Friday, June 13, 2008

More on the proposed Canadian copyright changess

It's been about a day since the bill (C-61) to amend the Copyright Act came out. The debate is well under way, as expected. If you want to check it out yourself, here are some useful links:

The bill itself is at

and at

Michael Geist has a couple of new entries on the bill on his site: Lots of comments here too.

The press release on the subject from the Canadian Library Association is at


Thursday, June 12, 2008

A little more on the proposed Copyright Act

I came across a few items published yesterday that give some hints as to what is going to be in bill that will amend the Copyright Act:

A National Post article:

A piece from the Globe and Mail Report on Business:

All of these were first noted on Michael Geist's great blog at Check his site out for more info later.


Bill to amend the Copyright Act in Canada

Some big news for those interested in copyright:

As I type (9:00 am, June 12, 2008), an announcement is being made by The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, and Minister for La Francophonie regarding a bill to amend the Copyright Act. This is big news in that changes to the Copyright Act have been long talked about and, at least according to the rumor mill, previous amendments have been almost introduced but pulled back at the last minute (I think this has happen twice in the last several years). I have no details on this set of proposed changes yet but these should emerge soon.

There's information on the announcement at this ridiculously long URL:!OpenDocument


The USA PATRIOT Act and this blog

One topic that will likely get a fair amount of discussion on this new blog will be the infamous USA PATRIOT Act. As the creators of Environymity are coming from a Canadian university environment, we hope to present some interesting perspectives on the PATRIOT Act and other actions coming from US legislation.

A few basics about the PATRIOT Act: The USA Patriot Act (more formally known as the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA Patriot Act) of 2001 (Public Law 107-56, 115 STAT.272, H.R. 3162)) has been in force since October 24, 2001. A wide-ranging piece of legislation that amends other laws, its most reported features is Section 215, which allows authorities such as the FBI and prosecutors to more easily get a court order or use national security letters to access personal records of any sort without disclosure; those from whom records have been seized are not permitted to inform anyone but their legal counsel that this has occurred. Here's some more information about Section 215 from the ACLU:

Environymity is hosted on Blogger. Blogger is owned by Google. Google is an American-based company. As an American-based company, any information stored by Google is susceptible to seizure under the PATRIOT Act. Agents of the US federal government could grab any and all information connected to this blog and we would almost certainly never know about it. Now, this may not be that much of a concern in terms of Environymity; as a blog, all the information about the creators and posters that has been given to Blogger is publicaly accessible, even without PATRIOT Act authority (however, we would still have no idea that the data had been taken). But what about other situations, where personal information is stored on US-based servers (or on servers of susiduaries of US companies; these, too, fall under the PATRIOT Act) and is supposedly private...

So, something to think about...