A couple of weeks ago, I noted the international trend toward user concerns in copyright reform. Add another UK initiative to the list. The UK government has launched the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property. In addition to consulting widely and providing ample time for comment, consider the issues being examined:
- term of copyright protection for sound recordings
- fair dealing or fair use – should the UK move toward fair use to address limitations in private copying and education
- orphan works
- digital rights management, with the question being whether their use should be regulated. The review notes:
"concerns have been raised about interoperability and that such technologies may impair the content consumer' s legal rights. For example they may be unable to take into account exceptions to copyright, the ultimate expiry of copyright term, or the future evolution of technology. They may therefore undermine legitimate rights to access digital content, now and in the future."
With the new Canadian Heritage and Industry Ministers thinking about their approach on copyright, these are some of the same questions that we should be asking in Canada.