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      Right-to-repair rules for electronics, appliances targeted for 2024, Canada says / ArsTechnica · Friday, 31 March, 2023 - 19:22 · 1 minute

    Mobile phone repair, closeup

    Enlarge (credit: Getty )

    Like in other parts of the world, Canada is working out what the right to repair means for its people. The federal government said in its 2023 budget released Tuesday that it will bring the right to repair to Canada. At the same time, it's considering a universal charging port mandate like the European Union (EU) is implementing with USB-C.

    The Canadian federal government's 2023 budget introduces the right to repair under the chapter entitled “Making Life More Affordable and Supporting the Middle Class." It says that the "government will work to implement a right to repair, with the aim of introducing a targeted framework for home appliances and electronics in 2024." The government plans to hold consultations on the matter and claimed it will "work closely with provinces and territories" to implement the right to repair in Canada:

    When it comes to broken appliances or devices, high repair fees and a lack of access to specific parts often mean Canadians are pushed to buy new products rather than repairing the ones they have. This is expensive for people and creates harmful waste.

    Devices and appliances should be easy to repair, spare parts should be readily accessible, and companies should not be able to prevent repairs with complex programming or hard-to-obtain bespoke parts. By cutting down on the number of devices and appliances that are thrown out, we will be able to make life more affordable for Canadians and protect our environment.

    The budget also insinuates that right-to-repair legislation can make third-party repairs cheaper than getting a phone, for example, repaired by the manufacturer, where it could cost " far more than it should.”

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      Meta threatens to restrict news in Canada if it’s forced to pay publishers / ArsTechnica · Monday, 13 March, 2023 - 16:32

    Meta threatens to restrict news in Canada if it’s forced to pay publishers

    Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto / Contributor | NurPhoto )

    After losing a similar battle in Australia , Meta continues to resist efforts by a growing number of countries to require the social media company to pay for news linked on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. On Saturday, Meta announced that it would end news access for Canadian Facebook and Instagram users if the country’s Online News Act is passed, Reuters reported .

    A Meta spokesperson told Ars that the online advertising giant contends that laws like Canada’s proposed legislation “misrepresents” the relationship between its platforms and news publishers. According to Meta spokesperson Lisa Laventure, the company’s stance in Canada is the same as its stance protesting the United States’ Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA).

    “A legislative framework that compels us to pay for links or content that we do not post, and which are not the reason the vast majority of people use our platforms, is neither sustainable nor workable,” Laventure said.

    Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      Canada Proposes New Regime to Block and Deindex Pirate Sites

      Ernesto Van der Sar · / TorrentFreak · Thursday, 15 April, 2021 - 09:41 · 3 minutes

    canada flag The Canadian Government is exploring if and how current copyright law should be amended to better fit the present landscape.

    To this end, Canada’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development department launched a consultation asking for feedback on a wide range of proposals.

    The ultimate goal is to deter piracy by helping copyright holders better protect their content. At the same time, the Government wants to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individual citizens.

    This isn’t a new topic in Canada where there have been similar consultations in the past. Just two years ago, this resulted in a thorough review of the Copyright Act , which advised against implementing a broad site-blocking scheme.

    Today, however, the site-blocking proposal is again being considered, albeit in a different form.

    New Plan to Block and Deindex Pirate Sites

    The proposal notes that any new blocking legislation would be primarily focused on commercial-scale infringement. It shouldn’t target individuals directly, although they ultimately are the ones whose access is blocked.

    The general idea would be to change the law to ‘expressly’ allow courts to require ISPs to block sites and services. Similarly, courts should also be able to order search engines such as Google to remove these pirate sources from search results.

    These orders can be issued without assuming any liability on the part of Internet providers or search engines, who can keep their roles as neutral service providers.

    “The Act could be amended to provide expressly for injunctions against intermediaries to prevent or stop online copyright infringement facilitated by their services even where they are not themselves liable for it, such as where they may be protected by the safe harbors,” the proposal reads.

    The Government adds that these injunctions should be issued by courts that are expected to guarantee the highest standards of procedural fairness.

    Staydown and Termination Injunctions

    In addition to site-blocking and search engine de-indexing, courts should also be able to order online service providers to prevent infringing content from being re-uploaded, or to suspend or terminate access to infringing customers.

    Cementing these options into law is warranted, according to the Government, as courts have already issued site blocking and de-indexing injunctions in the past. This includes the GoldTV case, which is currently being appealed by Internet provider TekSavvy .

    This begs the question; if these injunctions are already an option under current law, why would anything need to change?

    Fewer Court Cases?

    According to the proposal, clearer legal guidelines could help to bring copyright holders and intermediaries together, which may ultimately lead to fewer court cases.

    “This legislative scheme could moreover deter litigation by encouraging intermediaries, rights holders and others to work together to establish a suitable framework for dealing with alleged infringements facilitated by the intermediaries’ services,” the proposal reads.

    This indirectly suggests that the Government hopes that the end result will be more voluntary agreements. While some ISPs may be open to the idea of blocking pirate sites without a court order, we doubt that all are.

    What About the Copyright Act Review?

    To some people, it may come as a surprise that the Government is proposing a site-blocking scheme now as an earlier review of the Copyright Act dismissed this idea . However, the wording of the proposal appears to be carefully crafted to fit the outcome of the earlier review.

    For example, the review dismissed the idea of a “non-judicial” site-blocking scheme or “narrowing the safe harbor” of online service providers. Instead, it argued that new legislation should be focused on “commercial-scale infringers.”

    The new proposal suggests a “judicial” site-blocking scheme that keeps safe harbors intact and is primarily aimed at commercial-scale infringers. This ticks all the right boxes, although that will undoubtedly be contested.

    A full overview of all the proposals, which also includes new measures against repeat infringers and plans for compulsory licensing agreements, is available on the public consultation page published by the Innovation, Science and Economic Development department.

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Au Canada, la neige devient fresques féériques avec les raquettes de cet artiste

      Le HuffPost avec AFP · / HuffingtonPost · Thursday, 4 February, 2021 - 21:39 · 3 minutes

    NEIGE - Des mandalas et des rosaces géantes au détour d’une route ou d’un champ enneigés. Ce sont d’étonnantes œuvres d’art éphémères sur neige que certains habitants de l’Ontario au Canada peuvent admirer régulièrement depuis plusieurs mois. Mais ce sont les internautes qui ont participé à élargir de leur notoriété.

    Sur son compte Facebook, l’artiste Kim Asmussen a pris l’habitude de publier des vidéos de ses créations. Sa dernière, postée le 29 janvier a fini par attirer l’attention des médias et les œuvres poétiques de ce directeur d’école conquièrent désormais l’œil de plus en plus de monde.

    Oublier la pandémie

    L’artiste a eu l’idée de ces œuvres d’art géantes l’an dernier: en faisant des recherches sur les sculptures sur neige, il a découvert les monumentales créations “d’art de neige” avec raquettes de l’artiste Simon Beck dans le parc de Banff à l’ouest du Canada.  “Je me suis dit, peut-être que je peux en faire autant”, se souvient Kim Asmussen, 62 ans, heureux d’avoir trouvé un moyen de concilier activité mentale et physique pendant la pandémie.

    L’exercice requiert de la méthode “parce qu’une fois que vous avez fait une trace dans la neige, vous ne pouvez plus l’effacer”, prévient l’artiste. “Je commence en dessinant une forme -un hexagone, un carré ou un triangle- puis je trace des lignes ou des cercles qui les traversent”, explique-t-il.
    L’homme s’aide de logiciels de dessin et des sites internet spécialisés pour localiser les meilleurs emplacements.

    Une boussole, des cordes et des bâtons

    Une fois sur le terrain, il utilise une boussole, des cordes, des bâtons et se fait aider par une équipe d’amis et d’étudiants équipés eux aussi de raquettes pour écraser la neige en formant d’immenses formes géométriques en relief.
    Une fresque prend de quelques heures à plusieurs jours de travail, selon la taille et la complexité des motifs.

    Depuis qu’il a commencé l’an dernier, Kim Asmussen a réalisé une vingtaine d’œuvres sur des champs ou des lacs gelés autour de sa ville de Schreiber, à environ 1.200 km au nord-ouest de Toronto, sur les rives du Lac Supérieur. La plus grande mesurait 400 mètres de long.

    Les premiers pas de “l’art sur neige avec raquette”

    Avant que la prochaine chute de neige n’efface ses créations, Kim Asmussen les immortalise en les photographiant et en les filmant par drone. Il les diffuse ensuite sur son compte Facebook , où elles attirent désormais de plus en plus de public.

    Selon lui, seule une poignée d’artistes s’adonnent à la pratique de “l’art sur neige avec raquettes”. ”Ça commence seulement à décoller”, note-t-il, espérant que son exemple fera des émules. Il aimerait pouvoir associer plusieurs écoles de la région à ses œuvres, voire créer un festival d’art de la raquette à neige. Il cherche en attendant des emplacements près de l’autoroute transcanadienne pour que ses futures réalisations puissent être vues par les automobilistes et routiers de passage.

    À voir également sur Le HuffPost: À New York, les images de la tempête de neige qui a enseveli la ville

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      Covid-19 : la fausse solution de Québec solidaire

      Pierre-Guy Veer · / Contrepoints · Thursday, 4 February, 2021 - 03:50 · 3 minutes


    Par Pierre-Guy Veer.

    Au Québec , il n’existe aucun parti libéral digne de ce nom qui questionne un tant soit peu l’État byzantin. Mais un seul parti affiche ouvertement son penchant socialiste : Québec solidaire. Sa philosophie : hors de l’État, point de salut.

    C’est particulièrement évident lors d’une sortie récente de son député Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois (GND), « scandalisé » que des interventions de chirurgie esthétique soient maintenues, et ce presque sans attente. Considérant la situation virale actuelle, il propose évidemment la saisie de ces salles d’opérations pour soulager l’engorgement des hôpitaux dû à la covid.

    Une telle sortie de GND n’est nullement surprenante. Ancien activiste étudiant croyant que l’argent pousse dans les arbres, il pense que les 50 dernières années d’administration publique désastreuse de la santé sont une aberration statistique.

    En effet, le budget provincial alloué à la santé n’a cessé d’augmenter. Il a nominalement triplé depuis les coupures effectuées au milieu des années 1990. Lors du dernier budget, la Santé occupait plus de 43 % des dépenses de programme, avec une augmentation annuelle moyenne de plus de 5 %.

    Et pourtant, les listes d’attente ne raccourcissent pas. En juillet 2018 , l’attente pour consulter son médecin de famille était de 371 jours. Ces médecins sont tellement débordés que l’inscription de 75 000 personnes a été refusée.

    Si on ajoute en plus la Covid-19, en faveur duquel les chirurgies « non urgentes » sont reportées ou annulées, les listes d’attente ne peuvent que s’allonger encore plus.

    Covid : l’erreur fatale du tout-public

    Ce n’est donc pas en contraignant les services privés à effectuer des opérations relevant du secteur public que le problème se réglera – ni en taxant les entreprises qui « ont profité » de la pandémie de covid.

    C’est plutôt en opérant un changement radical de la considération des patients dans les hôpitaux. Comme le rappelle l’IÉDM , dans des hôpitaux tout-public ils constituent une dépense. Il faut donc rationner les dépenses pour éviter de défoncer les budgets.

    Mais dans un établissement privé, les patients sont considérés comme une source de revenus. Il y a donc tout intérêt à fournir un excellent service pour offrir davantage de soins – même de routine – dans le futur.

    Et le temps d’attente, quand il existe, est infinitésimal par rapport au public. Tant et si bien que des organismes publics comme la CSST (qui compense les accidentés du travail) s’orientent vers le secteur privé, engendrant ainsi des économies en bout de ligne : moins de temps d’attente, de compensation, etc.

    Un partenariat économe

    Si l’État doit gérer les soins de santé, orienter vers le secteur privé les patients ne pouvant se faire opérer à temps en secteur public pourrait faire économiser de précieux fonds.

    Des exemples existent déjà au Québec, notamment pour certains CHSLD (hospices) dits conventionnés : ils reçoivent des fonds publics mais sont gérés de façon privée. Aucun d’entre eux, lors d’un sondage auprès des usagers, n’a reçu de cote préoccupante, par rapport à 12 % des établissements tout-public.

    De plus, même les coûts sont plus faibles, de l’aveu même du très keynésien Pierre Fortin : 12 % pour tous les coûts, et 26 % si on considère exclusivement les coûts d’administration.

    Bref, GND aurait intérêt à sortir de sa bulle utopique et se rendre à l’évidence : dans sa forme actuelle le tout public est la seule raison pour laquelle les listes d’attente sont si longues. Plutôt que d’envier le succès du privé, il devrait plutôt l’observer et s’en inspirer.

    Mais comme une privatisation en santé est impensable, une alliance pourrait soulager le système en y orientant des patients. Depuis l’arrêté Chalouhi en 2006,  ceux qui doivent attendre pour certaines opérations peuvent être soignés dans le secteur privé et être remboursés par le service public.

    Résultat : la Belle province dépasse la moyenne canadienne pour les temps d’attente.

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      Ubisoft Montreal staffers barricade on roof amid possible hostage situation

      Kate Cox · / ArsTechnica · Friday, 13 November, 2020 - 19:40

    Ubisoft Montreal staffers barricade on roof amid possible hostage situation

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images / Ubisoft / Aurich Lawson)

    A potential hostage situation is reportedly taking place at the building in which game developer Ubisoft's Montreal office is housed.

    Canadian media began reporting a major police operation outside the Ubisoft Montreal headquarters around 1:30pm Eastern time. Montreal police confirmed that there is an "ongoing police operation" at the intersection where Ubisoft Montreal sits, adding, "We ask people to avoid the area. The SVPM is currently validating information and more details will follow."

    Live-streamed footage from French-language outlet LCN showed a group of people together on the roof deck of the building behind a makeshift barricade seemingly constructed of folding tables leaning against the access door. Developer Eric Pope confirmed in a Tweet that the individuals on the roof were indeed Ubisoft employees, saying, "This is insane. This is my team on the roof."

    Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      841 Alleged Pirates of Movie ‘The Outpost’ Targeted in Canada Federal Court

      Andy Maxwell · / TorrentFreak · Friday, 25 September, 2020 - 07:50 · 5 minutes

    The Outpost Mass lawsuits targeting Internet subscribers who allegedly downloaded and/or shared copyrighted material have been a common tactic for content companies over more than 15 years.

    The targets are nearly always BitTorrent users since without using a decent VPN , they are easy prey for anti-piracy companies.

    The practice is widespread in the United States and in many countries across Europe but Canada is also popular with mass litigants, who are often labeled ‘copyright trolls’ due to their tactics.

    Statement of Claim Filed in Federal Court of Toronto

    Filed on September 23 by Outpost Productions, Inc., the action targets 841 IP addresses allocated to the same number of ‘Doe’ defendants, none of whom are currently known by name to the plaintiffs. It’s alleged that each person downloaded and/or uploaded the 2020 war drama movie ‘The Outpost’ in breach of copyright law.

    According to the claim, the defendants shouldn’t be surprised that they are being targeted. After their infringement was detected on BitTorrent networks, they were each sent a notice via their ISPs informing them that they had been observed online sharing the movie. If they stopped at that point, no further action would be taken, they were told.

    No Defendants Responded or Took the Advice to Stop

    After the first notices were sent out, an anti-piracy company working on behalf of Outpost Productions continued to monitor BitTorrent swarms sharing the movie. During this period, it was possible to determine that the 841 IP addresses listed in the claim were still downloading and/or sharing the content days and in some cases weeks later.

    As a result, they were sent a second notice, again via their ISP.

    “As a result of each Defendant’s failure to respond to the First Notice and his or her continuation of the Unlawful Acts, a second notice..was sent to the Defendant by Counsel for the Plaintiff after the forensic software detected that the same IP address was offering for upload the same work,” the plaintiffs write.

    “This Second Notice indicated that the work had not been removed and that legal action may be taken as against such Defendant. The Defendant failed or refused to respond to the Second Notice and continued his or her Unlawful Acts.”

    The claim notes that it is illegal under the Copyright Act to make content available for download, advertise a work for download, and illegal not to take “reasonable, or any, steps” to ensure that the person downloading the work is authorized to do so by law.

    ISPs Log IP Addresses By Time and Date

    At this stage the true identities of the Does are not known by the plaintiffs but the claim notes that their respective ISPs carry time and date logs that allow them to correlate an IP address to the identity of a specific customer.

    “The ‘customer’ may be the infringer of copyright, in particular if the assigned IP address is only used by a single device,” the claim adds, cautiously. However, even if the IP address is shared with multiple devices, the customer “should have, and ought to have, the knowledge of who was using the customer’s internet account at the specifically identified date and time.”

    While the plaintiffs believe that it will be possible to trace an IP address to an ISP customer, they further note that “further examination of the customer” may be necessary.

    Identifying Who Actually Infringed is More Difficult

    Households with an ISP connection often have several users, each doing their own thing on their own devices. This can cause problems when trying to pin a specific act on an individual using the same IP address as everyone else. This eventuality is tackled in the claim by holding the person who pays the bill responsible for the actions of everyone else.

    “[S]ome of the Defendants may not be the direct infringer, but through negligence or wilful blindness has authorized others to do the foregoing acts, including the Unlawful Acts. In this regard, the Plaintiff pleads that each Defendant possessed sufficient control over the use of his or her internet account and associated computers and internet devices such that he or she authorized, sanctioned, approved or countenanced the infringements…,” the claim adds.

    There are 841 IP addresses listed in the lawsuit and while we haven’t researched every single one, a random sample of around 100 reveals that the addresses are registered to well known Canadian ISPs including Bell, Eastlink, Rogers, SaskTel, TekSavvy, and Telus Communications.

    Claim for Injunction and Damages

    The main goal in this and all similar claims is for the plaintiffs to receive financial compensation for the alleged actions of the infringers while preventing any infringement from continuing. In respect of the former, that can only be achieved once alleged infringers have been identified by their ISPs.

    That is usually achieved via a so-called Norwich Order, which allows plaintiffs to bring an action against an innocent third-party (in this case ISPs) tied up in some wrongdoing to compel them to participate in a discovery process, i.e matching IP addresses to names and addresses, before handing those lists to the plaintiff.

    Historically, TekSavvy is the most obvious ISP when it comes to the possibility of protecting its customers from being identified but whether it will put up a fight in this matter is currently unknown.

    While the plaintiffs urge the court to prevent the defendants from continuing to infringe, the Doe defendants are being sent a copy of the case by the court, advising them that if they do want to put up a defense, they must do so within 30 days of receiving the claim.

    This and Earlier Cases Linked to Millenium Media

    As reported in February, more than 3,300 defendants are being targeted in similar actions brought by companies behind the movies Angel Has Fallen and Rambo: Last Blood.

    In common with The Outpost, all entities are directly connected to Millenium Media, whose affiliates sued and then reached a settlement with torrent site YTS.

    Part of that settlement involved YTS handing over user data to the companies in question, something that is now resulting in alleged pirates being sued in the United States. There is currently no suggestion that YTS data is being used in the present action.

    A copy of the Statement of Claim can be found here (pdf, via Excess Copyright )

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Copyright Holders Intervene to Support Canadian Pirate Site Blocks in Court

      Ernesto Van der Sar · / TorrentFreak · Friday, 21 August, 2020 - 09:10 · 3 minutes

    canada flag Two years ago, Canadian broadcasting giants Groupe TVA, Bell, and Rogers took the relatively small pirate IPTV service GoldTV to court.

    What started as a simple copyright lawsuit soon became much more than that. With the pirate service failing to respond in court, the rightsholders requested an injunction to require local ISPs to block several related domain names.

    This request met pushback from some ISPs but to no avail. Late 2018, Canada became the first North American country to require an ISP to block a pirate site or service .

    Site Blocking Appeal

    This blockade is still in place today but Internet provider TekSavvy has continued to object. The company filed an appeal at the Federal Court, which is ongoing. This raised the interest of several third parties, who all want to have their say in this important matter.

    Earlier this month, the .CA domain registry and CIPPIC filed their interventions , arguing that blocking injunctions violate the Copyright Act and Telecoms Act.

    On the other side of the spectrum, several copyright holders also asked the court to be heard. This request was approved under the condition that they would file a joint submission.

    Copyright holders Intervene

    TorrentFreak obtained a copy of the memorandum, submitted on behalf of the Premier League, Music Canada and the Publishers Association, among others. As expected, they back the blocking efforts.

    In their submission, the copyright holders paint a grim picture of an Internet that’s full of illegal activity. This includes pirate sites and services that are nearly impossible to stop. Site blocking is one of the only options they have to counter the threat.

    “Offenders operate under cloaks of anonymity, operating download and streaming sites and servers typically from outside Canada, flouting court orders, and undermining the rule of law. Voluntary takedown requests are ignored or deteriorate into a futile game of whack-a-mole,” the submission reads.

    “Claimants have few if any direct means of enforcing court orders against such offenders. Blocking orders to be implemented by Internet service providers (‘ISPs’) are one of the only means available to disrupt these and other illegal business models.”

    In isolation, these comments will do little to convince the court, but they represent just the introduction to a series of legal arguments. TekSavvy’s appeal challenges whether the court has jurisdiction over this matter, but the rightsholders believe that this critique is unwarranted.

    The blocking order is in line with international treaty obligations, they counter. In addition, they don’t see the Copyright Act as a stumbling block either.

    No Net Neutrality for ‘Unlawful’ Traffic

    The same is true for net neutrality. Canada’s net neutrality policy doesn’t allow Internet providers to block domains or specific traffic types. However, the copyright holders note that this doesn’t apply to ‘unlawful’ traffic.

    “Although the precise scope of net neutrality is not universally agreed upon or well-defined, it is clear that the international consensus is that it does not operate to
    protect unlawful conduct.

    “There is no basis to suggest that Canada has diverged in that respect from analogous jurisdictions,” the copyright holders write.

    Copyright Trumps Freedom of Expression

    Aside from the jurisdictional matters, TekSavvy and other interveners also raised concerns about freedom of expression, which is a human right. The copyright holders, for their part, counter that copyright is a human right as well.

    They don’t believe that freedom of expression is at stake here, but even if it is, copyright would weigh stronger in this particular case.

    “Even if free expression interests were engaged, which they are not, they would be outweighed in this case by the harm to expression from massive global piracy of creative industries.

    “Courts around the world with strong freedom of speech rights have found that blocking orders do not violate those rights,” the intervention adds.

    Based on these and other arguments the copyright holders ask the court to uphold the federal court ruling and keep the blocks in place. It is now up to the court to go over all submissions which will then lead to a final decision.

    Whatever the outcome, the case is no longer just limited to the GoldTV service. It will determine if other ‘pirate’ sites and services can also be blocked in the future, which has the potential to impact millions of people.

    A copy of the intervening memorandum of fact and law, submitted on behalf of the copyright holders, is available here (pdf) .

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.