Post Tagged with: "canadian heritage"

Museums and the Public Domain

The Associated Press has picked up on a story involving public access to images in the Smithsonian InstitutionPublic.Resource.Org has posted 6,288 images currently sold by the Smithsonian on Flickr (a book of the images can be downloaded for free from, arguing that the U.S. institution is overreaching by claiming copyright or control over images that are in the public domain.

The issue is an important one that should also resonate in Canada.  Some readers may recall the battle between a small school division in Manitoba and the National Gallery of Canada over fees levied for a public domain Paul Kane painting. In the wake of that incident, I've been working with some students to identify how Canadian museums address access to public domain works in their collections.  The research is not yet complete, however, the preliminary news is not good. 

Museums are strapped for cash and therefore use their physical control over images to levy fees over public domain works.  While a cost-recovery fee for digitization or administration is understandable, many institutions go much further charging "surrogate copyright fees" or "user's fees" for public domain works or deploy technology to limit the potential uses of digitized versions of those works. 

For example, consider Emily Carr, whose work entered the public domain in 1996. 

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May 23, 2007 1 comment News

Canadian Heritage Says Copyright Reform is Coming

The CBC is reporting that the Canadian Heritage 2007-08 Plans and Priorities commits to copyright reform.  Indeed, the document indicates that "the Department in coordination with Industry Canada, is preparing to amend the Copyright Act in order to allow Canada to implement the provisions of the two most recent World […]

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May 9, 2007 4 comments Must Reads

Oda Embroiled In Another Controversy

Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda is facing yet another controversy, this time over a $30 million summer festival program.  Oda apparently invited Conservative MPs to come forward with suggestions of festivals for possible funding without providing a similar opportunity to MPs from other parties.  In fact, the Canadian Heritage website […]

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April 25, 2007 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

CRIA Fumes Over Heritage-Commissioned Music Report

Last month I posted about a recently released report commissioned by Canadian Heritage on the future of the Canadian music industry.  I noted that the report provides a realistic assessment of the challenges facing the industry, emphasizing the need to embrace the Internet and new technologies without laying the blame […]

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March 13, 2007 3 comments News

Heritage Standing Committee on CTF

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage last week submitted its report on the Future of the Canadian Television Fund.  Its recommendation is short but potentially far-reaching: any structural and core policy changes directly affecting Canada's telecommunications policy or Canada's broadcasting policy be subject to votes in the House of Commons […]

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March 6, 2007 1 comment Must Reads