Archive for October 30th, 2007

Statscan on Educational Internet Use

Statistics Canada has released a new study that unsurprisingly finds that nearly 80% of students use the Internet for educational purposes.  Moreover, the study found that rural and small-town Internet users from more remote communities are in fact more apt to go online for distance education.

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October 30, 2007 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Music Publisher’s Takedown Strikes The Wrong Chord

My weekly law and technology column (Toronto Star version, Tyee version, homepage version, BBC version) focuses on the recent battle over the IMSLP. In February 2006, a part-time Canadian music student established a modest, non-commercial website that used collaborative wiki tools, such as those used by Wikipedia, to create an online library of public domain musical scores.  Within a matter of months, the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) featured over 1,000 musical scores for which the copyright had expired in Canada.  Nineteen months later – without any funding, sponsorship or promotion – the site had become the largest public domain music score library on the Internet, generating a million hits per day, featuring over 15,000 scores by over 1,000 composers, and adding 2,000 new scores each month.

Eleven days ago, the IMSLP disappeared from the Internet.  Universal Edition, an Austrian music publisher, retained a Toronto law firm to demand that the site block European users from accessing certain works and from adding new scores for which the copyright had not expired in Europe.  The company noted that while the music scores entered the public domain in Canada fifty years after a composer’s death, Europe's copyright term is twenty years longer.

The legal demand led to many sleepless nights as the student struggled with the prospect of liability for activity that is perfectly lawful in Canada. 

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October 30, 2007 10 comments Columns