News

  • – 2004-12-17 –
    The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that personal audio devices such as iPods and other MP3 players, are not subject to Canada\'s private copying regime. The Copyright Board had previously found that the devices\' permanently embedded memory was "blank audio recording media", and accordingly required manufacturers and importer of the devices to pay a levy under the regime. Parliament established the private copying regime to compensate owners of copyright in songs, sound recordings and performances for private copying of music. The short-term effects of the decision may be to lower the prices charged in Canada for MP3 players. Longer-term, the decision suggests that computer hard drives and other devices with embedded permanent memory may not be leviable media. The decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • – 2004-12-14 –
    The federal government introduced a Bill yesterday to amend the Telecommunications Act so as to give the CRTC the power to create a national "Do Not Call" list and to fine telemarketers for non-compliance with telemarketing regulations. Bill C-37 responds to a CRTC decision on telemarketing last May, in which the Commission said that it "recognizes the merits of expanded enforcement but finds that additional regulatory action is contingent on increased powers being provided through legislative change."
  • – 2004-12-13 –
    What do musicians think about the P2P debate? The labels have been loud and litigious, and consumers have done their talking with their downloads. But it has been difficult to get a read on musicians\' position on the P2P debate - until now. In an American survey of self-described artists, and an online survey of 2,755 musicians, the Pew Internet and American Life Project concludes that artists are embracing the Internet as a tool for making, marketing and selling their creative works.
  • – 2004-12-07 –
    In a report released to the complainant on Dec.1, 2004, the federal Privacy Commissioner found that unsolicited commercial email sent to the complainant\'s business email address, both initially and again two weeks after he had asked to be taken off the sender\'s email list, constituted a breach of the PIPED Act requirement for individual consent to the collection and use of personal information. Notable in this report are two findings: that business e-mail addresses constitute "personal information" under the Act, and that even though e-mail addresses are posted in a publicly available directory (in this case, the University website), they cannot be collected and used for purposes other than those for which they are posted, without consent.
  • – 2004-12-06 –
    stop spam here logoSee our webpage on Spam for tips and information. The Canadian government is finally realizing that action is needed to stem the tide of unwanted email. Industry Canada, through its Electronic Commerce Directorate, is taking the lead on spam policy at the federal level. The federal Task Force on Spam released an Action Plan in May 2005 with many good recommendations, but the federal government has yet to act on it. You can also write to the Minister of Industry (minister.industry@ic.gc.ca) or to your MP, urging them to act on the issue. You can also complain about specific spam messages to certain government agencies:
  • – 2004-12-04 –
    The federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA") sets out a number of rules for protecting personal information - defined as "information about an identifiable individual", but excluding employee contact information. These rules are applicable to all organizations that collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of commercial activities, except those operating within the provinces of Quebec, B.C., and Alberta, where organizations are subject to substantially similar provincial laws. These laws require, among other things, that organizations obtain the consent of individuals to any collection, use or disclosure of their personal information, except in specific circumstances such as law enforcement or emergencies.
  • – 2004-12-03 –
    CIPPIC has been actively opposing the record industry's attempts to obtain names and contact information for alleged file-sharers. The Federal Court of Appeal rejected the industry's initial attempt to disclose the identities of the first batch of John and Jane Does the industry sued, but the Court of Appeal also instructed the industry on the requirements it must satisfy in future applications. The industry has stated that it will launch a new round of lawsuits. See our webpage on the Canadian file-sharing lawsuits, and our webpages on file-sharing generally, and online anonymity and John Doe lawsuits. If you think that the record industry should not be suing music fans for file-sharing, you can write to the Canadian Recording Industry Association, expressing your views. Court Documents.
  • – 2004-11-26 –
    The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has indicated her intent to become involved in the process to amend Canada's copyright laws. In a letter to CIPPIC dated November 24, 2004, and responding to CIPPIC's earlier request to address the privacy implications of proposed copyright legislation, the Commissioner stated that the Privacy Commission "would oppose legislation or legislative amendments that conferred unjustified privacy-invasive surveillance powers upon digital copyright holders. However, we have not as yet been consulted by either Heritage Canada or Industry Canada officials regarding the proposed legislation referred to in your letter. I have instructed my staff to initiate a dialogue with these departments to ensure that privacy risks are identified and addressed."
  • – 2004-11-22 –
    In a decision dated Nov.17, 2004, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that Telus Communications Inc. violated its subscribers\' right to privacy under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA") by failing to obtain consent prior to the publishing of subscriber data in the telephone book, as well as to making it available via online and other databases. In Mathew Englander v. Telus Communications Inc., the Court also ruled that the CRTC decision to permit Telus and other phone companies to charge $2 per month for unlisted service was reviewable by way of application under PIPEDA, but did not violate any statutory privacy protections.
  • – 2004-11-12 –
    CIPPIC is pleased to announce the hiring of David Fewer, LL.M., to fill the clinic\'s new legal counsel position. David brings to CIPPIC a strong background in technology and intellectual property law. After completing an LL.M. at the University of Toronto in 1997, where he wrote an award-winning article on the application of s.2(b) of the Charter to copyright law, David practised IP and technology law in British Columbia and later, Ontario. He also found time to teach a course at UBC and to clerk for the Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada. David will be leading CIPPIC\'s advocacy on intellectual property-related files.