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Technology law column by Michael Geist

Music Publisher's Takedown Strikes The Wrong Chord

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In February 2006, a part-time Canadian music student established a modest, non-commercial website that used collaborative wiki tools, such as those used by Wikipedia, to create an online library of public domain musical scores.  Within a matter of months, the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) featured over 1,000 musical scores for which the copyright had expired in Canada.  

The Telecom Takeover of Canada's Do-Not-Call List

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The news over the summer that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission was at long last moving forward with a national do-not-call list generated a sigh of relief from millions of Canadians fed up with intrusive, unwanted, and inconvenient unsolicited telemarketing calls.  

Music Industry Needs A Dose of Innovation, Not Intervention

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In the weeks leading up to tomorrow's Speech from the Throne, several music industry lobby groups have urged the government to prioritize intellectual property protection.  Led by the Canadian Recording Industry Association, these groups blame government inaction for recent sales declines, arguing that legal reforms are needed to support Canadian music industry innovation.

Canadians Deserve Better ISP Transparency

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Online auction giant eBay Canada last week released the results of a survey it commissioned on Canadians' attitudes toward "net neutrality," a rapidly emerging issue that focuses on need for Internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all content and applications in an equal, non-discriminatory manner. Conducted by Leger Marketing, the survey found that Canadians are generally unaware of net neutrality issues, yet, when informed of the concern, strongly support the principles that provide the foundation for net neutrality legislation.

Privacy Threats No Longer 'Terra Incognita'

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Last week the privacy world gathered in Montreal for the most important global privacy conference on the calendar. The International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioner's conference brings together hundreds of privacy commissioners, government regulators, business leaders, and privacy advocates who spend three days grappling with emerging issues.

Navigating Canada's Copyright Conflicts

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In a sure sign of an impending throne speech, copyright lobby groups are out in full force calling on the government to prioritize intellectual property protection in its fall legislative agenda.  Despite efforts to put forward a united front, however, what is readily apparent to those close to the process is that copyright reform is rife with conflicts that create a significant political risk and require the expenditure of enormous political capital.

Canadian Broadcasting Policy For a World of Abundance

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Soon after taking over as chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Konrad von Finckenstein commissioned Laurence Dunbar and Christian Leblanc, two leading broadcasting lawyers, to conduct a comprehensive review of Canada's regulatory framework for broadcasting services.  

Misleading RCMP Data Undermines Counterfeiting Claims

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Canadian politicians have paid a great deal attention to counterfeiting over the past year. The issue, which focuses primarily on fake clothing, handbags, pharmaceuticals, and entertainment products, played a prominent role in the recent summit between Canada, the United States and Mexico, while both the Industry and Public Safety committees conducted hearings on counterfeiting in the spring, with each releasing reports calling on the government to prioritize anti-counterfeiting measures.

New Research Policy a Victory for Open Access

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As millions of students headed back to school last week, Canadian health researchers learned that change this year extends beyond the composition of their classes.  The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the federal government's health research granting agency, unveiled a new open access policy for the research that it funds.

Unlocking the Mysteries of Locked Cellphones

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From the moment of its debut, the Apple iPhone has attracted enormous attention. Its biggest impact may go beyond the consumer electronics market, however, as the iPhone has forced politicians and regulators to confront some uncomfortable policy challenges.


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