Unravelling the Canadian Copyright Lobby
By Kristopher A. Nelson
in June 2009
400 words / 2 min. Especially important to everyone in Canada - but important to everyone, since copyright and IP are increasingly international issues due to attempts at harmonization (WIPO, for example) - comes this expose by Michael Geist on the undue influence pro-copyright lobbyist organizations have had on Canadian policy documents.
Note: this post is from 2009. Evaluate with care and in light of later events.
Especially important to everyone in Canada – but important to everyone around the world, since copyright and IP are increasingly international issues due to attempts at harmonization (WIPO, for example) – comes this expose by Michael Geist on the undue influence pro-copyright lobbyist organizations have had on Canadian policy documents:
Although there are many groups involved in copyright lobbying, at the heart of the strategy are two organizations – the Canadian Recording Industry Association and the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association. CRIA‘s board is made up the four major music labels plus its director, while the CMPDA’s board is comprised of representatives of the Hollywood movie studios. Those same studios and music labels provide support for the International Intellectual Property Association, which influences Canadian copyright policy by supporting U.S. government copyright lobby efforts.
In addition to their active individual lobbying (described here), CRIA and CMPDA have provided financial support for three associations newly active on copyright lobbying – the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s IP Council, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (there are other funders including pharmaceutical companies and law firms). Those groups have issued virtually identical reports and in turn supported seemingly independent sources such as the Conference Board of Canada and paid polling efforts through Environics.
via Michael Geist – Unravelling the Canadian Copyright Policy Laundering Strategy.
Regardless of where you fall on the copyright debate, this is an important article, and one I recommend reading for useful background on classic “rent-seeking” behaviour by entrenched interests. Any fabricated or overly biased information reduces the chance we will make positive decisions that benefit society as a whole – which, at least in the British/American/Canadian tradition of IP, is a main point of copyright.
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