Archive for Legal Commentary

Concern as to the rights of “the media”

Today noted Pennsylvanian “G-man” Grolish expressed concern about Section 3 of the proposed constitutional amendment at Move to Amend. An interesting point and much depends on the designation of “the press”

This has been your daily political note from Pacanukeha Press.

Leave a Comment

So if there was no law …

“Toronto’s police chief is admitting there never was a five-metre rule that had people fearing arrest if they strayed too close to the G20 security perimeter.”

via The Globe and Mail – Police Admit Deliberately Misleading Public On Expanded Security Fence Law

My question is – since there was no law for the detentions are they not guilty of kidnapping for each of the 900 detainees?

Leave a Comment

Are Cameras the New Guns?

In which we compare and contrast:

In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

via Gizmodo and

Accountability and privacy are both relatively new inventions; villagers three centuries ago knew little of either. But of the two, accountability is much more precious, and it is hard to enforce when a large swath of public life is shrouded in secrecy.

via David Brin.

Leave a Comment

Obama wins the right to detain people with no habeas review

Today, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the Bush/Obama position, holding that even detainees abducted outside of Afghanistan and then shipped to Bagram have no right to contest the legitimacy of their detention in a U.S. federal court

via Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com.

Leave a Comment

Opinion: The Devil is in ACTA’s details

ACTA will require courts to consider a ‘lost sale analysis’ when assessing the amount of damages to be awarded for copyright infringement. This assesses damages on the basis that an infringement represents a loss of revenue from a transaction that otherwise would have happened, and the damage is the price of the good.

via iTnews.com.au.

Leave a Comment

Genomics Law Report – Mozilla Firefox

Pigs Fly: Federal Court Invalidates Myriad’s Patent Claims

via Genomics Law Report – Mozilla Firefox.

Boo. Also, Yah.

1. The Plaintiffs Win. The ruling appears to be a nearly complete victory for the plaintiffs and their supporters, including the ACLU. With respect to Myriad’s issued patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, Judge Sweet’s ruling invalidates both Myriad’s composition of matter claims (its patents on isolated DNA sequences to all or a portion of the breast cancer genes) and its method claims (those patent claims that relate to analyzing or comparing isolated DNA sequences in order to detect mutations in a patient’s BRCA1/2 genes that might cause breast cancer).

The overall tone of the Court’s ruling is best captured by this passage (from page 135):

The identification of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene sequences is unquestionably a valuable scientific achievement for which Myriad deserves recognition, but that is not the same as concluding that it is something for which they are entitled to a patent.

Leave a Comment

On Citizenship

The CBC is reporting that Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian stranded in Sudan is deemed a security risk, denied a passport.

I do not believe a government is just that can decide to restrict the ability of a citizen to return home.

Word of the day: Disgusted.

Leave a Comment

We have everything to fear from ID cards – Telegraph

A very quotable bit from an article in the UK’s consie tabloid The Telegraph. Just goes to show that they aren’t all neocons.

We have everything to fear from ID cards – Telegraph

The compulsory ID card scheme is a sickness born of too much suspicion and too little regard for the meaning of tolerance and privacy in modern life.

Leave a Comment

Canada’s obligations to the WIPO treaty.

We have not ratified that treaty and therefore have no obligations.

Leave a Comment

Letter to the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister.

Subject: Canadian Copyright Bill AKA CDMCA

Dear Minister Prentice

It is believed that on Tuesday, the 11th of December 2007 you are expected to introduce new copyright legislation without public consultation. I would like to inform you of my sadness that you are letting a great opportunity to lead the Canadian people fall by the wayside. In my work as a scientific researcher I am intimately associated with the use and creation of copyrighted works and patented ideas so I consider myself to be both knowledgeable in the area and directly affected on a daily basis by any new law. The obfuscated process used to create our new copyright law is of great concern to me. It is also a disservice to your stature as a senior politician, to the people of the Calgary riding whom you represent, to Canadians at large, and to Canadian industry – cultural, technical, or otherwise. The anticipated contents of the bill lead me to believe that the benefits of international copyright cartels were considered to the exclusion of many Canadian copyright content generators and Canadian copyright users.

If, as the public suspects, you are intending to introduce, among other things, a Canadian version of the DMCA, you would do well to consider the fate of the original American DMCA: Bruce Lehman, it’s architect, has stated publicly that the results of that have not been those that the crafters of the legislation wished. In addition, 2 of the 4 major international music labels are beginning to abandon the DRM technologies that the DMCA was created to protect.

Does Canada really want to follow in failed footsteps or do we want to follow the lead as described in recent Canadian Supreme Court rulings that speaks to the necessity of balance in any copyright policy? Does Canada really want to create a law designed to aid local talent where this talent has explicitly and vociferously rejected such aid?

Prime Minister Harper in his recent throne speech included copyright reform as being one of the priorities of the Canadian government in the coming year but no public consultation has been carried out on digital technology – the area most likely to be addressed by new legislation – for more than 5 years.

Ordinary Canadians such as myself have many issues that we would like addressed in such legislation. I wonder if fair-use, time-shifting, device-shifting, personal and public archiving, free and open educational use, unhindered academic research, notice-and-notice safe harbour provisions, parody, satire, criticism and library access will be addressed with the care, fairness, and balance that they deserve.

You stated on the 6th of December that you would hold consultation and review of the law after it has passed. How can this be logical or sensible? Given the speed with which mature consideration of such complex issues is undertaken we cannot expect any revisions or changes to the law for many years. Canada and Canadians deserve forethought from their government – this new law puts that at risk.

I would therefore hope that you would respond to the recent outcry over this bill by referring it to a committee where its content and merits will be debated in an open and transparent process so as to benefit all Canadians.

Sincerely

Christopher Beck

Senior Bioinformatician

Genome Quebec and Montreal Heart Institute Pharmacogenomics Centre

 

CC: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Josee Verner, James Rajotte, Thierry St-Cyr

Comments (2)

Older Posts »