Tomorrow morning radio interviews talking copyright and the Android box injunction

For all you early birds:

June 15, 2016

Toronto–Metro Morning
Matt Galloway – Host
Twitter (show): @metromorning
Twitter (host): @mattgallowaycbc

Host: Craig Norris
Twitter: @cbckw891

Sudbury – Morning North
Markus Schwabe – Host
Twitter (show): @MorningNorth
Twitter (host): @cbcmarkus

Quebec City – Quebec AM
Host: Susan Campbell
Twitter (show): @cbcquebecam
Twitter (host): @susancbcquebec

Goose Bay (Labrador) – Labrador Morning
Matt McCann & Bailey White – Host/Tech
Twitter: @CBCLabrador

Corner Brook – West Coast Morning
Bernice Hillier – Host
EARLY AM Host/operator Brian Mchugh
Twitter: @cbccornerbrook

Gander – Central Morning
Leigh Anne Power – Host
Twitter: @centralmorning

Yellowknife – The Trailbreaker **IP**
Loren McGinnis- Host
Twitter: @TheTrailBreaker

Whitehorse – A New Day
Sandi Coleman – Host
Twitter (show): @cbcanewday

Calgary–The Eyeopener
David Gray – Host
Twitter (host David Gray): @graydio1
Show: @cbceyeopener

Kamloops – Daybreak Kamloops
Shelley Joyce (Host)
Twitter: @cbckamloops

Saskatoon — Saskatoon Morning
Leisha Grebinski – Host
Twitter: @cbcsaskatoon

World Book and Copyright Day

Come join me as I do a reading for World Book and Copyright Day!


A Collaborative Literary Performance in the Public Domain

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 9:00 am – 7:30 pm, or until finished

Robarts Library, 2nd floor lobby

Free Admission | Open to the public

Join us for a public and collaborative reading of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in its entirety in celebration of World Book and Copyright Day. World Book and Copyright Day is an event in honor of authorship and literacy and raises awareness about authors’ rights and users’ rights.

Brought to you by University of Toronto Libraries’ Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office and the University of Toronto CAPAL student chapter.

Participation or Exploitation?

Wages For Facebook, 2014. Poster design by Eric Nylund and Laurel Ptak.

Wages For Facebook, 2014. Poster design by Eric Nylund and Laurel Ptak.

I’ll be leading two sessions in this wonderful reading group put together by my intrepid ICCIT comrade Nicole Cohen and Christine Shaw of Blackwood Gallery. I’ll be discussing the economics of advertising in social media and the rise of networked social movements. Be sure to check out the full schedule and suggested readings at the following link: Blackwood Gallery

2015 UDC Conference at the University of Toronto

UDC 2015 Conference

2015 UDC Conference

The Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (ICCIT) will host the 2015 Union for Democratic Communications conference May 1st-3rd at the downtown campus of the University of Toronto. The call for papers is available on the conference website:

We look forward to seeing you in Toronto!

No Googling

The purpose of trademarks is to alert consumers of the source of a particular good or service. For example, if a bottle features the Coca Cola trademark on it you should, in theory, know the origin of the beverage. Yet trademark protections are only as good as a firm’s willingness and ability to maintain a balance between popularity and control. First, because trademark is not of a limited duration like patent or copyright, these protections will expire after a period of five years if the firm ceases to actively use the trademark. And second, if a trademark becomes so popular that it’s meaning becomes genericized within a language, the registration may be ruled invalid. For example, consider how the term Kleenex is now used as a generic expression to refer to facial tissue. The same thing happened to Bayer’s trademark on the word aspirin. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Google’s immense success in branding itself is now causing headaches for the firm as it struggles to maintain control over the word Google. Follow the link below to learn how you may be running afoul of IP restrictions every time you utter the phrase “I’ll just google that.”

No Googling, says Google — unless you really mean it

New study finds no evidence that patents are linked to greater levels of productivity or innovation

Two Federal Reserve economists have published a paper that argues for the abolition of patent law. Patents—along with copyright, trademark, trade secret, and right of publicity protections—are supposed to provide the economic incentive necessary for production. Together these laws constitute what is commonly referred to as intellectual property. However, the metaphor of property is a poor one at best. Systems of property are designed to manage scarce resources. Yet the immaterial goods which are subject to patent and copyright restrictions do not exhibit scarcity. In fact, intellectual property systems are designed specifically to produce scarcity where none exists. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to refer to these systems as intellectual monopolies. They are artificially induced shortages of economic inputs and there is every reason to believe they create considerable inefficiency. Early 20th century economist Arnold Plant argued as much and later members of the law and economics school of thought like Richard Posner and William Landes make similar assertions. The major claim of the authors of the current paper—economists Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine—is that there is no empirical evidence of a link between patent protections and greater levels of innovation and productivity—unless you measure productivity in terms of additional patents (which has no correlation with productivity). This paper strengthens the position of those who argue that the increasing levels of intellectual property protections, both in terms of scope and duration, stymie technological innovation, research and development, cultural production, and the free flow of ideas. To read the paper click the link below:

The Case Against Patents

Pfizver’s Viagra patent struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada

Canada’s Patent Act gives patent holders who filed after October of 1989 a 20 year monopoly and includes a disclosure obligation requiring patentees to make available information regarding the production process. This was done so that other parties may copy the process once the patent expires. In this particular case Teva Canada challenged the legitimacy of Pfizer’s patent based on Pfizer’s alleged obfuscation of the key ingredient(s) in the drug Viagra. See the link below for more.

Supreme Court ruling could lead to cheaper versions of Viagra