Archive for July 12th, 2012

Supreme Court of Canada Stands Up For Fair Dealing in Stunning Sweep of Cases

The Supreme Court of Canada issued its much anticipated rulings in the five copyright cases (ESAC v. SOCAN, Rogers v. SOCAN, SOCAN v. Bell – song previews, Alberta v. Access Copyright, Re:Sound) it heard last December (my coverage of the two days of hearings here and here). It will obviously take some time to digest these decisions, but the clear takeaway is that the court has delivered an undisputed win for fair dealing that has positive implications for education and innovation, while striking a serious blow to copyright collectives such as Access Copyright.

Led by Justice Abella, the court has reaffirmed that fair dealing is a user’s right that must be interpreted in a broad and liberal manner. In fact, the court provides further guidance on interpreting fair dealing with an emphasis on the need for a flexible, technology-neutral approach. In reading the decisions in the Access Copyright and song previews cases, it is hard to imagine a bigger victory for education, Internet users, and innovative companies. This post will provide some quick key points in the Access Copyright and song previews decisions.

The Access Copyright case has enormous implications for education and copyright in Canada. With the court’s strong endorsement of fair dealing in the classroom, it completely eviscerates much of Access Copyright’s business model and calls into question the value of the model licence signed by many Canadian universities. Writing for the majority, Abella adopts several crucial findings, not the least of which is that fair dealing is a user’s right. Piece by piece, Abella tears apart Access Copyright’s claims. First, she says the attempt by Access Copyright to separate teacher copies for students and students making their own copies should be rejected. The court states:

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July 12, 2012 78 comments News

UK MEP Calls for Revision of CETA to Remove ACTA Provisions

Nigel Farage, a UK Member of the European Parliament, has tabled a question to the European Commission that asks if it “will undertake a revision of the EU-Canada deal to remove all proposals similar to ACTA.”  Farage says that CETA should be thoroughly revised to remove anything that would implement […]

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July 12, 2012 34 comments News

Mexico Signs ACTA Amid Speculation It Was Price of TPP Admission

Despite a Mexican Senate recommendation not to do so, Mexico unexpectedly signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement yesterday. There is some speculation that signing the agreement was a U.S. condition for joining the Trans Pacific Partnership talks. The Mexican Senate must still ratify the agreement for it to take effect.

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July 12, 2012 2 comments News

The Magnotta Case and Online Surveillance

The CBC reports that it obtained documents under the Access to Information Act in which the government tries to justify statements from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews that Bill C-30, the online surveillance bill, would have assisted with the Luka Magnotta investigation. I appeared on CBC’s Power and Politics to challenge the claims. This interview is available on YouTube, but for better video quality, watch it on CBC’s website.

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July 12, 2012 2 comments News Interviews, Tv / Radio