Why Can’t I Legally Pick ‘Digital Locks’ to exercise my Fair Dealing Rights?

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This wasn’t quite the way the question was stated, but in effect this was what was being asked by a student who wanted to know why it wasn’t ok to access (i.e. hack into) encrypted digital content when her purpose was to make a copy for legally-permitted private use and study. After all, the logic goes, the Copyright Act (in Canada) permits certain fair dealing uses, such as private study, research, criticism, review, education, parody, satire, or news reporting, whereby limited copying is legal even if the work is protected by copyright. If the intended user can’t access the material because it is protected by a TPM (technological protection measure), commonly referred to as a “digital lock”, how can she/he exercise these fair dealing rights? Continue reading “Why Can’t I Legally Pick ‘Digital Locks’ to exercise my Fair Dealing Rights?”

FairPlay Canada Answers its Critics and Restates its Case

Used with permission

Last week the FairPlay Canada Coalition, now up to 30 members and covering the full range of the content industry value chain, filed its response to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) pursuant to its earlier application in January “to disable online access to piracy sites” (commonly referred to as “site blocking”). For more information on the application, the Coalition and its objectives, see my earlier blog “Hang Together or Hang Separately” here. The “Reply” is a long document (60 plus pages) with six Appendices, but it is a thorough, reasoned, and well-documented rebuttal of the criticisms made by opponents, many of which were generated by misleading online campaigns mounted by anti-copyright advocacy groups like Open Media. Continue reading “FairPlay Canada Answers its Critics and Restates its Case”

The NAFTA Negotiations — and Canada’s “Priority Watch List” Designation: It’s All About The Leverage

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If you are a trade negotiator, a key objective is to get maximum leverage (aka negotiating “coinage”) in order to extract concessions from the other side or as a trade-off against concessions that you don’t want to make. The NAFTA negotiations are no different, even though at one moment they seem to be close to completion, and the next to be going backwards as new demands are piled on, or seemingly settled issues resurface. Continue reading “The NAFTA Negotiations — and Canada’s “Priority Watch List” Designation: It’s All About The Leverage”

Is the Era of “Permissionless Innovation” and Avoidance of Regulation on the Internet Finally Over? It’s High Time.

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It would be the ultimate under-statement to say that recent events concerning the appalling breaches of privacy permitted and indeed orchestrated by Facebook have raised public awareness to new heights over what happens when internet intermediaries are allowed to do just about whatever they want. Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s apologies about “mistakes” and pledges do better in future, the genie is out of the bottle. Even Zuckerberg had to admit that there is a place for regulation. Continue reading “Is the Era of “Permissionless Innovation” and Avoidance of Regulation on the Internet Finally Over? It’s High Time.”

Geraldine Moodie and her Pioneering Photographs: A Piece of Canada’s Copyright History

With permission of Glenbow Museum

I particularly wanted to put up this post this week because I think it fits perfectly with the theme of WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Day theme, “Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity”. It is a story of a remarkable woman and one of Canada’s copyright pioneers, someone who has remained in the shadows for too long. Continue reading “Geraldine Moodie and her Pioneering Photographs: A Piece of Canada’s Copyright History”

Vietnam and 123Movies: Whatever the Reasons for the Shut-down, It’s a Major Step Forward

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When Vietnam-based popular pirate movie streaming site 123Movies, aka GoMovies, suddenly announced last month that they were shutting down—and advised its users to start paying for content– there was both relief and some head-scratching on the part of the content industry. The piracy site has long been a thorn in the side of content owners. It was cited by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) in its 2018 submission to the US Government as part of the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) annual Special 301 country review process and featured in USTR’s most recent Notorious (Pirate) Markets report. Recently it was described by a senior executive of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as “the most popular illegal site in the world”, with 98 million visitors a month. Now it’s gone, and good riddance to it. Continue reading “Vietnam and 123Movies: Whatever the Reasons for the Shut-down, It’s a Major Step Forward”

Blocking Offshore Content-Theft Sites in Canada: It’s now up to the CRTC

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Comments are finally closed. The submissions are in. It’s all over but the decision (and possibly public hearings enroute to a decision, along with FairPlay’s response). We will have to wait and see whether the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) steps up to the plate and discharges its responsibilities, or ducks the issue and strikes out. Continue reading “Blocking Offshore Content-Theft Sites in Canada: It’s now up to the CRTC”