- Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Economy; National Innovation Performance and Intellectual Property Rights:
- A Comparative Analysis; and
- Intellectual Property RightsâCreating Value and Stimulating Investment.
It’s a, “stunning and positive development,” says Ottawa copyright lawyer Howard Knopf (right) on Excess Copyright.
He goes on to quote the front page of the board’s web site as saying »»»
An internal review has determined that these reports did not follow the high quality research standards of The Conference Board of Canada.
Of course, Board standards had nothing to do with it. In fact, the complete lack of them compelled it to pull the ‘reports’ and had it not been for the efforts of Ottawa law professors Michael Geist and Jeremy deBeer, there’s little doubt the documents would now be circulating around the halls of power and quoted widely by the mainstream media as though they were factual and accurate.
“Borrowing heavily from a document inspired principally by the major Hollywood studios and Big 4 record labels,” the Canadian organisation held Canada up as the file swapping capital of the world, said p2pnet yesterday.
“Geist pointed out the similarities in a paragraph-by-paragraph comparison and predictably, in a bid to try to justify the ‘findings’, the board is angrily denying his allegations,” and de Beer was commissioned by the board last spring to conduct independent research on copyright legislation, said the story.
His findings ran counter to many of the board’s conclusions and weren’t mentioned in the report, Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Economy.
Says Knopf of the board’s retraction »»»
This is in stark contrast to the reported statements only yesterday of the Conference Board’s Vice President Gilles Rheaume, who recites the now recalled report’s main conclusion:
“Basically what is happening is that we are a major laggard when it comes to protecting intellectual property rights on the Internet. That is a big issue for us,” said Gilles Rheaume, vice-president, public policy at the Conference Board. “We are the illegal file swapping country of the world – the leading country, when you look at Canada compared to other OECD countries.
“It is certainly an issue when we deal with Americans; it is something that is a sore point for them.”
One particular point should be made right away. While I am sure that there will be a lot of fall out and follow up from this unfortunate episode, I do hope that the there are no unfair repercussions for whoever at the Conference Board had the good professional sense to retain Professor Jeremy de Beer in the first place. That was a good call. That his good work was subsequently reportedly ignored was not a good call.
Geist and de Beer, “should be commended not only for their substantive work on these issues but for bravely speaking truth to power,” says Knopf, adding:
“We need more of this from other Canadian academics, who should also learn from Michael and Jeremy’s outstanding contributions here.”
Continue to stay tuned.
Excess Copyright – Conference Board Volte Face, May 28, 2009
Michael Geist – Conference Board denies Geist allegations, May 26, 2009
Jeremy deBeer – Conference Board `report` scandal escalates, May 27, 2009
p2pnet – Conference Board `report` scandal escalates, May 27, 2009
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