The City of Duncan, British Columbia is a relatively small town of about 5,000 located on Vancouver Island. With 80 totems scattered throughout city, Duncan bills itself as the City of Totems. Duncan has begun to generate some press coverage for adopting a new Totem Copyright Policy which apparently states that the City "holds the copyright policy on the totem collection" and that "the use of the totem images in any form requires approval from the City of Duncan."
As a matter of copyright law, this is seemingly wrong as there is no infringement of copyright for taking pictures of movies of a public sculpture or artistic work. Section 32.2(1)(b) of the Copyright Act provides that:
it is not an infringement of copyright for any person to reproduce, in a painting, drawing, engraving, photograph or cinematographic work a sculpture or work of artistic craftmanship. . . that is permanently situated in a public place of building.
Moreover, the City's claims raise further questions about whether it owns the copyright in the totems.
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Creative Commons has faced some challenges in gaining acceptance from copyright collectives, which makes news from the Netherlands about a deal with Buma/Stemra particularly noteworthy.
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The CRTC has released two public notices seeking commentary on the Telecom Complaints Commission and its plans to delegate investigative responsibility for the do-not-call registry. The Complaints Commission notice calls for public comment on the plan developed by the major telecommunications companies for a complaints commissioner (I earlier criticized the process behind the creation of the commission). The CRTC raises many of the right issues, including whether participation should be mandatory, whether the governance structure is sufficiently independent, and whether the complaint process and remedies are adequate. Anyone interested in participating in the process must inform the CRTC by September 13th and submit their comments by October 1st. Hearings are set for mid-November with a final decision by late February 2008.
The one surprising element in the complaints commission notice links to the second notice – the delegation of investigative responsibility for the do-not-call registry.
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