition and for a time it looked as if the Pirate Party would be asked to lead the formation of a government, but in the end they “sailed away”. After weeks of negotiations a government has just been formed, but without Pirate representation. Continue reading “Here Come the Vikings: Piracy in the Nordic World”

Where does Copyright Governance fit within Government?

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http://www.loc.gov

The recent controversy over the effective dismissal/forced resignation of Maria Pallante, the former Register of Copyrights of the US Copyright Office (USCO) by the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, and the debate as to whether it was logical for the custodian of copyright (and the advisor to Congress on copyright issues) to be located within the Library of Congress, raises the issue of how and where copyright registration is managed in other countries. The US model has long historical antecedents of course, but as far as I know is not replicated elsewhere. That does not mean the US model does not work, or that the Copyright Office should be placed elsewhere within government, but it may be informative to look at what other countries have done. Continue reading “Where does Copyright Governance fit within Government?”

The Super Bowl and the Future of Canadian Broadcasting

 

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Source: shutterstock.com

To most readers of this blog outside Canada, to lump the Super Bowl and the future of Canadian broadcasting into one sentence must seem like a total non sequitur. Except that it’s not really such a stretch. The issue is not the actual Super Bowl game itself but the ads that will accompany it, broadcast on US host network Fox. For some stakeholders in Canada, the Super Bowl ads are the tip of the iceberg, signalling the first step in the unravelling a longstanding policy that has been important economically to the broadcast and creative sector in Canada. The core issue is all about the simultaneous substitution (so-called simsub) of Canadian ads into US programs distributed in Canada by Canadian broadcast platforms (i.e. cable and satellite providers). If this all sounds a bit arcane and complicated, it is– so let me explain. Continue reading “The Super Bowl and the Future of Canadian Broadcasting”

The Artist as Underdog

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Used with permission of the artist

It was a classic case. Canadian graphic artist Jody Edwards, noted for her realistic and original feather watercolours, spotted some of her artwork printed on shirts for sale at the retail clothier Winners. It turned out that some of the same shirts were also for sale in Canada at Marshalls and Nordstroms, via online retailer Nordstrom Rack. When she contacted both companies, Marshalls said they would stop selling the merchandise while Nordstroms said they were sold out and would not restock. However, if she wanted to pursue payment for her copyrighted work, she was told she would have to go after the supplier, a company called Bella M Inc., based in Los Angeles, and marketing under brand name Vanilla Sugar. Her story was publicized by a CBC “Go Public” report. She had turned to the program for help in tracking down the L.A. supplier, which had as many as eight different company names and thirteen different addresses. Continue reading “The Artist as Underdog”