The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians adopted several copyright reform resolutions at its biennial conference earlier this month. The AEBC was founded in 1992 out of a desire for equality and empowerment of blind people in Canadian society. The resolutions call for a flexible fair dealing provision and and limits on anti-circumvention provisions. The full resolutions should be online shortly, but in the meantime, three of the most noteworthy are:
2009-02: Fair Dealing
Whereas, Section 29 of Canada's Copyright Act lists research, private study, criticism, review and news reporting as items that are considered "fair dealing" and hence not violations of copyright; and
Whereas, in order to expand access, members of the AEBC believe this concept
must be expanded;
Therefore, be it resolved that the AEBC seek amendment of Section 29 so that this list is considered to constitute only examples rather than an exhaustive list of activities that count as fair dealing.
2009-03: Amendment of Canada's Copyright Act
Whereas, The AEBC believes the availability of information in multiple formats is a right and that this right must be universally recognized;
Therefore, be it resolved that the AEBC
1. reaffirm our long standing belief that, as a matter of right, information must be readily available in various multiple formats;
2. Maintain that any amendments to Canada's Copyright Act must not impose any new barriers to access to information; and
3. work collaboratively with other organizations to prevent the introduction of any new barriers to access in Canada's Copyright Act.
2009-07: Digital Rights Management
Whereas, digital rights management locks down content from much screen reading software;
Whereas, the use of anti-circumvention measures to by pass these locks is often prohibited; and
Whereas, we are reliably informed that the government will introduce a copyright reform bill;
Therefore, be it resolved that government ensure that no new barriers are created that will hinder users in exercising their consumer rights of fair dealing.