Archive for May, 2012

Access Copyright’s Diminishing Repertoire: Why a Growing Repertoire Offers Decreasing Value

As Canadian universities continue to debate whether to sign the Access Copyright model licence, one of the copyright collective’s chief arguments in favour of the deal is access to what it describes as “an ever-growing repertoire of books, journals, newspapers, etc.”.  Yet the reality is that while the number of works within the repertoire may be growing, the works being copied under the Access Copyright licence is almost certainly declining, thereby diminishing its value for potential licensees, such as universities.

How is this possible when the relative size of the Access Copyright repertoire keeps growing?

There are two reasons. First, Section 20 of the model licence makes it clear that it only kicks in if the use of the work does not otherwise fall within an exception under the Copyright Act or is subject to alternate licensing arrangement, such as database site licences or open access. As I argued in my post on why universities should not sign the licence, these alternatives represent a growing percentage of copying that takes place within universities. Moreover, once Bill C-11 becomes law, the percentage will grow further as the education-specific exceptions take effect.

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May 29, 2012 2 comments News

European ACTA Negotiation Documents Leak

EDRi has posted four unredacted ACTA documents that provide insight into four of the ACTA negotiation rounds – Paris, Rabat, Seoul, and Guadalajara. The documents highlight the disagreement over ACTA transparency and concerns with the U.S. position on the Internet chapter.

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May 29, 2012 1 comment Must Reads

Conclusion of Copyright Debate Leaves Many What Ifs…

The decade-long Canadian copyright reform debate is nearing a conclusion as the government is slated to hold the third and final reading for Bill C-11 this week. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that with a majority in both the House of Commons and Senate, the Conservatives are likely to pass the bill before Parliament takes a break for the summer.

The imminent passage of the bill is already being heralded as win for creators, consumers, and businesses. There is certainly much to like – expanded fair dealing, new consumer exceptions, caps on liability to prevent multi-million dollar lawsuits against consumers, and a balanced approach to liability for Internet providers among them. Moreover, the rejection of draconian provisions demanded by some lobby groups such as website blocking or penalizing Internet users with threats of lost access is a positive development.

Yet for many copyright watchers, the bill falls just short, providing a classic example of what could have been…

What if the government had not rejected concerns from groups representing the blind, who warned that the bill’s digital lock rules will make it more difficult for Canadians with perceptual disabilities to access digital content?

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May 28, 2012 30 comments Columns

Industry Canada Publishes Study on WiFi and Radio Frequency Exposure

Industry Canada has quietly published a study measuring radio frequency exposure from WiFi devices. The study finds that exposure rates are many times lower than recommended levels by Health Canada.

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May 28, 2012 6 comments Must Reads

Conclusion of Copyright Debate Leaves Many What Ifs…

Appeared in the Toronto Star on May 27, 2012 as Conclusion of copyright debate leaves many unanswered questions The decade-long Canadian copyright reform debate is nearing a conclusion as the government is slated to hold the third and final reading for Bill C-11 this week. With a majority in both […]

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May 28, 2012 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive