Canadian think-tank that spent tax-dollars plagiarizing US copyright lobby press-materials ignored its own expert's conflicting research

The Conference Board of Canada -- a supposedly independent think tank that took Canadian tax-money to produce a report on the "Digital Economy" that plagiarized press-materials from the US copyright lobby -- ignored conflicting evidence that an independent legal expert produced after they paid him to investigate the subject.

In other words, they went into this project knowing what conclusions they wanted to draw, and ignored everyone -- even their own researchers -- who had anything different to say.

What the Conference Board does not mention in its defence (nor in the report) is that it actually commissioned a study on the copyright issues from an independent Canadian legal expert. That report was completed by Professor Jeremy deBeer, a colleague at the University of Ottawa and frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail on copyright matters.

Professor deBeer has just revealed his involvement and posted a working paper based on his report submitted to the Conference Board of Canada. It turns out the deBeer was precluded from using the work for 12 months, a period that concluded today. It is immediately apparent that the deBeer paper arrived at very different conclusions from the IIPA and the Conference Board.

Conference Board Ignored Independent Study Commissioned For Digital Economy Report


  1. It just occurred to me (and this is not meant to sound like a criticism or reflect an opinion on this piece), but…

    Cory, do you consider your posts of this sort to be a small news report, a pointed editorial, Some hybrid of the two, or something else?

    I don’t really need to pigeonhole it but I’m curious. You’re definitely not impartial (and that can be good), so it’s not “news” in the purist sense, but it still seems to be “reporting”.

    I get a not insignificant of my news from BoingBoing, because you guys cover a lot of things that really interest me. At the same time, though, you guys also tend to put your own opinions on the matter into the piece and I’m realizing maybe I should start branching out to additional news sources because it can’t be healthy to be getting so much of my news only from people I usually agree with.

  2. a quick search still shows the Canadian media is largely ignoring this. It’s almost as if it were controlled…

  3. #4:

    I’ve seen three mainstream reports (admittedly only websites) on this in the last 24 hours; CBC, Global ( and MediaCaster.

    I’ve not gone looking for anything else (as either Prof. Geist is likely to be watching, and posts on his Twitter stream), but it’s not too hopeless. After all, there are so few real media companies in Canada left! I hope it gets into the Globe soon.

  4. #3 Airpillo: I can’t think of a single way someone can get you your “purist” news, free of all angles and opinions. The best (worst) you can hope for is hidden biases. The fact that something is reported at all reveals that the individual or agency thought it was for some reason worth reporting on.

    I therefore encourage you to add one or more sources of information to your daily routine.

    Seek many reference points, and then synthesize your own perspective!

    Or alternately, find more sources that also happen to coincide with your point of view, and then go forth filled with self-confidence that you are, in fact, right about the world.

    Whichever suits you, really. :D

  5. Biased or not, BB reports on the shit *WE* need to know (and sometimes not).

    I appreciate reading stories here because the SNR of the comments section is great… no SEO link spammers or 4chan /b/tards stinking up the place.

  6. W00t!

    I strongly recommend you’all get a SSRN registration (Mine’s so old, I’ve forgotten exactly how you get one ;> ).

    Read (Ahem, on your iLiad, ideally ;-> ) the de Beers report yourselves, it’s only 15 pages long. Then you can get all sanctimonious in your letters to the editors, talking to your MP, etc, when you ask them why THEY obviously haven’t read it. Remind them that IT’S THEIR JOB TO BE INFORMED!!

Comments are closed.