Post Tagged with: "public domain"

Supreme Court of Canada on the Importance of the Public Domain

With the recent attention on the term of copyright in Canada, Meera Nair reminds readers about recent Supreme Court of Canada comments on the importance of the public domain: In 2002, Justice Binne, writing for the majority in Théberge v. Galerie d’Art du Petit Champlain inc., stated: “Excessive control by […]

Read more ›

January 10, 2012 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

TPP Copyright Extension Would Keep Some of Canada’s Top Authors Out of Public Domain For Decades

Last week I posted on the government’s consultation on joining the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations and its potential effect on Canada’s public domain. According to a leaked draft of the proposed intellectual property chapter, the TPP would require countries (such as Canada, New Zealand, and Japan – all current or potential TPP members) that meet the international copyright term standard of life of the author plus 50 years to add an additional 20 years to the term of protection. The extension in the term of copyright would mean no new works would enter the public domain in those countries until at least 2033 (assuming an agreement takes effect in 2013).

While the change would obviously delay all works slated to enter into the public domain by 20 years, it is worth noting the many important authors who would be immediately affected since their works are scheduled to become public domain in the 2013 – 2033 period. I’ll identify some of the non-Canadian authors in a future post (the list includes Robert Frost, Aldous Huxley, CS Lewis, TS Eliot, John Steinbeck, JRR Tolkein, and Ayn Rand), but the impact on Canadian culture and history is worthy of particular attention.

The list of Canadian authors whose work would be blocked from entering into the public domain includes:

Read more ›

January 9, 2012 34 comments News

Help Preserve the Canadian Public Domain: Speak Out on the Trans Pacific Partnership Negotiations

Canada celebrated New Year’s Day this year by welcoming the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Carl Jung into the public domain just as European countries were celebrating the arrival of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, 20 years after both entered the Canadian public domain. Canada’s term of copyright meets the international standard of life of the author plus 50 years, which has now become a competitive advantage when compared to the United States, Australia, and Europe, which have copyright terms that extend an additional 20 years (without any evidence of additional public benefits).

In an interesting coincidence, the Canadian government filed notice of a public consultation on December 31, 2011 on the possible Canadian entry into the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, trade talks that could result in an extension in the term of copyright that would mean nothing new would enter the Canadian public domain until 2032 or beyond. The TPP covers a wide range of issues, but its intellectual property rules as contemplated by leaked U.S. drafts would extend the term of copyright, require even stricter digital lock rules, restrict trade in parallel imports, and increase various infringement penalties. As I noted last month, if Canada were to ratify the TPP, it would require another copyright bill to undo much of what the government is about to enact with Bill C-11.

A recent study on the implications of the copyright provisions point to many concerns including:

   

Read more ›

January 6, 2012 29 comments News

Life Under Life Plus Fifty: Hemingway Enters Public Domain in Canada

New Year’s Day now marks public domain day, the day when new works enter into the public domain.  While Europe marks the entry of James Joyce into its public domain, Joyce has been in the public domain in Canada for the past 20 years, serving as an important reminder of […]

Read more ›

January 1, 2012 15 comments News

UK Music Publishers Take Down Canadian Sheet Music Site

The UK Music Publishers Association has succeeded in taking down the International Music Score Library Project, an enormously popular Canadian-based sheet music site that has posted thousands of public domain scores. The site has faced legal threats from European publishers in the past and worked hard to ensure that all […]

Read more ›

April 21, 2011 18 comments News