Today two books – a travel guide from Frommer's and Paul Wells' Right Side Up – arrived from Indigo in my mailbox. I'm looking forward to both books – the travel guide will be useful for an upcoming trip and I enjoy Wells' blog and his Macleans review of the last election was terrific. As I flipped to the opening page of the Wells book, I was struck by the copyright notice (yes, I know that only a law professor would actually be struck by a copyright notice). It states:
All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the publisher – or, in case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, a licence from the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency – is an infringement of the copyright law.
I recognize that few people actually read these notices and that most would consider this standard. Yet there is something wrong about Canadian publishers (in this case McClelland & Stewart's Douglas Gibson imprint) using legal notices that are exceptionally misleading and which perpetuate the incorrect view that nothing may be copied without prior permission.