Archive for March, 2016

Draft Marrakesh Treaty submitted by the Drafting Committee to the Plenary, 27 June 2013 by EIFL (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/f25S8C

Canada to Introduce Copyright Bill Implementing Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access for the Blind

While the media focus has unsurprisingly been on Budget 2016, the government has quietly moved to introduce copyright reform legislation that will allow Canada to implement the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. The notice paper for Wednesday, March 23rd includes an Act to amend the Copyright Act with specific provisions on access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities. The decision to implement the Marrakesh Treaty is long-overdue. The Conservatives announced plans to do so in last year’s budget but waited to table legislation days before the summer break and the election call. With that bill now dead, the Liberals have rightly moved quickly to revive the issue.

The treaty expands access for the blind by facilitating the export of works to the more than 300 million blind and visually impaired people around the world, which is needed since only a tiny percentage of books are ever made into accessible formats. Further, it restricts digital locks from impeding access, by permitting the removal of technological restrictions on electronic books for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired. The last bill featured changes to Canada’s digital lock rules that demonstrated (yet again) that the rules are overly restrictive and in need of amendment. The bill should be introduced as soon as Wednesday with analysis to follow.

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March 22, 2016 1 comment News
BOOKS by Ian Muttoo (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/7NpS98

False Alarms: Examining the Misleading Claims About the State of Canadian Publishers

Earlier this month, Digital Book World posted an article chronicling the discussion of a conference copyright panel featuring Access Copyright counsel Erin Finlay (the article was promoted by Access Copyright). The article caught my attention due to Finlay’s comments about the impact of Canadian copyright on education publishers:

“Another example Finlay used was the case of Broadview Press, which is an independent Canadian publisher that cannot publish anymore.

The comment prompted me to contact Don LePan, the Broadview Press owner, who has been outspoken critic of the copyright term extension in the TPP. LePan was shocked by the claim which he said was completely inaccurate. He posted a long response on the Digital Book World site, which responded by amending the piece. Kristine Hoang, the journalist who wrote the article, noted that “what I had written was a reference to Erin Finlay’s direct quotes in my recorded transcript where she said ‘Broadview Press cannot publish anymore.'”

The erroneous claim about the state of a Canadian publisher would be surprising if it did not happen so frequently.

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March 18, 2016 4 comments News
Stacks by Travis Wise (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/qs75yk

Copyright Board Ruling Strikes Fair Balance in Heated Education Fight

The role of copyright within the Canadian education system has emerged as a contentious issue in recent years as the Internet and digital technologies have transformed how schools provide students with access to materials. At the centre of the fight are a series of Supreme Court of Canada rulings that establish the boundaries of “fair dealing”,  which permits copying of reasonable portions of materials without the need for permission or further compensation.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that last month, the Copyright Board of Canada issued a landmark decision on copying practices in primary and secondary schools, largely affirming the approach adopted by educational institutions. As a result, Access Copyright, the copyright collective that represents publishers and authors, will collect far less for in-school copying than it originally demanded.

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March 16, 2016 4 comments Columns

Copyright Ruling Strikes Fair Balance in Heated Education Fight

Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 14, 2016 as Copyright Ruling Strikes Fair Balance in Heated Education Fight The role of copyright within the Canadian education system has emerged as a contentious issue in recent years as the Internet and digital technologies have transformed how schools provide students with […]

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March 16, 2016 1 comment Columns Archive
Speak up, make your voice heard by Howard Lake (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/9rAjnQ http://www.emergencydentistsusa.com/cost/

The Trouble with the TPP: Canadians Get Their Chance To Speak Out

Yesterday I concluded my 50-day series on the Trouble with the TPP which examined the intellectual property and digital policy issues raised by the agreement. In addition to the posts on this blog, I’ve created some additional ways to work through the various posts including a Medium summary and Storify version with links to all 50 posts.

 

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March 15, 2016 6 comments News