ltmurnau: (Default)
This is actualy a fairly concise piece on the ACTA, which has been a while coming:

Consumer advocates declare war on copyright treaty
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | 12:14 PM ET
By Peter Nowak, CBC News

The latest round of talks on a global anti-counterfeiting agreement kicked off in Mexico on Tuesday, and so did a new wave of opposition to the secret treaty.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which is being negotiated privately by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, United States and a few other governments, is galvanizing consumer and civil liberties groups.

A number of these organizations on Monday launched a joint declaration of war on ACTA, which they say threatens the fundamental freedoms of the people living in member countries. The treaty is being motivated by U.S. entertainment lobbies, and would allow internet providers to spy on customers and criminalize the everyday behaviour of millions of people, they said.

Read more... )

If you want to know more, Michael Geist ( will really fill you in.

But the point is made: the Conservative government twice tried to shove through radical changes in copyright law, changes that were more or less written on the back of a cocktail napkin by the entertainment industry and shoved at the current Minister of Industry, and were unsuccessful both times - not because of the public outcry, which did manage to delay the bills, but by the interruptions of government business wrought by elections and proroguing.

I think the third time will be the charm - the ACTA will be signed off, and then, whoops, Canada will have to change its copyright laws to fit, and that will be it - another end-run.
ltmurnau: (Default)
An interesting post from the Canadian Internet company Tucows, which has provided me in the past with many interesting things, on copyright and creativity:

Read more... )

Oh, and I finished and submitted my Greek Civil War article: almost 9,200 words all told, which is more than the magazine asked for. But in the past I've gone long and they haven't bothered cutting me back. Feels good having done with it. Next month and November will see the appearance of my games and major articles on the Sino-Japanese war and Spanish Civil war, so more egoboo there, and meanwhile I have to get busy on an article about Dieppe!
ltmurnau: (Default)
Secret, Sweeping Treaty with US in the Works
Infringe copyright, go to jail? Battle over anti-counterfeiting agreement heats up.
By Michael Geist
Published: March 31, 2009

Next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs will conduct one of the stranger consultations in recent memory. Officials have invited roughly 70 stakeholder groups to discuss an international intellectual property treaty that the U.S. regards as a national security secret, about which the only public substantive information has come from a series of unofficial leaks.
Read more... )
Wow... Just... Bizarre.
Every time I hear or read about "industry" doing something reasonable about IP and copyright, I later find two or more examples of things like this Draconian, unenforceable garbage.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Canadian writers, publishers gather to consider Google book-digitalization
Last Updated: Monday, March 23, 2009 | 1:20 PM ET
CBC News

Canadian publishers and authors have been gathering at workshops to explore the legal ramifications of internet giant Google's massive book-digitization initiative.
Read more... )
I wonder how many of those seven million books are by Canadians.

Katherine Gordon, one of the 18 Canadians who opted out, is "a globe-trotting half-French, half-English expatriate Kiwi and a former lawyer and aboriginal land claims negotiator ... lives on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, where she relishes the food she grows and the beauty of an untamed garden." She has written four books, all put out by the diminutive Sono Nis Press: a history of land surveying in British Columbia, one about the Slocan Valley, one about gardens and gardening, and one biography of Princess Abkhazi, who had a large garden. The sixty bucks might help out, at that.


New Zealand yanks copyright law that would force ISPs to cut off violators
Move could influence international trade agreement, including with Canada

Last Updated: Monday, March 23, 2009 | 1:03 PM ET
CBC News

A controversial law that would have forced internet service providers in New Zealand to cut off service to repeat copyright violators will not come into force this week as scheduled, the government announced Monday.
Read more... )
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Popeye, Grey Owl and Robert Service join the public domain

Last Updated: Monday, January 12, 2009 | 4:50 PM ET
By David MacQuarrie, CBC News

Generations of fans know that despite his many flaws, Popeye is a man at ease with himself.

"I yam what I yam," the spinach-loving sailor man has long reminded friends and foes.

But as of the first day of 2009, he "yam" a whole lot more.

He's public domain.

Popeye's image now belongs to the world.

There are no longer royalties to pay because his creator, Elzie Segar, died in 1939, and in much of the world, copyright expires 70 years after the creator's death. Put his squinty-eyed face on a T-shirt, use his forearms to advertise spinach or lift his image off the internet to illustrate your story on public domain.

Read more... )
To which I say:

Orlando was interesting. Didn't see much of the outside world since I was up early each morning to catch as many presentations and discussions as I could, and by 5:00 was kinda tuckered out. The weather was good, more cloudy than sunny and around 25 - 28 degrees: their March is like our August, if our Augusts would ever return to being hot....

I met some interesting folks, and one night Joe and I went out to a Goth club (more accurately, Goth night at a bar) that was pretty good. Met a guy who told us that the real Goth scene in Florida was in Tampa, which made me giggle because the old Saturday Night Live sketch "Goth Talk" with Chris Kattan and Molly Shannon was broadcast through Tampa community access channel.
ltmurnau: (Default)
This is patently ridiculous, but it's one of those It Mostly Only Happens In Canada things: the Copyright Act as currently written is silent on exceptions for purpose of parody or satire, as the American law does. Therefore Canwest is allowed to stomp all over this not-particularly-good joke, while the perpetrator's aren't even allowed to mention what it was they were trying to do with it, or why, or even that, gee, Canwest just happens to be the next best thing to an absolute media monopoly in this country.

Canwest Suit May Test Limits of Free Speech

Test: Where to strike the balance on parody? Defence appeals ruling that case is about copyright, not a citizen's right to skewer with satire.

By Tom Barrett
Published: December 11, 2008

A lawsuit involving a newspaper that mocked Canwest's Middle East coverage may test the limits of free expression in Canada.

The defendants claim the case is about satire, parody and free-speech rights. Canwest Mediaworks Publications says free speech has nothing to do with it -- the four-page paper hurt its business and violated its copyright and trademarks.

The defendants' free-speech defence suffered a setback late last month, when Alan Donaldson, a master of the B.C. Supreme Court, ruled that "parody is not a defence to a copyright claim."
Read more... )
ltmurnau: (Default)

I don't post much about copyright and intellectual property issues, but I do deal with them often in my day job.

Here the Cons are categorically promising to "re-introduce" (i.e. ram through sideways in the nastiest, spikiest way) their copyright bill, which by many accounts was dictated to the Minister of Industry by American entertainment industry lobbyists and drafted on the back of a cocktail napkin. The implications of this legislation for education are dire.

What kind of party deliberately dredges up an issue that aroused such public dissent, not once but TWICE in the last ten months, then nails it into its party platform? (A platform, I might add, that was published six and a half days before the nation goes to the polls, is only 41 pages in large type and contains numerous large colour photographs of Stephen Harper.)

One that figures it can get along without the support of "consumer advocates, artists, privacy watchdogs, education groups and other businesses", I suppose - I guess they figured the 92,000 people in that Facebook group (or their friends, or other people they might be talking to)
weren't going to vote for them anyway.

Conservatives pledge to reintroduce copyright reform

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | 5:42 PM ET Comments0Recommend0By Peter Nowak CBC News

Stephen Harper's Conservatives saw their proposed copyright reform die on the order paper when the election was called. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)The Conservatives are promising to reintroduce controversial copyright-reform legislation if they are re-elected, according to the party's official platform released on Tuesday.

"A re-elected Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will reintroduce federal copyright legislation that strikes the appropriate balance among the rights of musicians, artists, programmers and other creators and brings Canada's intellectual property protection in line with that of other industrialized countries, but also protects consumers who want to access copyright works for their personal use," the platform document says.

"We will also introduce tougher laws on counterfeiting and piracy and give our customs and law enforcement services the resources to enforce them. This will protect consumers from phoney and sometimes dangerous products that are passed off as reliable brand-name goods."

The Conservatives' previous copyright-reform legislation, Bill C-61, which died on the order paper when the election was called, was released in June to a wave of criticism. While a number of organizations that represent copyright holders, such as the Canadian Recording Industry Association and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, praised the plan, it was roundly criticized as unfair by consumer advocates, artists, privacy watchdogs, education groups and other businesses.

The legislation proposed hefty fines for people caught downloading copyrighted materials but also made it illegal for consumers to work around locks — known as digital rights management — placed on media.

Minister of Industry Jim Prentice said the reforms struck a balance between the needs of copyright holders and consumers, but critics said a number of loopholes, particularly the digital locks provision, skewed the rules heavily against average Canadians.

"There's a fine line between protecting creators and a police state," Liberal industry critic Scott Brison told at the time.

Prentice was also criticized for not consulting consumer groups in drafting the legislation and was accused of caving to lobbying by the U.S. entertainment industry.

The Conservatives had planned to introduce the proposed legislation last December but backed off after its purported details were leaked. A protest group on social-networking website Facebook, started by University of Ottawa internet law professor Michael Geist, drew tens of thousands of members within days of launching, forcing Prentice to retreat.

On his website two weeks ago, Geist challenged election candidates to sign on to a pledge dedicated to consulting Canadians in drafting new legislation and in supporting balanced copyright reform. As of Tuesday, the entire Green Party, one-third of the NDP and about 15 Liberal candidates had signed on.

Geist reiterated on his blog on Tuesday that the Conservatives' approach to copyright reform is not balanced, a view shared by the more than 92,000 members of his Facebook group.

"Bill C-61 did not strike the appropriate balance and tens of thousands of Canadians told Harper just that over the summer," he wrote.

ltmurnau: (Default)
Constant Readuhs will know about my game-designing hobby (despite recent posts, I am not gonna fool myself about this). Yesterday and this morning I had an interesting exchange concerning a game I designed last year and is about to be published.

Read more... )

Hey, watch the Comments section - maybe I'll get a Cease and Desist order or something like that.


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