The Canadian government released a new Canada Food Guide yesterday, the first major update in 12 years to what is reported to be one of its most-requested publications. The guide is viewed as very influential, with copies often found in medical facilities, schools, and other community spaces. Yet despite the demands for distribution, the government has disappointingly adopted a restrictive copyright approach with respect to its reproduction, adaptation or translation. The guide is subject to crown copyright rules and public uses that extend beyond fair dealing require government permission. In fact, Health Canada has posted a lengthy permission form that asks for the following information for those seeking to reproduce, translate or adapt the guide:
Post Tagged with: "creative commons"
The Canadian government announced plans last spring in Budget 2018 to support local journalism with a $50 million commitment over five years. It indicated that the money would be allocated by independent, non-governmental organizations to provide support in under-served communities. Last week, the federal economic update included several additional measures to support the media sector, including the prospect of charitable donations to non-profit journalism organizations, a refundable tax credit to support labour costs for news organizations, and a non-refundable tax credit for Canadians that subscribe to Canadian digital news media. While the new funding has attracted considerable commentary (my take here on why there are problems but the proposal is better than Internet taxes or other cross-subsidization models), somewhat overshadowed was an update on the initial $50 million commitment.
The update indicates that the money will be invested in “open source” news content that will be available under a Creative Commons licence:
Yesterday’s post on the Canada, the TPP and intellectual property raised a concern unrelated to the content of the piece. Since updating my site several years ago, I use a Creative Commons licensed or public domain image for virtually every post, celebrating the remarkable creativity of people and organizations from around the world who make their work freely available for anyone to use. In searching for an updated image on the TPP, I encountered a problem that has arisen with increased frequency. Several governments posted relevant images from the meetings in Vietnam and the Philippines, but the Canadian images featured restrictive terms and conditions in the form of an all-rights-reserved approach.
The Creative Commons Global Summit was held in Toronto over the weekend, bringing hundreds of people together from around the world to discuss issues ranging from copyright reform to enhancing collaboration and sharing. As part of the opening of the event, David Lametti, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Deb Matthews, the Ontario Minister for Advanced Education and Skills Development as well as the Minister for Digital Government, both provided words of welcome. Their presence demonstrated how far openness, access, and balanced copyright have come in recent years. Lametti, a leading voice on copyright as McGill law professor, emphasized the important role of balance and flexibility in the copyright system, while Matthews provided a unequivocal endorsement of openness and access.
Matthews provided more than just encouraging words, however. She used her opening remarks to promote the creation of a new Open Textbook Library for Ontario that will feature hundreds of openly licensed, professionally created textbooks providing students with access to free digital texts in dozens of university and college courses.
Creative Commons will hold their annual global summit in Toronto later this month. In anticipation of that event, I discussed copyright reform in Canada and around the world in an interview with Creative Commons’ Public Policy manager Timothy Vollmer. The full interview, which included discussion on copyright and trade agreements, educational exceptions, and empirical data, can be found here. An excerpt discussing the Canadian experience is posted below: