Andy Kaplan-Myrth’s Techdirt Profile


About Andy Kaplan-Myrth

Andy Kaplan-Myrth is a Social Media and Web 2.0 lawyer, consulting and providing legal advice and support to individuals and companies interested in leveraging internet technologies to enhance their business reach and impact.

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  • Jan 14th, 2010 @ 8:45am

    The Private Copying Levy in Canada

    kyle clements above (comment #1) already mentioned the situation in Canada, but it's worth expanding on because it's good in a way and ridonculous in another way.

    Up here, we pay a levy on certain blank media that have been designated by the Copyright Board and, in exchange for that payment, private copying of music (yes, only music) onto those types of media is not copyright infringement. And that's true regardless of where the original comes from. So I can take a CD from the library or borrow it from a friend and make a copy for myself onto a blank CD and it's not copyright infringement.

    That part has its benefits (sortofallyoucaneat content!) and its downsides (payments from the CPCC only get to established acts), as kyle_clements says above.

    But the ridonculous part about our system is in the approval of music media by the Copyright Board. What is approved? Tapes, CDs and Minidiscs (!). Back when the iPod was first introduced, they also approved portable music players, but it would have added up to $20 to the cost of a 60Gb iPod so the consumer electronics stores fought it to the Supreme Court and won. With that decision, we now have slightly less overpriced audio players in Canada (or slightly richer stores -- hard to know), but it's copyright infringement to copy your own CDs onto them, even if you bought your iPod and use the built-in iTunes feature to copy the CD.

    The result of the electronics giants' fight is that they get higher profits from mp3 players, more people infringe copyright, and artists get paid less. IMO, the Copyright Board tried to do the right thing on this one.

  • Jun 9th, 2009 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Incorrect Headline

    Wow, you really are angry. Back to the Institute, dude.

  • Jun 9th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Planet Money is education, not news, editorial, entertainment or gossip

    ...I think it was human and it advanced the program's purpose, so it was non-traditional but not improper.

    Of course they do, Coward. Want to address the substance of my comment? Being impolite and argumentative in an educational program, while actually being educational, is not inappropriate the way it would be in news reporting or an editorial.

  • Jun 9th, 2009 @ 7:01am

    Re: Re: Incorrect Headline (as kaplanmyrth)

    Business Method patents and Software patents definitely have a significant overlap, but they are not the same thing, at least in Canada, and this decision of the Patent Appeal Board does not have any significant bearing on software patents.

    The leading case on software patents in Canada is Schlumberger Canada Ltd. v. Commissioner of Patents, (1981) 56 C.P.R. (2d) 204 (FCA), in which the Federal Court of Appeal considered a patent on a process of analyzing mining information using a computer. Mathematical formulae are not patentable, and the court found that using a computer to perform the calculation is not enough to make the process patentable. The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal, so the law in Canada is clear that software is not patentable. In practice, however, lots of patents are filed in Canada that are effectively software patents, and it is an area of some controversy.

    So the leading case regarding software patents in Canada is clearly not about business methods. They are often related, but should not be confused.

    Note that this decision of the Canadian Patent Appeal Board in the case is a lower level decision than the Federal Court of Appeal decision ruling against software patents in Schlumberger. We've seen that IP owners have still found ways to get software patents. We should not be too confident that this decision will stop business method patents either.

    BTW, having read Anonymous Coward's stab at IP lawyers at comment #9, I should note that I am an IP lawyer. But at least I'm not an anonymous coward.

  • Jun 4th, 2009 @ 9:49pm

    Planet Money is education, not news, editorial, entertainment or gossip

    Anonymous Coward at #19 said,

    "Opinions belong on the editorial page. News belongs on the news page. Entertainment belongs on the entertainment page. Gossip belongs on the gossip page (if you remember those)."
    But if you listen to it, Planet Money isn't any of those things. They're not investigating the markets so much as they try to explain them. They provide education. I think that's why it's so hard to pin down whether Adam's argument with Elizabeth Warren was inappropriate or not. It advanced the educational purpose of the show, which was a good thing. And I didn't get the impression that there was actually any love lost between Warren and Davidson or NPR. In traditional, so-called objective journalistic news reporting, that sort of argument would be inappropriate, but in a podcast format with an educational purpose, I think it was human and it advanced the program's purpose, so it was non-traditional but not improper.