In unusually harsh language, Michael Geist, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa has slammed a new report put out by the Conference Board of Canada. In a recent blog post which he titles, The Conference Board of Canada’s Deceptive, Plagiarized Digital Economy Report, he goes on to say:
The Conference Board of Canada bills itself as “the foremost, independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. Objective and non-partisan. We do not lobby for specific interests.” These claims should take a major hit based on last week’s release of a deceptive, plagiarized report on the digital economy that copied text from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (the primary movie, music, and software lobby in the U.S.), at times without full attribution. The report itself was funded by copyright lobby groups (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Copyright Collective of Canada which represents U.S. film production) along with the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The role of the Ontario government obviously raises questions about taxpayer dollars being used to pay for a report that simply recycles the language of a U.S. lobby group paper.
It is ironic that a report on intellectual property is now being scrunitized as a work of plagarism. This is truly shameful and Ontario taxpayers should be asking why their tax dollars are supporting such ‘research’. Moreover, the general public should be made aware of this group’s sources. As Geist says in his blog post. “You can pose these and other questions yourself (Golden, Toope, Samarasekera, Wilkinson) as I think the public deserves some answers.”