Appeared in the Toronto Star on April 6, 2013 as Canada’s Digital Divide Likely to Widen The state of Internet access in Canada has been the subject of considerable debate in recent years as consumers and businesses alike assess whether Canadians have universal access to fast, affordable broadband that compares […]
Post Tagged with: "Access"
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:
Kate Taylor of the Globe wrote a lengthy piece on copyright over the weekend, focused on divisions between education and copyright collectives.
A Federal court judge has ordered the government to ensure that its key websites are accessible to the blind and sight-impaired. The ruling gives the government 15 months to make the necessary changes.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will rise in the House of Commons next week to deliver the most anticipated federal budget in years. The subject of town hall meetings, corporate consultations, and political sparring, the budget will be closely watched by all Canadians anxious for a long-term plan to address the current economic crisis. While financial support for hard hit industries are a given, one of the most important elements in the budget will be the significant expenditures on infrastructure, which is viewed as a powerful job creation mechanism with benefits that can last for decades.
Money toward roads, bridges and other conventional infrastructure projects may generate some short-term employment, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues that the opportunity to take a broader perspective on infrastructure should not be missed. Indeed, this budget offers a rare chance to put critically important technology projects that have languished for years back on track. These include:
Broadband infrastructure. Following repeated failed attempts to implement a national broadband strategy that guarantees access to high-speed networks for all Canadians, the Flaherty budget provides the ideal opportunity to address this neglected issue. Indeed, frustrated by years of federal inaction, several provinces recently pledged to support their own broadband initiatives, recognizing the economic importance of a connected population.
With Canada gradually slipping down the global broadband rankings as other countries benefit from better, faster, and cheaper options, committing serious dollars to a national broadband infrastructure would create jobs and lay the groundwork for new commercial, cultural, and educational opportunities.