The 2018 GIPC Index: Ranking 50 Countries by their IP (and Copyright) Standards

For the sixth year in a row, the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center, or GIPC (relabelled from its previous title of Global Intellectual Property Center) has published its annual International IP index measuring how countries around the world stack up when it comes to innovation and intellectual property (IP). This year the report covers more countries (50, up from 45) and is more comprehensive than ever. The Index benchmarks 40 indicators across the full range of IP issues, encompassing patent, copyright, trademark, trade secrets, commercialization of IP assets, enforcement, systemic efficiency and membership in and ratification of international treaties. As I commented last year, the Index makes a significant contribution to the measurement of standards and performance across a range of intellectual property indicators. Continue reading “The 2018 GIPC Index: Ranking 50 Countries by their IP (and Copyright) Standards”

The Effectiveness of Site Blocking: It is a Matter of Common Sense


Much ink has been spilled of late regarding the new FairPlay Canada Coalition’s proposal to establish a process to have the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) require internet service providers (ISPs) in Canada to disable access to designated offshore websites that host stolen content. According to the proposal, these websites have to be “blatantly, overwhelmingly or structurally engaged in piracy”. In other words, they are not your average site hosting some infringing material, but websites dedicated whole hog to promoting stolen content. An independent agency would make recommendations to the CRTC as to which websites fit the category of blatant infringers. Continue reading “The Effectiveness of Site Blocking: It is a Matter of Common Sense”

InternetNZ’s Copyright Proposals: Neither Balanced nor Fair


Copyright law is constantly under review–and that is a good thing–although the constant attack on the fundamental basis of copyright is, frankly, getting tiresome and dangerous. Last year Australia’s Productivity Commission undertook a major study of IP Down Under. Most of its “slash and burn” recommendations with regard to so-called “copyright reform” were wisely shelved by the Australian Government. Canada is currently just embarking on a mandated five-year review of its copyright law, with anti-copyright elements already gearing up for another attack on a regime which has already widened fair dealing exceptions beyond the level of sustainability for the publishing industry. Now New Zealand is preparing to embark on its own review and in preparation, InternetNZ, which styles itself as “a not for profit membership organisation…(that works)… to support the benefits of the Internet for New Zealand in a range of ways…”, has launched a glossy discussion paper titled “Getting Copyright Right in the Information Age”. As the title suggests, InternetNZ starts from the premise that the current copyright regime is not “right” for the Information Age, but rather “wrong”. This underscores the fundamental problem with the document. Continue reading “InternetNZ’s Copyright Proposals: Neither Balanced nor Fair”

Why this Copyright Blogger likes Fair Use and Fair Dealing

source: author

I make no bones about it. I am an unabashed supporter of a strong copyright regime to protect the work of creators and to ensure fairness to those who work in the creative economy ecosystem. Robust copyright protection is really a matter of fairness, allowing individual creators—songwriters, indie film makers, photographers, authors, artists, game designers, et j’en passe—to protect their work, to monetize it if they wish to, and to earn a living. Playing fair is also about allowing the industries that invest in content to be able to earn the kind of return on investment they need in order to raise capital, support production, hire writers, marketers, technicians, lawyers, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, and bring the results to market. Continue reading “Why this Copyright Blogger likes Fair Use and Fair Dealing”

Hollywood and China: A Tempestuous Love Affair


It’s better to stay together—even if not really happy–than to split up

Like two partners locked into a less than ideal marriage, but trying to make it work, Hollywood and China have their ups and downs, but yet stick together out of mutual need. It’s a juggling act, balancing box office revenue share, market access, cultural and political sensitivities, control of piracy and artistic integrity. Continue reading “Hollywood and China: A Tempestuous Love Affair”

The New Canadian Content Coalition: Hang Together or Hang Separately

credit: author

When you get several major unions, the public broadcaster, five of the six largest national telecommunications providers, specialized TV providers, a major sports entertainment company, the country’s largest film festival, several major cinema exhibition chains, independent cinema operators, independent film producers and a combination of English-language, French-language and ethnic media all agreeing on one topic, that is very unusual. These various elements of the content food chain often have competing interests but the old adage of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is very evident here. And in this case, the enemy is content theft perpetrated by offshore pirate websites via streaming and downloading. This is the common factor behind the creation and launch of Fair Play Canada on January 29 this year in Ottawa, Canada. Continue reading “The New Canadian Content Coalition: Hang Together or Hang Separately”

Canada and New Zealand: Both Wrestling with Offshore Piracy and Both Seeking an Effective Solution


Canadians and Kiwis have a lot in common. For one thing, they both live in the shadow of larger neighbours who tend to take them for granted. It is particularly galling when a stranger mistakes a Canuck or a Kiwi for one of those culturally-dominant larger neighbours because of an unfortunate similarity of accent. Here is an insider tip. For those North Americans who cannot tell a New Zealander from an Aussie, simply ask them to say the simple word “yes”. If the response is a hissing “yiss”, then you know you have a live Kiwi in front of you. And for those Antipodeans who cannot separate a Canadian from an American, ask them to say the word “about”. If the response is something like “abowt”, then you’ll know they are from south of the 49th parallel. If the response is “aboot”, then you’ve got a genuine Canuck. Continue reading “Canada and New Zealand: Both Wrestling with Offshore Piracy and Both Seeking an Effective Solution”