Post Tagged with: "access copyright"

canadian money is pretty by Robert Anthony Provost (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/3jV8UB

Access Copyright Calls for Massive Expansion of Damage Awards of Up To Ten Times Royalties

The Canadian government’s consultation on reform to the Copyright Board recently closed and the 60 written responses were just posted online (my response – which focuses on the public interest role of the Board – can be found here). I will have a more fulsome review of the responses in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime one of the most radical recommendations, from Access Copyright, is worthy of comment. The copyright collective has called for a massive expansion of damage awards, seeking a new statutory damages provision that could result in damage awards ten times the size of actual applicable royalties.

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October 30, 2017 1 comment News
Canada Copyright Board: Challenges & Opportunities #copycon2015 panel by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/z73WDe

Prioritizing the Public Interest: My Submission on Copyright Board of Canada Reform

The government’s consultation on reform to the Copyright Board of Canada recently closed with a plan for reform expected to be unveiled in the coming months. My submission to the consultation is posted below. It focuses on two areas. First, it emphasizes the overriding goal of any public institution or administrative tribunal: serving the public interest. In doing so, it points to three issues: public participation, the independence of members of the Copyright Board, and regulation and transparency of copyright collectives.

On this last issue, I note the close linkage between the parties that appear or are affected by board decisions and reform of the board itself. While the consultation document maintains that governance of collecting societies is beyond the scope of the consultation, I argue that solely addressing administrative powers wielded by the board without also assessing the rules pertaining to participation before the board will not adequately address concerns regarding the function of the board itself. In other words, the who and the how are inextricably linked and must be addressed concurrently.

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October 16, 2017 5 comments News
Copyright, Course Materials and YOU! by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bmnrCJ

Why Fair Dealing is Not Destroying Canadian Publishing

While the copyright world waits for the likely appeal of the Access Copyright v. York University federal court decision (my post on the fair dealing legal errors, Ariel Katz on tariff legal errors), Canadian universities have begun to respond to the decision with many remaining committed to a reasonable policy based on licensing, open access, and fair dealing. Rather than a free-for-all, these approaches include spending hundreds of millions of dollars for access to thousands of copyright works.

This week, Intellectual Property Watch posted a longer piece of mine based on several recent posts and articles. It digs into the data, unpacking the realities behind revenues, guidelines, licensing, and emerging alternatives. The post begins:

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July 27, 2017 Comments are Disabled News
Doors Open Toronto 2017 - York University Station by wyliepoon (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/V2EmvK

Ignoring the Supreme Court: Federal Court Judge Hands Access Copyright Fair Dealing Victory

For the past 13 years, Canadian copyright jurisprudence has followed a consistent trajectory. Starting with the Supreme Court of Canada’s CCH decision in 2004, Canadian courts and tribunals have affirmed the need for balance in copyright and the importance of user’s rights. That approach has been particularly evident in fair dealing cases. Much to the dismay of Access Copyright, from the Supreme Court’s 2012 copyright pentalogy cases (including Alberta v. Access Copyright and SOCAN v. Bell) to the Copyright Board’s rulings on copying in K-12 schools and governments to the Federal Court of Appeal (upholding the Copyright Board’s decisions), the courts have upheld the need for balance and a broad, liberal approach to fair dealing.

Yesterday, however, five years to the day of the release of the Supreme Court’s copyright pentalogy, Access Copyright found a willing taker for its legal arguments. Judge Michael Phelan of the Federal Court of Canada delivered a complete victory for the copyright collective, rejecting York University’s fair dealing approach and concluding that an interim tariff is mandatory and enforceable against the university. The immediate implications of the decision are significant: royalty payments to Access Copyright (that will likely be kept in escrow pending any appeals) and the prospect of other universities re-thinking their current copyright policies. The decision will also have an effect on the copyright review scheduled for later this year. With the court’s decision, there will be little reason to revisit the inclusion of the “education” purpose in fair dealing as it had no discernible impact on the court’s legal analysis.

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July 13, 2017 29 comments News
Maryland State House by Danny Huizinga (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/onmk19

Australian Copyright Scandal Points to the Need for Greater Oversight of Copyright Collectives

The Australian copyright community has been shocked by a scandal involving the Copyright Agency, a copyright collective that diverted millions of dollars intended for authors toward a lobbying and advocacy fund designed to fight against potential fair use reforms. The collective reportedly withheld A$15 million in royalties from authors in order to build a war chest to fight against changes to the Australian copyright law. I wrote last month about my experience in Australia, where groups such as the Copyright Agency have engaged in a remarkable effort to mislead policy makers on the state of copyright law in Canada. A former director of the Copyright Agency describes the latest situation as “pathetic” noting that it was outrageous to extract millions from publicly-funded schools for a lobbying fund.

The Australian case is far from an isolated incident. A quick search reveals plenty of examples of legal concerns involving copyright collectives with corruption fears in Kenya and competition law concerns in Italy over the past couple of months as well as recent fines against Spanish collecting societies. In fact, Jonathan Band and Brandon Butler published an eye-opening article several years ago chronicling an astonishing array of examples of corruption, mismanagement, lack of transparency, and negative effects for both creators and users from copyright collectives around the world.

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April 25, 2017 5 comments News