Canadian MP Says Extended Licensing Proposal Delayed

Marlene Catteral, a Canadian MP and chair of the Canadian Heritage parliamentary committee has told (Quicktime format) a university audience that the government has delayed plans to introduce a much-criticized copyright proposal to establish a extended license for educational institutions. The proposal would have created a license for Internet materials that were not publicly available.

This is very good news. In light of the Supreme Court of Canada's CCH decision last March, the proposal would force schools to pay for content that is arguably covered under the Copyright Act's fair dealing provisions.

Moreover, as I have pointed out on several occasions, the committee adopted the narrowest possible definition of publicly available, limiting it to only those works that are not technologically or password protected and which contain an explicit notice that the material can be used without prior payment or permission.

While the extended license proposal is not dead — Ms. Catteral simply indicated that it was being separated from a forthcoming bill that is expected to address WIPO Internet treaty issues — the delay at least provides an opportunity to rethink a deeply flawed proposal.

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