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Submission + - Canadian musician fined $1200 for pennies on album cover (

silentbrad writes: The National Post reports: "The [Royal Canadian] Mint recently issued a warning to Halifax-based folk music singer Dave Gunning — whose upcoming album depicts pennies on both the front and back cover — that he has violated the government’s copyright on the currency. Most of us have probably never thought of inspecting our money in great detail, but Canadian bills do indeed contain a copyright notice in the lower right corner, and coins are covered under the same provisions. The album, entitled No More Pennies, includes lyrics about the coin and features a man sitting in a coffee shop with a bunch of pennies strewn across the counter on its front cover. On the back is a picture of a giant penny falling below the horizon like a sunset. The Mint says it will not charge Mr. Gunning a fee for the first 2,000 albums he produces, but will levy a charge of $1,200 for the next 2,000 copies — a cost this struggling artist says he cannot afford. According to one government bureaucrat, however, the Mint is helping 'this guy out by giving him a break.' ... 'It is pennies to them but is pretty substantial for me,' said Mr. Gunning, who has launched a 'Penny Drive' to try and raise the money to pay this unexpected tax. ... The Canadian dollar is not the only major currency protected by copyright — the British Pound and the Euro also feature copyright notices. But the idea that the government can own the copyright on its works is a concept that’s completely foreign to Americans and citizens of many other countries. Under this country’s Copyright Act, all government works 'belong to Her Majesty' and remain copyrighted 'for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.' This is known as 'Crown Copyright,' which is different from how public works are handled in countries such as the United States, where government documents are automatically put into the public domain."

Submission + - Proposed Bill C-11 Amendments (

silentbrad writes: Michael Geist talks about Bill C-11, which has just gone into review: "The Bill C-11 committee has just opened the clause-by-clause review of the copyright bill with 39 amendments on the table: 8 from the goverment, 17 from the NDP, and 14 from the Liberals. The good news is that the misinformation campaign on issues such as fair dealing, user generated content, consumer provisions, statutory damages, and Internet provider liability has largely failed as the government is not proposing significant changes to those provisions. Unfortunately, the digital lock provisions will also remain largely unchanged as the government is not proposing to link circumvention to copyright infringement (both the NDP and Liberals will put forward such amendments). The music and movie lobby are getting one of their demands as the enabler provision will be expanded from targeting sites "primarily designed" to enable infringement to providing a service primarily for the purpose of enabling acts of infringement. The CIMA demand for an even broader rule has been rejected."

Submission + - Adopt national protection code for consumers, Rogers urges CRTC ( 1

silentbrad writes: Canada’s largest mobile service provider is urging the federal telecom regulator to implement a mandatory national consumer protection code in order to diffuse the threat posed by a growing hotchpotch of provincial regulations for wireless services. Rogers Communications Inc. submitted that proposal to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in an application late Thursday. In doing so, Rogers becomes the second major carrier to ask the CRTC to resume active regulation of the terms and conditions for wireless service contracts, a practice that it largely abandoned during the 1990s. Nonetheless, those regulatory powers, while latent, remain in the Telecommunications Act, meaning the CRTC can still exercise its authority over those matters.

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