The Toronto Star features a special edition of my Law Bytes column (freely available hyperlinked version; Toronto Star reg. version) reflecting on Monday's Grokster decision. I argue that while the highest court in the U.S. unanimously ruled that two file sharing services, Grokster and Streamcast, can be sued for actively encouraging copyright infringement by their users, the decision is not the clear cut win its supporters suggest.
Question period in the House of Commons today, the last of the session, featured the following exchange:
"Ms. Bev Oda (Durham, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Canada has a world class Internet infrastructure in our schools but the heritage minister's new copyright legislation makes it restrictive, onerous and possibly more costly for schools, teachers and students to download on-line educational material.
This legislation will make routine classroom activities illegal. Why do the government and the minister want to make our students and teachers pay more for materials they are using now or make them criminals under a new copyright law?
Hon. Liza Frulla (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. opposition member knows very well that we promised to table the copyright law in June, which we did. We also said that as far as the education matter is concerned, we will study it and focus on it solely after second reading of the bill. We will study the education matter because it does not have consensus.
I also want to say to my hon. critic that children can be in school but once they become researchers and authors, they also to have their copyrights reserved and paid for."