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“Canada’s failure to strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) in the face of digital technology has given it an unwelcome reputation as the file-swapping capital of the world. Stronger intellectual property rights and enforcement are needed to protect new knowledge and shore up Canada’s poor innovation record, according to a series of Conference Board reports — released in advance of its May 29 conference Intellectual Property Rights: Innovation and Commercialization in Turbulent Times.“As a result of lax regulation and enforcement, internet piracy appears to be on the increase in Canada. The estimated number of illicit downloads (1.3 billion) is 65 times higher than the number legal downloads (20 million), mirroring the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s conclusion that Canada has the highest per capita incidence of unauthorized file-swapping in the world.”Are the quotes from another Hollywood and Big Music puff-piece?They’re not, although they might well have been. They’re the introduction to a ‘press release’ from the Conference Board of Canada, headed up by Anne Golden (right).As Michael Geist points out in a major exposé, the organisation 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.”