It’s piracy week here at AM.com! This story is not necessarily a 100% internet law story (it’s maybe 87.3%) but it really caught my eye yesterday. And I think it does have a bunch of lessons for the internet law fans out there. Some dude in Winnipeg this week pleaded guilty to copyright infringement and got an 18-month sentence and a $20,000 fine. Once you pick your jaw up off the floor, I’ll explain how all of this is possible.
It was widely reported yesterday (first over the weekend by Torrentfreak), that links to the Pirate Bay were being blocked by MSN Messenger. Yes yes, I know, who uses MSN Messenger anymore? Some people, apparently! This seemed like an awesome story, the confluence of pirating, copyright, the intertubes, and the evil Microsoft empire. Right in my wheelhouse!
So I thought I would write a huge piece about freedom of expression, the internet, the future of copyright, and everything. But first, I felt that in the name of journalism (?), I should try to confirm the findings. Here’s what transpired over MSN (with the name of the recipient withheld for, uh, privacy?):
Well that was a bust. At least you’re spared my rantings. For today.
Howdy kidz! It’s Monday Morning, which is the absolute bestest time to read legislation! And read legislation we shall. Don’t go away, this is important! Maybe. Last week, Bill C-11, The Copyright Modernization Act (you should all know that by now), made it out of committee and will come back to the House soon for third reading, passage, then rubber-stamping by the Senate before it gets official Royal Assent. And we now have the details of the amendments that the Committee passed. Note that all the amendments passed were Conservative ones, and all the Liberal and NDP amendments failed. Try to act shocked. Anyway, I thought I would take a look at one of the amendments that directly affects the internet and our favourite method to locate torrent files, isoHunt. Let’s break it down after the jump.
In my business, there are no two more important people than Barry Sookman and Michael Geist. They are the giants of Intellectual Property and internet law in this country, and I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with both of them. What’s fun for the outside observer is that they are on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. Sookman is a corporate guy working to protect the economic rights of the big boys, while Geist is sort of a Lawrence Lessig disciple who stands up for the little guy but who some believe goes a little too far in his disdain for a lot of legitimate protection for rights holders. This has led to some epic pissing matches between the two (though usually done politely), one just a month ago. The latest volley was lobbed yesterday, as Sookman wrote a piece that was, well, hmmm. Not so nice? I can’t really explain it. Join me after the jump for the juicy blockquotes.
Anonymous is all over Canadian news yesterday and today. I have been trying to avoid discussing them (it?) since I started this blog for fear of alienating any potential future corporate clients. I do have to make a living, you know. But I cannot ignore a big story that is all about law and the internet in Canada. Let’s dig through the muck after the jump.
I am currently hammering out a piece on the new policy for The Gazette’s Legal Matters. I’ll update this post with a link to that when it gets published, assuming they don’t reject it for my fucking salty language.
UPDATE – And here is The Gazette article. Fuck it’s not too bad. Enjoy!
UPDATE #2 – Check out what’s the most poular story on The Gazette right now: