News

  • - 2004-11-04 -
    As Parliament considers legislated protection of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies (designed to detect and stop copying of digital works), CIPPIC is calling on the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to conduct a privacy impact assessment of these technologies. In its letter, CIPPIC points out that the continuous information collection and surveillance functions of DRM can provide owners with highly detailed and previously unavailable information about the reading, listening and viewing habits of end users. We also highlight various ways in which certain uses of these technologies may be violating federal privacy legislation. This unprecedented threat to consumer privacy deserves immediate attention, before it becomes further entrenched.
  • - 2004-11-03 -
    CIPPIC Associate Alex Cameron presented a brief to the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on Bill S-9, proposed amendments to the Copyright Act that would give photographers first ownership of copyright in the photographs they take.
  • - 2004-10-26 -
    The Technology Law Group of Fogler, Rubinoff LLP has agreed to provide CIPPIC with ongoing pro bono legal services on various aspects of CIPPC\'s legal work, including issue analysis, client advice, public educational materials and litigation. FR\'s Technology Law Group lawyers will assist CIPPIC counsel in the review of student work and the preparation of materials for use in casework, project work and on content for the CIPPIC website. "This wonderful donation of time and expertise will increase our capacity and help us to continue producing high quality work in a timely way", said Philippa Lawson, Executive Director of CIPPIC. FR is a Toronto based full service law firm that works with established and emerging businesses and with individuals. Of its arrangement with CIPPIC, Gary Bouchard, LL.B., Head of FR\'s Technology Law Group, said: "In its short history, Ms. Lawson and her team at CIPPIC have already made very positive contributions to the development of technology law issues in Canada. We are extremely pleased to be able to lend our support to CIPPIC\'s activities."
  • - 2004-10-20 -
    Senator Donald Oliver has re-introduced his private member\'s bill to prevent unsolicited messages on the Internet. Bill S-15 would initiate a number of measures, including a national "Do Not Spam" registry, offences for sending messages to addresses in the registry, a civil right of action against spammers, and the establishment of a body to regulate ISP practices as they affect spam.
  • - 2004-10-08 -
    The BC Government has introduced amendments to its privacy legislation in a move designed to address concerns that US authorities can secretly access BC residents\' private medical records if those records are outsourced to private companies with US links. The amendments restrict public bodies and service providers to whom they outsource from storing, accessing or disclosing personal information outside Canada. Unauthorized disclosure would be an offence subject to fines ranging from $2,000 for an individual to up to $500,000 for a corporation. The new law would also require reporting of foreign demands for disclosure of personal information, and would protect "whistleblowers" from retribution for such reporting.
  • - 2004-10-04 -
    In response to pressure from developing countries and public interest groups, the UN\'s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has agreed to examine a proposal for intellectual property law reform that is aimed at achieving a better balance between the interests of copyright holders and the public. The new "development agenda" emphasizes the value of open source software, public domain goods, patent exceptions for access to medicine, control of anti-competitive practices, and other approaches that enhance access to information and promote creativity and technology transfer to the developing world. It also calls upon WIPO "to ensure the wide participation of civil society in WIPO\'s activities." - EFF news release - WIPO news release
  • - 2004-09-30 -
    As part of an international movement to expand the public domain and to give creators more control over the uses to which their digital works may be put, CIPPIC has released a series of copyright licences for use by Canadian creators under the "Creative Commons" banner. Each licence enables the creator to reserve certain rights in their works (e.g., no commercial exploitation), but also, unlike the standard "All Rights Reserved" approach under copyright law, to permit certain uses (e.g., non-commercial sharing) that would otherwise constitute copyright infringement. See the CIPPIC webpage on Creative Commons for more information.
  • - 2004-09-28 -
    In response to an application by the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA), the CRTC has stayed its decision to impose new requirements on telemarketers. The CMA has appealed the CRTC decision, arguing that a number of the new requirements will be costly and ineffective, and that a preferable approach is the establishment of a national "Do Not Call" list. - CRTC decision to stay - CMA appeal
  • - 2004-09-23 -
    A growing number of groups and individuals worldwide, including CIPPIC, are calling on WIPO to adopt a "development agenda" that takes into account the needs of all nations and people. The Declaration on the Future of WIPO calls for "a moratorium on new treaties and harmonization of standards that expand and strengthen monopolies and further restrict access to knowledge. For generations WIPO has responded primarily to the narrow concerns of powerful publishers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, plant breeders and other commercial interests.... WIPO needs to enable its members to understand the real economic and social consequences of excessive intellectual property protections, and the importance of striking a balance between the public domain and competition on the one hand, and the realm of property rights on the other." See also: Prof. James Boyle\'s "A Manifesto on WIPO and the Future of Intellectual Property"
  • - 2004-09-22 -
    A coalition of national education groups representing the K-12 and postsecondary sectors are calling on the federal government to reject a Heritage Committee proposal that would require teachers and students to pay a fee to use, for educational purposes, material freely available on the Internet. The groups are asking for an "educational exception" in the Copyright Act that would explicitly permit educational uses of publicly available online materials. - Media release - Background note - Statements by education organizations