from the putting-lipstick-on-a-scraper dept
Canipre, one of Canada's foremost anti-piracy enforcers, has a bit of a problem on its hands. Like others that zealously guard against piracy, the company expects everyone else to fully respect the IP rights of the entities it acts for. And like others in the same field, it seemingly can't be bothered to make sure it properly respects other entities' IP rights. (See also: BREIN, the BSA, the City of New York, the list goes on and on…)
Michael Geist points to Canipre's latest press release, touting the use of its evidence in a Voltage Pictures lawsuit, as well as its intent to fully take advantage of Canada's new infringement notification system. Then he points to this:
Yet what Canipre does not say is that a blog associated with the company may have been engaged in copyright infringement for many months. The blog – copyrightenforcement.ca – is run by Barry Logan, the company’s Managing Director, Operations (I received an email from Mr. Logan last year that listed the site as his blog address). In addition to posting releases from Canipre and information about the TekSavvy case, the site has posted dozens of full-text articles from media organizations around the world.Hey, fair dealing and all that, some might say. Sure, but let's not get carried away. Posting up plain text versions of paywalled articles -- in full, without additional commentary or criticism -- isn't exactly fair dealing. And it's not as if Canipre has any respect for the fair dealing of others. It's an anti-piracy firm and its vision of the world's use of IP is solidly black and white. Either you've paid for it, or you're an infringer.
For example, last week it posted the full text of a 1200 word article on TV piracy from the Wire Report, an Ottawa-based telecom publication. The article resides behind a paywall limited to subscribers and is listed as “exclusive content.” In fact, reposting full-text articles from other sources is a regular occurrence on the site. Posts in December feature articles from the Huffington Post Canada, Business Insider, and CNET. Earlier posts include full-text articles from the Hollywood Reporter, StreamDaily, Reuters, the Canadian Press, Global News, Vancouver Sun, and the National Post. Some of the posts include articles that strip out reference to the author (Chronicle Herald, CBC) and others include no attribution whatsoever. The site also uses photos from the articles, often without attribution.
And, as Geist notes, there's plenty of stuff in there that goes further than what could even be the outer reaches of fair dealing. The blog has stripped attribution/authorial references -- maybe out of cluelessness, maybe in a desire to obscure its origins -- which is no one's idea of fair dealing.
This isn't Canipre's first hypocritical dance with the IP devil. Back in 2013, it was caught tarting up its dark and dramatic website with photos belonging to other people, all without even making the slightest attempt to credit the actual creators. Barry Logan was the man behind that debacle as well, who contributed nothing to the discussion of the company's hypocrisy other than some buck-passing to the third party site designer.
Even if some of this could be considered fair dealing, the company using the creations of others without permission frowns deeply and legally on those who would do the same to its protected content. Michael Geist's headline puts it beautifully: Canipre certainly has a beautiful glass house. Shame it can't seem to kick its rock-throwing habit.