Archive for July 28th, 2010

University of Ottawa Press Launches Open Access Collection

The University of Ottawa Press has launched a new open access collection, making 36 books available as free downloads.  The books will continue to be available for sale in paper form.

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July 28, 2010 1 comment News

Federal Court Ruling Shows Fair Dealing Fears Greatly Exaggerated

While concern over Bill C-32’s digital lock rules has garnered the lion share of attention, the other major issue in the bill is the extension of fair dealing to cover education, parody, and satire.  I have characterized those changes as a reasonable compromise – not the full “such as” flexibility that would have been preferable, but helpful extensions that attempt to strike a balance.  Some writers groups have reacted angrily to the changes, claiming it will cost them millions in revenue and arguing that it amounts to an “expropriation of property.”

Last week, the Federal Court of Appeal issued its much-anticipated ruling in the K-12 case, which specifically addressed fair dealing in the context of education.  The ruling was a major win for Access Copyright, as the court dismissed objections from education groups on a Copyright Board of Canada ruling and paved the way for millions in compensation from school boards. 

The case is notable since it demonstrates how critics of greater fair dealing flexiblity have greatly exaggerated claims of potential harm.  For example, former PWAC Executive Director John Degen wrote this week that “the introduction of an overly broad exception to copyright for educational use would all but eliminate fair compensation for this established use.”  Access Copyright reacted to the court victory by stating it was “bittersweet” given the C-32 changes.  While there is no doubt that extending fair dealing to education (the law currently covers many educational activities under research, private study, criticism, and review) will bring more potential copying within the scope of fair dealing, this case reinforces the fact that fair dealing is a fair for all, not a free for all and that fears that the extension of categories will wipe out all revenues bear little relation to reality.

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July 28, 2010 15 comments News

Industry Canada on US IP Watch List

An Industry Canada spokesperson on the validity of the USTR Special 301 list: “Canada does not recognize the validity of the Special 301 process, which relies on industry allegations rather than empirical evidence and analysis.” Note that the article says I said that Canada did not need to pass anti-circumvention […]

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July 28, 2010 2 comments News