Archive for November, 2015|Monthly archive page

What Canadian Heritage Officials Didn’t Tell Minister Mélanie Joly About Copyright – Michael Geist


This probably is not evidence of a conspiracy to defraud Canadian denizens of their rights, in this case, copyright. No doubt—irony?—it has more to do with bureaucratic misunderstanding and fear of liability than any aggressive desire to snip at legal freedoms. Is there a difference? Yes: Joly is accountable to the people, ultimately.

Last week, Canadian Heritage posted the Ministerial briefing book that officials used to bring new minister Mélanie Joly up-to-speed on the issues in her portfolio. The proactive release is a great step toward further transparency. While the mandate letter from the Prime Minister provides insight into government policy priorities, the briefing book sheds light on what department officials view as priorities and how they frame key issues.The copyright presentation is particularly revealing since it presents Minister Joly with a version of Canadian copyright lacking in balance in which “exceptions are always subject to certain conditions” but references to similar limitations on rights themselves are hard to find.  Department officials present a frightening vision of emerging copyright issues, pointing to mandated Internet provider blocking, targeting copyright infringement that occurs on virtual private networks, and “hybrid” legal/illegal services that may be a reference to Canadians accessing U.S. Netflix. The suggestion that Canadian Heritage officials have identified site blocking or legal prohibitions on VPN or U.S. Netflix usage as emerging copyright issues should set off alarm bells well in advance of the 2017 copyright reform process.

Source: What Canadian Heritage Officials Didn’t Tell Minister Mélanie Joly About Copyright – Michael Geist

TPP On Source Code

An alert from James Love of, TPP language made visible by NZ, and it’s not good, especially as it applies to “mass-market” software.

Article 14.17: Source Code
1. No Party shall require the transfer of, or access to, source code of software owned by a
person of another Party, as a condition for the import, distribution, sale or use of such software,
or of products containing such software, in its territory.
2. For the purposes of this Article, software subject to paragraph 1 is limited to mass-market
software or products containing such software and does not include software used for critical
3. Nothing in this Article shall preclude:
(a) the inclusion or implementation of terms and conditions related to the provision of
source code in commercially negotiated contracts; or
(b) a Party from requiring the modification of source code of software necessary for
that software to comply with laws or regulations which are not inconsistent with
this Agreement.
4. This Article shall not be construed to affect requirements that relate to patent
applications or granted patents, including any orders made by a judicial authority in relation to
patent disputes, subject to safeguards against unauthorised disclosure under the law or practice of
a Party.

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