The Supreme Court of Canada has rendered two other intellectual property decisions.Â Â This time, both concern the protection of famous trademarks, i.e. Barbie, the dollÂ vs. the Montreal restaurants; and Veuve Clicquot, the champagne vs. the clothing stores.Â Final answer: trademarks are used and protected in association with wares and services, andÂ famousÂ trademarks do not get monopoly over the use of the marks in the whole marketplace.Â The fact that a mark is famous would be one of the surrounding circumstances to be considered in theÂ s. 6(5) confusion test, but famous-nessÂ alone does not override the other factors of confusion.Â No confusion?Â No problem.Â Sweet!
Ok, since our in-house blogger is busy with international affairs lately, let meÂ quickly mention that a few Canadian artists have formed Canadian Music Creators CoalitionÂ to explain their views on Internet music downloading and met with Heritage and Industry Canada to express their concerns over legislative proposals that would facilitate lawsuits against music fans or increase the labels’ control over the enjoyment of music.Â Music lables do not represent musicians’ interest apparently, but that of their shareholders.Â Really? Oh well, guess that’s what happens when you sell your soul to the stock market. :p
According to this article, WHO will no longer hire smokers. « When asked whether WHO would soon stop hiring obese people or those drinking alcohol, spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said the agency was aware that its new rules may seem discriminatory or even politically incorrect to some. » What’s next? Ask candidates if they are having unprotected sex?
Who’s in favor of a more development friendly WIPO? Please sign up.
Canoe has an article about Canadian Association of University Teachers’ position over changes to the Copyright Act in regards to extended blanket licensing proposed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. A more detailed account of Canadian Association of University Teachers‘ concerns can be found here.
Remember back in February, CRIA asked five Canadian ISPs to hand over the names of 29 IP addresses allegedly used in distributing musical works? And then remember the Federal Court denied the motion for disclosure in March? The latest development, CRIA has filed its appeal arguments. Read about it here.
The Supreme Court of Canada had the last word on the Tariff 22 case today: Canadian ISPs who are merely providing the internet connection to users do not owe any royalties to composers and performers for music downloaded. Read the decision here and the news here and here.
BTW, congrats and have fun Seek! Will miss you this side of the ocean!
Ever wonder what progress of science lies behind those brownish badly cut recycle piece of half-a-decent-ring cardboard that coffeee shops use as cup holder for your very warm coffee? Well, I took a look at the ones used by Second Cup (patent of 1995) and Starbucks (patent of 1993). One emphasizes on the value of using an interlocking sheet of pressed paper with « multiple nubbins and depressions » while the other focuses on its environmental friendliness as opposed to the « traditional » materials used such as polystyrene. Both press on the insulation value of the holder. Who knew that so much thought was put into creating the
claims piece of recycle paper! And I thought that it was just a step up from using a napkin to hold your hot cup of coffee!
University of Ottawa’s Law and Technology Program is hosting another conference. « The Internet and the Law – A Global Conversation » will be held on October 1st and 2nd. So who’s coming?!? It will be fun!
Go to Lex Informatica for your dose of Canadian information technology law updates.
And the Toronto Star mentions CanFLI, the Canadian File-Sharing Legal Information Network, a website dedicated to informing the public « about Canadian copyright law, privacy law, and the procedure of civil actions ». They are also coordinating legal support for the 29
people IP addresses named by CRIA in its lawsuits against Canadian music uploaders.
Those were the words from Judge Noonan of the 9th Circuit while listening to the oral argument from one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, Cary Ramos, in the MGM v. Groskter case. The judge seemed annoyed by Ramos’ continuous use of « abusive language », using words like « pirating, stealing, trafficking, counterfeit and theft » to describe the Grokster network. Ha! For anyone interested in listening to the full version, EFF has it on their site. (The juicy quote is at the 25th minute of the file. If you have an hour, it’s worth a listen. EFF’s Fred von Lohmann’s argument was very smooth and well delivered.)
The Globe and Mail reports that so far, at least one ISP, Shaw Communications Inc., has decided to fight the Canadian Recording Industry Association on its request to hand over information in regards to some of its customers who allegedly uploaded music. Case goes to court Monday.
Well, it’s been more than a month since the Copyright Board came out with its decision Private Copying III. For the sake of simplicity and to make future reference to the decision easier, I am putting up a little summary of the decision for those who are interested in its general content. We are bound to hear A LOT on it in the following months, so I thought that a summary would be helpful in any future discussions.
One aspect of this decision struck me in particular. The majority of the Board seems to have based much of the justifications for maintaining status quo of the current levy rates on the grounds of â€œuncertaintiesâ€. In fact, one has the feeling that the many of the rates established in the tariff was done by a lack of information. Very shaky ground I would say. For example, the Board agreed that individual consumers might use CD-Rs more than CD-RWs for the purpose of recording music, thus it would make sense to establish two different rates for these two media. However, the Board is â€œunable to update the valuation modelâ€ due to â€œuncertainties surrounding important figuresâ€. Yet, this same kind of â€œuncertaintyâ€ didnâ€™t stop the majority of the Board (agreed by the dissident) from assigning some rather poorly justified and â€œout thereâ€ levy rates to non-removable memories embedded in digital audio recorders. Another example would be the Boardâ€™s view on the effects of the black market (illegal) and the grey market (legal personal imports of blank music recording media from foreign suppliers). In response to arguments that higher levy rate might encourage smuggling and the prosperity of a black market (though without concrete evidence) and in fear of destabilizing the blank media market, â€œthe best the Board can do is to proceed with caution. Keeping the rates at their current levels should avoid these pitfalls.â€ Itâ€™s a cry for help for intervention from a higher force!
Update: Retailers, device manufacturers and CPCC are all challenging the Copyright Boardâ€™s decision. There is no way out of this one!