Last week’s Supreme Court of Canada copyright decision in Access Copyright v. York University has unsurprisingly been applauded by the education community, which having faced years of litigation launched by the copyright collective, now finds its position vindicated. With the court resoundingly rejecting Access Copyright’s claims that its tariff is mandatory, finding that it had no standing to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement on behalf of its members, and concluding that a lower court fair dealing analysis that favoured the copyright collective was tainted with “a fairness assessment that was over before it began”, there is little doubt about which party prevailed. Yet Access Copyright has returned to its longstanding playbook of downplaying Supreme Court decisions and misleading its own members in the process.
Copyright Vindication: Supreme Court Confirms Access Copyright Tariff Not Mandatory, Lower Court Fair Dealing Analysis Was “Tainted”
The Supreme Court of Canada brought a lengthy legal battle between Access Copyright and York University to an end last week, issuing a unanimous verdict written by retiring Justice Rosalie Abella that resoundingly rejected the copyright collective’s claims that its tariff is mandatory, finding that it had no standing to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement on behalf of its members, and concluding that a lower court fair dealing analysis that favoured Access Copyright was tainted with “a fairness assessment that was over before it began.” The decision removes any doubt that the Supreme Court remains strongly supportive of user’s rights in copyright and vindicates years of educational policy in shifting away from Access Copyright toward alternative means of ensuring compliance with copyright law.
Picking Up Where Bill C-10 Left Off: The Canadian Government’s Non-Consultation on Online Harms Legislation
The Canadian government released its plans yesterday for online harms legislation with a process billed as a consultation, but which is better characterized as an advisory notice, since there are few questions, options or apparent interest in hearing what Canadians think of the plans. Instead, the plans led by Canadian […]
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 96: More Harm Than Good – My Appearance Before the Senate Transport Committee on a Copyright Bill to Support Media Organizations
Bill S-225, Senator Claude Carignan’s copyright bill, would create a new compensation scheme for media organizations by establishing a new collective rights system for the use of news articles on digital platforms. It may not become law, but it has sparked considerable discussion within the Senate on the issue of media and Internet platforms. In fact, while the digital policy world was focused on Bill C-10, last month the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications held hearings on the bill with a wide range of witnesses that included News Media Canada, Facebook and Google. I was invited to appear in their last hearing of the session alongside Jamie Irving from News Media Canada and Kevin Chan from Facebook. This week’s Law Bytes podcast episode goes inside the virtual committee hearing room with my opening statement and exchanges with several Senators.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 95: Mark Phillips on the Federal Court of Canada’s Right to be Forgotten Ruling
Several years ago, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada filed a reference with the federal court in a case that was billed as settling the “right to be forgotten” privacy issue. That may have overstated matters, but the case did address a far more basic question on whether the privacy law applies to Google’s search engine service when it indexes webpages and presents search results in response to searches of an individual’s name. Earlier this month, the federal court released its decision, concluding that it does.
Mark Phillips is a Montreal-based lawyer practicing primarily in the areas of privacy, access to information, civil litigation, and administrative law in both Quebec and Ontario. His client – whose identity remains confidential under order of the court – filed the complaint that ultimately led to federal court decision. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the case, where the right to be forgotten stands under Canadian law, and what might come next.