Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream EFF supports our notice-and-notice letter

We wrote a letter to Minister of Industry James Moore demanding that the legal loophole be closed. It is time to put an end to abusive copyright trolls. 

Article by Jeremy Malcolm for EFF

The notice and takedown provisions of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provide a streamlined way for copyright owners to remove material from the Internet. Now almost two decades after the law was passed, the DMCA takedown system has proved itself to be an utter disappointment. Users are frequently outraged by false takedown notices that are issued recklessly (such as the scattershot (Read more…) OTTAWA CITIZEN: Federal watchdogs warn security-bill snooping goes way too far

Canadians risk being caught in a web of unbridled government snooping into their personal lives” – that’s the verdict of the government’s own Privacy Commissioner on Bill C-51.

Article by Ian Macleod for the Ottawa Citizen   The federal government’s proposed security bill contains serious and contradictory flaws that will allow more than 100 government entities to exchange Canadians’ confidential information – yet no provision for similar information-sharing between the agencies that track the lawfulness of federal spies and police, parliamentarians were told Thursday.

Four of Canada’s top government watchdogs – who monitor privacy, the country’s two spy agencies and the RCMP – testified (Read more…) Michael Geist: The new copyright extension does not benefit Canadian artists, but large foreign record labels

Longer copyrights will only cost Canadians more money while sweeping up legitimate uses and reuses of content by artists and their access to crucial audiences. 

Article by Michael Geist

The government’s surprise decision to include copyright term extension for sound recordings and performances in this week’s budget is being painted by the music industry as important for Canadian artists. But sources suggest that the key reason for the change is lobbying from foreign record labels such as Universal Music and Sony Music, who were increasingly concerned with the appearance of public domain records from artists such as the Beatles (Read more…) CBC: Did you know about cost-effective, mobile phone service Google Fi Wireless? Well, it won’t come to Canada anytime soon

The new phone service is a cost-effective alternative , though only available to Americans for now. 

Article by Dianne Buckner for CBC News

Google is about to launch a new cost-effective mobile phone service for Americans only. And as the news spreads, it may trigger a new round of grumbling in Canada over the state of this country’s telecom industry.  

Google Fi will cost a mere $20 a month for talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in more than 120 countries. And here’s a flashy selling point: customers will pay only for the data they use, and (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Friday, April 24, 2015

Your news links for today:

Sound Recording Copyright Extension to 70 Years is a MONEY GRAB! – University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog Is the Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway Really About Some Cheap Beatles Records? – Michael Geist Petraeus Plea Deal Reveals Two-Tier Justice System for Leaks – The Intercept Canadian spy agencies tell Parliament they need to talk with each other – Globe and Mail Security-bill snooping goes too far, federal watchdogs warn – Ottawa Citizen BlackBerry missing in action on C-51 anti-terror bill – AlphaBeatic Google Fi might be exactly what Canada’s telecom market needs – CBC (Read more…) Parliament set to debate C-51 today (Friday), as over 200,000 Canadians call for the Bill to be scrapped


Parliament is set to debate Bill C-51 this morning (Friday), a day after a joint petition calling for the bill to be scrapped hit the 200,000 mark, making it one of the largest political campaigns in Canadian history. A large majority of Canadians now oppose the bill.

The report stage debate is scheduled to take place at 10am ET. 

Commenting on the upcoming debate, OpenMedia’s communications manager David Christopher said: “Business leaders, 200,000 Canadians, and the government’s own top security and privacy experts are all warning that Bill C-51 is fundamentally flawed. It’s completely irresponsible of (Read more…) The Globe and Mail: Spy Watchdogs are speaking out about huge flaws in the current system

The watchdogs for Canada’s spy agencies are being left out of the Bill C-51 talks.

Article by Coleen Freeze for The Globe and Mail

The watchdogs for Canada’s spy agencies have got together to tell Parliament how much they resent being kept apart.

Telling a Parliamentary hearing they need new laws to allow them to compare notes about Canada’s counter-terrorism operations, the review bodies say they see only a partial picture of what federal police and intelligence agencies are doing.

read more BCCLA: The amendments to Bill-C51 don’t change our core concerns about this reckless bill

None of the amendments to Bill C-51 begin to address the fundamental threat on basic rights and freedoms, experts say.

Article by Carmen Cheung for BCCLA

This week, the Senate’s Standing Committee on National Security and Defence continues its pre-study of Bill C-51, while an amended version of the Bill proceeds to third reading in the House of Commons.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (“SECU”) made just four amendments to the omnibus bill, despite hearing witness after witness express serious concerns about the Bill and its impact on basic rights and freedoms. (Read more…) Wow! Over 200,000 speaking up about Bill C-51 – thanks, Canada!

This is amazing: our joint petition against spying Bill C-51 has reached an incredible 200,000 signatures.

Thanks to everyone for speaking up and sending the government a clear message that this Bill is reckless, dangerous, and ineffective. We would never have reached this point were it now for thousands of Canadians taking action to spread the word in local communities right across this country.

Huge thanks to all our partners in this effort – especially our co-hosts and Avaaz. With polls now showing 56% of Canadians against the Bill, with just 33% in favour, it’s clear that public (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Thursday, April 23, 2015

Your news links for today:

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s New Budget Invests Heavily in the Military and Spies – VICE The curious case of Tom Mulcair: C-51 and the cost of a principled stance – Google’s wireless service is official, dubbed Project Fi – Android Authority Editorial: Google’s Project Fi May Not Be The Carrier You Want, But I Sure As Hell Do – Android Police Canada’s Competition Bureau may be preparing to launch antitrust litigation against Google – Mobile Syrup Internet streaming preferred over live TV by majority of viewers, new survey finds – GeekWire Bell (Read more…) Open letter to James Moore: Close the loophole that lets Big Media threaten Canadians

Four months. This is how long Big Media conglomerates have been using a legal loophole to abuse, confuse, and threaten Canadian downloaders with misleading letters.

And the letters have been outrageous. Media giants have sent letters to the wrong people, threatened to sue some folks for $150,000 (BTW, this isn’t even possible under Canadian law), and said they would kick Internet users offline (also not possible, FYI).

Now, this loophole is pretty easy to fix. But Industry Minister Moore, the MP in charge, hasn’t done so – even though he’s admitted the abuse is a problem.

So today, we’re (Read more…) National Post: Artists and Internet users will foot the bill for James Moore’s 20-year extension of copyright terms.

Shrinking the public domain will ultimately hurt artists and internet users

Article by Ishmael N. Daro for the National Post

Tucked away inside the 500-page budget unveiled in Ottawa Tuesday was a single sentence that is already raising alarm over how it will affect the way Canadians create and consume media. 

In a section about “celebrating our heritage,” the budget vows to update the Copyright Act “to protect sound recordings and performances for an additional 20 years,” raising the copyright term for musical works from 50 to 70 years and potentially signalling further restrictions on works of art yet (Read more…) As government announces costly new copyright terms, leading experts send letter to Industry Minister urging him to fix existing loopholes that are exposing Canadians to threats and abuse


For months, foreign media giants have abused Canada’s copyright system by threatening Canadians with penalties that are impossible under Canadian law, in order to intimidate them into paying extortionate charges

April 23, 2015 – Leading Canadian copyright experts and organizations are urging Industry Minister James Moore to fix dangerous loopholes in Canada’s copyright rules. In a joint letter to Minister Moore, 17 organizations and experts set out in detail what needs to be done to safeguard Canadians from media giants trying to abuse the system. The letter comes just days after the government quietly announced in Tuesday’s budget (Read more…) CSE is using Canadian metadata to follow us, and wants to keep it a secret

Why does this remind us of the kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar?

Article by Amber Hildebrandt for CBC   Canada’s electronic spy agency fretted over how its collection of cellphone and email metadata might be perceived even before CBC published a story on the agency using Wi-Fi data to track airport passengers, new documents obtained by CBC reveal.

A Communications Security Establishment employee warned in an email several days before the CBC story aired that public knowledge of the top-secret experiment, which followed passengers at a major Canadian international airport using their electronic footprints, “would be damaging” to the agency (Read more…) Canada is walking into a copyright trap

Canadians got an unpleasant surprise in the budget yesterday when the government announced that it would be extending copyright for sound recordings by 20 years, up from Canada’s current term of life of the creator plus 50 years. The move comes after the flawed implementation of Canada’s Notice and Notice system, which has left Canadians exposed to abusive and misleading copyright notices from foreign media giants.

Why is this bad news? International copyright experts and numerous studies suggest that copyright term extensions benefit neither content producers nor customers, and create major costs for society as a whole.

Copyright expert Michael (Read more…) Canada is walking into a copyright trap warn advocates, as government quietly announces it will lengthen copyright terms for sound recordings by 20 years with no public consultation


Content creators and everyday Canadians will pay the price for continued mishandling of copyright policy from government, as unaddressed Notice and Notice loophole continues to expose Canadians to abuse  


April 22, 2015 – Canadians got an unpleasant surprise in the budget yesterday when the government announced that it would be extending copyright for sound recordings by 20 years, up from Canada’s current term of life of the creator plus 50 years. The move comes after the flawed implementation of Canada’s Notice and Notice system, which has left Canadians exposed to abusive and misleading copyright notices from (Read more…) Your Daily Digital Digest for Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Your news links for today:

Rogers profits drop 17 per cent amidst fierce competition – Toronto Star Rogers aims to cut down on complaints with new bill format – Mobile Syrup Top Cable Lobbyist Confused Why People Like Google Better – DSL Reports The Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway: Why Copyright Term Extension for Sound Recordings Could Cost Consumers Millions – Michael Geist We Can’t Let John Deere Destroy the Very Idea of Ownership – WIRED Human rights groups call on government to withdraw Bill-C51 – Vancouver Observer How C-51 will undermine Canada’s business climate: An open letter from 60 Canadian (Read more…) Stand with Bernie Sanders: Unmask the TPP

Right now, Congress is moving forward on legislation that would allow the government to Fast Track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its extreme Internet censorship plan without any scrutiny of what’s in the agreement.

Why? Because if Americans knew that the TPP would make their Internet more expensive, censored, and policed, they’d hate it.

This is why we need to take a stand for full transparency.

From day one, the TPP negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy. The public has been kept in the dark about its contents. And what little we know comes from leaked texts.

read more Your Daily Digital Digest for Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Your news links for today:

Infographic: Bill C-51 by the numbers – CJFE


Bill C-51 opposition tweeted by Margaret Atwood, Sarah Harmer – CBC News


Terror fight hampering work on other criminal files, senior Mountie says – Toronto Star


A million nays: why India is pressing the ‘dislike’ button on Zuckerberg and Airtel – Tech in Asia

target=blank delivering poor Internet to poor people – Boing Boing


Zuckerberg says is not anti-net neutrality… but it is – BetaNews


MPAA Wants Private Theaters in U.S. Embassies to Lobby Officials – TorrentFreak

(Read more…) Business Leaders pen an open letter warning the government that Bill C-51 will cause serious damage to Canadian businesses

C51 rallies.jpg

60 leading businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors warn that “unbalanced” legislation will undermine operations and international trust in Canadian businesses

APRIL 21, 2015: 60 leading Canadian business people, entrepreneurs, and investors have sent Prime Minister Stephen Harper an open letter warning that Bill C-51 will stifle business, undermine international trust, and do lasting damage to Canada’s economy. The letter was circulated by digital rights organization OpenMedia. In the letter the business leaders also join with 198,000 Canadians who have added their name to a joint petition at

The leaders affiliated with companies worth billions of dollars (Read more…) IPOLITICS: CSIS IS KEEPING EVERYONE IN THE DARK ABOUT RECKLESS BILL C-51

CSIS is keeping everyone, including ministers of the Crown, out of the loop. And Harper seems to be OK with it. 

Article by Andrew Mitrovica for iPolitics 

When it comes to strengthening what passes for oversight of Canada’s spy service, Stephen Harper doesn’t listen to his critics. Maybe he’ll start listening to his friends.

Earlier this week, I spoke at length with a former senior government official who not only spent decades deep inside the Canadian spy biz, he also worked closely with, and remains a political ally of, the prime minister.

This former official — who agreed to (Read more…) Canada’s non-commercial copyright fail

Current copyright regimes are favouring the interest of big corporations while threatening our freedom of expression.

Article by Michael Geist

Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) starts tonight with events planned around the world. Last year, my daughter Jordan participated in the March of the Living, an annual event that brings thousands of people from around the world to the concentration camps in Poland. The experience had a profound effect and since her return she has become increasingly active within the March of the Living organization including joining the Ottawa board of directors. As part of tonight’s Holocaust remembrance event (Read more…) Over 200,000 actions to #RejectFear and #StopC51 – MPs are back in Ottawa this week, but are they listening?

Thanks to you, and countless thousands of other Canadians, our #StopC51 Week of Education to #RejectFear and #StopC51 was a smashing success.

In all our time at OpenMedia, we’ve never seen numbers quite like these: over 2,200 letters sent to local newspapers, over 1,400 phone calls to MPs (thanks Leadnow!), over 12,000 letters to MPs (in a single day!), and over 2,000 taking part in our Thunderclap that reached an amazing 1.9 million people.

And, of course, we also saw dozens of events organized by everyday Canadians in local communities across the country – not to mention (Read more…) Dozens of community events are taking place across Canada on Saturday to #RejectFear and #StopC51


Events have been organized not by organizations, but by everyday Canadians wanting to take a stand against what experts have described as a “Secret Police” bill

April 18, 2015: Dozens of community-organized events are taking place across Canada today (Saturday), as tens of thousands of Canadians continue to speak out against the government’s Bill C-51. It follows a #StopC51 Week of Education which has seen tens of thousands of people sign petitions (Nearly 200,000 signatures), write letters to local papers, and inundate MP offices with letters and phone calls.

Today’s events are not being organized by any specific (Read more…) Bill C-51 by the numbers: Learn more about the dangerous, reckless and ineffective bill

Still trying to wrap your mind around Bill C-51? Here’s an interesting infographic from CJFE. Learn more about why Bill C-51 is irresponsible, dangerous, and ineffective.

Article by CJFE 

[Yesterday marked] the anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the critical document that underpins our Canadian democracy. Bill C-51, Canada’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation, threatens these rights that shape our country’s values and puts our freedom at risk. 

read more