Canadian Law

Copyright Reform In Canada

Just thought i’d bump an interesting collection of articles on copyright reform in Canada : From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda

The individual articles found at the above mentioned link are in the PDF format are are downloadable in respect to the Creative Commons Legal Code.

“Money For Nothing” Censored In Canada ?!?

Don’t bother requesting the unabridged version of “Money For Nothing” in Canada, it has been censored.

That’s right, this Dire Straits classic has been banned from the airwaves in Canada because of a decision by the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council that found that because the song included the lyric “faggot” that it violated their Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code.

Appearently a listener had complained after hearing the song on OZ FM, a station based in St. John’s, Newfoundland that broadcasts through-out Newfoundland and Labrador ; On February 1st, 2010.

I find it rather interesting that this chart topping, Grammy Award winning single had aired on radio since late 1985 without a complaint. It took nearly 25 years for someone to be so offended as to result in a complaint.

A music video featuring the unabridged version of this song also aired quite frequently on Much Music and Musique Plus in the 80’s and 90’s.

Also interesting is the fact that Elton John performed this song with Mark Knofler, Sting, Phil Collins and Howard Jones at The Prince’s Trust concert in 1986.

Canadian Labels Settle Lawsuit

Four of the major labels in Canada have settled a class action lawsuit against them for the unauthorized use and distribution of recordings, as well as unpaid mechanical and video royalties.

EMI Music Canada Inc., Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. have agreed to pay approximately $47.5 Million dollars to songwriters and music publishers that had not been compensated the use of their works in certain compilations and live recordings.

The class action lawsuit alledged that the labels had distributed over 300,000 works without authorization or compensation, fifty of which whose copyright is owned or partly owned by the estate of Chet Baker, the renown jazz trumpet player, arranger and composer.

According to January 10th, 2010 press release, the settlement will be distributed to the plaintiffs via the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), and Société du droit de reproduction des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs au Canada (SODRAC).

Interesting Move by Quebec Government

Appearently it is the Quebecan provincial government’s opinion that the recession can be counteracted by higher sales taxes.

Today the provincial sales taxes in Quebec went up 1% to 8.5%. And another 1% hike is scheduled on New Years Day 2012.

I guess they got this brilliant idea from the provincial governments of Ontario, BC and Nova Scotia, who all hiked and/or extended their taxes in July.

In my opinion these additional taxes hinder our recovery.

They burden smaller retailers, who will probably consider this the last nail in their coffin, and force larger retailers to cut expendatures and staff.

It is obviously counterproductive.

Ontario’s Eco Fees Confuse Consumers

If you’re an ONtario resident and you’re confused as to why you’re paying for eco-fees, then you’re no alone.

According to a December 23rd, 2003 article in the Ottawa Citizen, people are still getting sticker shock, having believed these fees were discontinued in October.

The problem is that the government actually said they would be discontinueing the expansion of these fees, which means some items are still being subjected to these fees, some under different programs.

For example, tires are still being subjected to eco fees under the Ontario Tire Stewardship program and electronics like televisions are subject to eco fees via a program operated by the Ontario Electronics Stewardship.

What the Government of Ontario refrained from implementing was a second phase of eco fees, on fluorescent tubes and bulbs, aerosols, portable fire extinguishers, mercury-containing devices, and corrosives, such as acidic cleaning products, drain openers, pool and spa chemicals, masonry products and paint remover.

The remaining first phase results in eco fees on :

* Household paints and coatings and their containers
* Solvents, such as thinners for paint, lacquer and contact cement, paint strippers and degreasers, and their containers
* Used oil filters
* Oil containers of 30 litres or less
* Single-use, dry cell batteries
* Automotive antifreeze (engine coolant) and related containers
* Pressured containers, such as propane tanks and cylinders
* Fertilizers and their containers
* Pesticides, including fungicides, herbicides and insecticides, and their containers

Additional information on the eco fees can be found at makethedrop.ca and stewardshipontario.ca.

Liberals Respond To iPod Tax / Bill C-32

It appears that the Liberal Party do not support the so called iPod Tax after all, according to a press release found on their web site.

Like the conservatives they do not see any future for such levies. The Liberals would rather “introduce a new Private Copying Compensation Payment of $35 million to be transferred to Canadian artists each year, through the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC)” according to the press release.

The funds for this compensation, for “uncompensated downloads”, would not come from ISPs or from a levy, the party having recognized that the consumer wants neither.

They also recognized the bill’s digital locks provision restricted the consumer’s ability to make personal copies of material they’ve purchased and would alter this provision to allow copies for personal use.

The other general alterations they propose are the clarification of the definitions of “fair use”, specifically the education use and “mash-up” provisions. They want educational institutions to qualify for the exemption.

Bill C-32 has been referred to a Legislative Committee headed by Gordon Brown, MP for Leeds—Grenville (Ontario).

Please contact your local Member Of Parliament to voice your comments and concerns in regards to the proposed amendments to the Copyright Act.

Thank you.