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Conference Board of Canada’s Copyright Report Plagiarized U.S. Lobbyist’s Report

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piratesflagsMichael Geist: The Conference Board of Canada bills itself as “the foremost, independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. Objective and non-partisan. We do not lobby for specific interests.” These claims should take a major hit based on last week’s release of a deceptive, plagiarized report on the digital economy that copied text from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (the primary movie, music, and software lobby in the U.S.), at times without full attribution. The report itself was funded by copyright lobby groups (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Copyright Collective of Canada which represents U.S. film production) along with the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The role of the Ontario government obviously raises questions about taxpayer dollars being used to pay for a report that simply recycles the language of a U.S. lobby group paper.

Start with the press release promoting the study, titled “Canada Seen as the File Swapping Capital of the World” which claims:

As a result of lax regulation and enforcement, internet piracy appears to be on the increase in Canada. The estimated number of illicit downloads (1.3 billion) is 65 times higher than the number legal downloads (20 million), mirroring the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s conclusion that Canada has the highest per capita incidence of unauthorized file-swapping in the world.

bspcommentThis was NO accident! It seems to me that Harper and his party of has been Neocons have quite clearly sided with the U.S. movie, music and entertianment industries on the issue of copyright reform, including fair-use and the continued entranchment of corporate rights over individual rights with respect to intellectual property and copyright.

And this isn’t the first time a Canadian thinktank, lobbyist or government official has been caught bending the  truth in order to make the facts fit the reality they need to push their legislative agenda.

Misleading RCMP data: Yet despite the reliance on this figure – the Industry Committee referenced it in its final report – a closer examination reveals that the RCMP data is fatally flawed. Responding to an Access to Information Act request for the sources behind the $30 billion claim, Canada’s national police force last week admitted that the figures were based on “open source documents found on the Internet.” In other words, the RCMP did not conduct any independent research on the scope or impact of counterfeiting in Canada, but rather merely searched for news stories on the Internet and then stood silent while lobby groups trumpeted the figure before Parliament.

It’s time for the government to come clean with it’s plans for implementing the ACTA and other proposed copyright “reform” measures and let the debate and reform of the legislation happen in the complete light of day and in full public view. We have seen the devastating effects when industries as large as the entertainment industry are allowed to “self-regulate” and have a heavy hand in writing legislative solutions to save their dying business models.

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Written by mattliving

May 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm

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