Archive for August, 2012

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Launches Online Complaint Form

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has launched a new online complaint form that will allow Canadians to file privacy complaints via the Internet.

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August 24, 2012 3 comments Must Reads

The Supreme Court of Canada Speaks: How To Assess Fair Dealing for Education

With the start of the school year less than two weeks away, the Canadian education community is increasingly thinking about copyright and the implications of Bill C-11 and the Supreme Court of Canada’s five copyright decisions. While Access Copyright argues that little has changed (in recent correspondence to the Copyright Board it even objected to a six-month delay in formulating a school survey on copying practices to fully account for Bill C-11 and the decisions), most recognize that the law has undergone a dramatic change that confirms significant flexibilities for educational uses.

I’ve posted several pieces on these issues (fair use in Canada, technological neutrality, impact on Access Copyright), but given the ongoing efforts to mislead and downplay the implications of the decisions, this long post pulls together the Supreme Court’s own language on how to assess fair dealing. The quotes come directly from the three major fair dealing decisions: CCH Canadian, Access Copyright, and SOCAN v. Bell Canada.

Note that this post is limited to the Court’s decisions and does not focus on the changes in Bill C-11. The legislative reforms provide additional support for education as they include the expansion of fair dealing to include education as a purposes category, a cap of $5000 on statutory damages for all non-commercial infringement, a non-commercial user generated content provision, an education exception for publicly available on the Internet, a new exception for public performances in schools, and a technology-neutral approach for the reproduction of materials for display purposes that may apply both offline and online.

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August 22, 2012 5 comments News

Public Safety Shuffle Could Allow for an Internet Surveillance Restart

Sometime in the next few weeks, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is expected to be appointed to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The Toews appointment is among the worst kept secrets in Ottawa, with the move causing a domino effect that will lead to a new minister and an opportunity for a fresh start on Internet surveillance legislation, one of the government’s biggest political blunders to date.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Toews infamously introduced the Internet surveillance bill, often referred to as lawful access, by stating that critics of the bill could either stand with the government or with child pornographers. The comments sparked outrage from across the political spectrum as Canadians questioned the need for the legislation, the lack of privacy safeguards, and the divisive communications strategy.

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August 21, 2012 10 comments Columns

Public Safety Shuffle Could Allow for an Internet Surveillance Restart

Appeared in the Toronto Star on August 19, 2012 as Public Safety Shuffle Could Allow for an Internet Surveillance Restart  Sometime in the next few weeks, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is expected to be appointed to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The Toews appointment is among the worst kept […]

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August 21, 2012 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Why the End of Access Copyright K-12 Licensing for Is Not The End of Payment for Educational Copying

The reaction to last month’s Supreme Court of Canada copyright decisions with Access Copyright continues to play out with its supporters seeking to downplay the likely impact. I’ve already written several posts on the decision, including one explaining why the decision eviscerates Access Copyright’s business model. The short version of that post is that the Court rejected each Access Copyright key fair dealing arguments, in the process greatly expanding fair dealing in the education context such that the Access Copyright licence – which typically only covers 10 percent of a work – will rarely add value beyond what is permitted under fair dealing.

In light of the decisions and recent copyright law reforms, K-12 schools are likely to conclude that they do not need an Access Copyright licence. While the collective and its supporters will react by claiming that this will greatly harm Canadian publishers and authors, the reality is that schools have permission to reproduce the overwhelming majority of materials without Access Copyright or fair dealing.

Access Copyright has argued that the case only focused on 7% of copies, but the truth is that it involved an even smaller amount. The 7% figure stems from the copies for which Access Copyright seeks payment. In fact, the Access Copyright sponsored study that lies at the heart of the K-12 case found that schools already had permission to reproduce 88% of all books, periodicals, and newspapers without even conducting a copyright analysis or turning to the Access Copyright licence.

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August 16, 2012 10 comments News