Canadian Law

Google Refines Searches

Google has announced that they will be updating their search algorithms, prioritizing legitimate sources for film and music over sites that have received remove notices.

This will enable people to find sources and avoid some of the less secure sites, some of which have viruses and malware.

A counter-notification process will also be offered to individuals whose sites have been wrongfully flagged.

No Royalties On Music Previews

The Supreme Court Of Canada has ruled that music previews comply to the definition of Fair Dealing in the Copyright Act and cannot therefore be subjected to the collection of royalties.

“Research” need not be for creative purposes only. Permitting only creative purposes to qualify as “research” would ignore the fact that one of the objectives of the Copyright Act is the dissemination of the works themselves. Limiting “research” to creative purposes would also run counter to the ordinary meaning of “research”, which includes many activities that do not require the establishment of new facts or conclusions. The fair dealing exception must not be interpreted restrictively and “research” must be given a large and liberal interpretation.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, Canadian Recording Industry Association and CMRRA-SODRAC Inc had wished to collect royalties from internet providers for both previews and full music downloads, the latter also having been dismissed by another ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada today.

These royalties would have resulted in major expenditures for internet providers, who would have passed these on to the consumer.

Bill C-11 – What Now ?

Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, has passed and will become law shortly.

This means you will no longer be able to perform private copies from copy protected recordings and that the sale of software and devices enabling consumers to make backups of pre-recorded DVDs and blu-rays will be forbidden in Canada.

The sale of multi-region DVD or blu-ray players could also be restricted in Canada though I believe this could be challenged legally because the importation of DVDs and blu-rays from other regions have not yet been made illegal.

I believe the playback of legally purchased material will not likely be targeted by law enforcement, the priority being unauthorized mass distributions on the internet and by vendors. But regional coding is a copy protection scheme that is technically protected by the digital copying provisions of Bill C-11.

Unfortunately this means that some consumers will not be able to legally playback films, concerts or music video compilations that are on a DVD or blu-ray disc whose regional coding is incompatible with their North American player, even when this material is not available via a North American distributor.

This material can be delayed or shelved indefinitely by North American distributors who have the rights to distribute it on Region 1 DVDs or Region A blu-rays in North America. And though some do eventually get released on region free discs, somewhere, many titles remain out of reach to Canadians.

Online film distributors like iTunesicon have helped but the issues remain in regards to the distribution of titles that have not reached a certain popularity in North America. But of course little can be done until clarifications are made in regards to this undistributed content and other issues including the Linux software issue.

Linux based operating systems use software that strip copy protection from DVDs and blu-rays to enable their playback. And some consumers prefer to use this software to view films on their Windows and Mac powered computers.

I personally prefer using Windows Media Center to occasionally play DVDs on my computer. But Microsofticon has said that some versions of Windows 8 will not include DVD playback in a May 2012 blog entry so I will likely be forced to playback DVDs and blu-ray discs using software from the DVD or blu-ray drive manufacturer in the future.

Yes, most of the major manufacturers will probably include software like
CinePlayer with their drives. But will DVD and blu-ray drive manufacturers be allowed to include Linux based software with their products to enable their consumers to view content ?

Ultimately the courts will decide whether the digital lock provisions apply to these situations and we wont know until then.

I suspect the members of parliament will simply ask people to consult attorneys for their interpretations of the new copyright act. But if I find information I will try to link it.

Canada Day 2012

It’s Canada day so I thought I’d bump some Independent Canadian Artistsicon.

Lately I’ve been partial to electronic pop band Austra but I’ve also been keeping an eye on rock instrumentalists The David Barrett Trio and new wave rockers Metric.

I’ve also recently discovered Young Galaxy, whose catalogue I haven’t yet had the time to listen to thoroughly. But I like what I’ve heard so far on Youtube and their latest single is excellent.

I’ve been meaning to get back into francophone music after hearing Marie-Mai and Cœur de pirate recently. But I’ve unfortunately been quite busy over the past year and a half so I haven’t been keeping track of the music scene in Quebec for some time.

Anglophones may know Cœur de pirate for her Everyday cover on Danone Activia commercials and Ensemble, the song behind this cute viral video.

I’m hoping to find more time to get back to my previous music listening schedule in the next few months. I have quite allot of catching up to do.

BTW, don’t forget to listen to CBC Radio today, which will feature Canadian music all day.

EU Politician Says ACTA Is Dead

Alexander Alvaro, a member of the European Parliament, has issued a statement to Billboard stating that he expects the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement will be rejected by the European Parliament.

The agreement is currently be reviewed by the Committee on International Trade. Additional information can be found here.

Bill C-11 Update

Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, will be up for its third reading vote by June 18th in the House Of Commons.