Last year, I wrote the following essay, as part of a collection of essays, “NAFTA and the Knowledge Economy”, published by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). The essay discusses what Canada’s approach to intellectual property in the context of the renegotiation of NAFTA should be. Since the issues are back at the table, I thought I’d post it again. You can read it on CIGI’s website, download a pdf version, or simply scroll down.

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I was invited to participate in a two-day conference in Toronto, organized by the Conference Board of Canada. The conference’s title is Business Innovation Summit 2013: Innovation for the Corporation. I was asked to be on a panel debating the following hypothetical motion: “IP Protection Should Be Strengthened to Stimulate Innovation and Commercialization.” Arguing for the motion were Sheldon Burshtein, a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, and  Mark Fleming, Director, Federal Affairs and Health Policy, Janssen Inc. Canada. Sam Trosow and I were invited to argue against it. And we did. Before our debate began, the organizers distributed clickers and asked the audience to …

“IP Protection Should Be Strengthened to Stimulate Innovation and Commercialization”: Motion Denied Read more »

Earlier the previous week the US Department of Justice announced that it reached a settlement with McMillan in the antitrust e-books case, following previous settlements with the other four book publishers (Hachette,  HarperCollins, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster)that it sued less than a year ago. According to the DOJ, the agreements between those publishers and Apple “provided a perfect opportunity to coordinate the Publisher Defendants’ collective action to raise e-book prices.” The DOJ took swift action to prevent anticompetitive practices at a crucial moment in the development of digital publishing to ensure the competitiveness of this rapidly emerging industry.

Michael Geist reports today that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and other business groups want to ensure that their members will be premitted to secretly install spyware on personal computers for a wide range of purposes. Specifically, they demand to be permitted to install, without individuals’ knowledge and consent, computer programs that are installed by or on behalf of a person to prevent, detect, investigate, or terminate activities that the person reasonably believes (i) present a risk or threatens the security, privacy, or unauthorized or fraudulent use, of a computer system, telecommunications facility, or network, or (ii) involves the contravention of any …

The Canadian Star Chamber of Commerce Read more »

I posted the most recent draft of my new paper on fair dealing on SSRN. The paper recounts the history of fair use and fair dealing and shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the enactment of the Imperial Copyright Act of 1911 – and subsequently the enactment of the Canadian Copyright Act of 1921 – were not designed to cause any major alteration in the common law of fair dealing, and the explicit recognition of five enumerated purposes in the (then) newly-enacted fair dealing provision was not intended to limit the principle of fair dealing exclusively to those five purposes.