Archive for August, 2010

“Legislative Guidance” on Fair Dealing: The Plan to Reverse CCH?

My post this week on several writers groups objections to Bill C-32 has generated considerable discussion, with some taking me to task for focusing on their letter’s warning of “unintended consequences,””years of costly litigation,” and “serious damage to the cultural sector.”  Instead, they argue that I should have focused on the call for additional “legislative guidance” on the fair dealing reforms.  After all, who could be against greater clarity in the law?

In the discussion that has followed, I believe that it has become increasingly clear that the “legislative guidance” is not really about the fair dealing reforms found in C-32, but rather fair dealing more generally. Unfortunately, the writers’ letter only speaks of their concerns and does not provide any specific policy or legislative reform recommendations that would clarify their intentions. However, with the government having opened up the fair dealing provision, those groups may see an opportunity to reverse the Supreme Court of Canada’s CCH decision that characterized fair dealing as a user right and established guidelines for its interpretation. 

Why do I arrive at this conclusion?

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August 27, 2010 141 comments News

Has the U.S. Caved on Secondary Liability in ACTA?

Following the ninth round of ACTA negotiations in Lucerne, Switzerland in July, it became apparent (after the updated ACTA leaked) that the U.S. had caved on some of its demands to include DMCA-like anti-circumvention language in ACTA.  The ACTA provisions still go further than the WIPO Internet treaties by mandating […]

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August 26, 2010 8 comments News

Estimating the Economic Impact of Google Book Search

A new article forthcoming in the prestigious Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA attempts to estimate the economic impact of Google Book Search on the publishing industry.  The study finds no evidence of negative impact and some evidence of a positive impact.

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August 26, 2010 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Writers Groups Attack Fair Dealing Reform in Copyright Bill

Several writers groups have written to Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore to criticize elements of Bill C-32.  The letter focuses on the fair dealing exception for education:

From our perspective the biggest weakness in the bill is the addition of the word ‘education’ to the purposes of “fair dealing” without clear legislative guidance on how this amended provision of the Copyright Act will work in conjunction with other, more specific exceptions for education. We think that this new fair dealing provision will result in serious damage to the cultural sector and to Canada’s embryonic knowledge economy and, together with other new exceptions, negatively affect Canada’s professional writers.

The letter adds “we see that without further clarification of some provisions there will be unintended consequences and years of costly litigation.”

It is important to emphasize again that this is fear mongering that is simply inaccurate. 

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August 24, 2010 68 comments News

Postmedia on Access Copyright Tariff Proposal

Postmedia covers the mounting concern over the Access Copyright tariff proposal with a story on how the tariff could stifle Internet users and researchers.

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August 24, 2010 Comments are Disabled Must Reads