The Canadian Ministers of Education, Canada have reaffirmed its support for an Internet exception under the Copyright Act, calling on all parties to support such an amendment in any future copyright bill.
Post Tagged with: "internet exception"
The Internet exception is more than just unnecessary – it is harmful. First, rather than improving access, the exception will actually encourage people to take content offline or to erect barriers that limit access (including DRM). Section 30.04(3) provides that:
Subsection (1) does not apply if the work or other subject-matter – or the Internet site where it is posted – is protected by a technological measure that restricts access to the work or other subject-matter or to the Internet site.
In other words, in return for the exception, CMEC and AUCC has effectively pushed the government to include a provision that encourages creators to use DRM or restrict access to their work. Many website owners who may be entirely comfortable with non-commercial or limited educational use of their materials, may object to a new law that grants the education community unfettered (and uncompensated) usage rights. Accordingly, many sites may opt out of the exception by making their work unavailable to everyone. This is obviously a lose-lose scenario that arises directly out of the exception.
Sam Trosow points to (and dismantles) the latest CMEC call for an Internet exception to cover "free stuff" on the Internet. The CMEC proposal continues to drive a wedge between education groups and discouragingly burns important political capital on an ill-advised reform that is unnecessary and potentially harmful.
Today's Le Devoir features a noteworthy op-ed on copyright from many of Quebec's leading publishers. The gist of the op-ed is that copyright is crucial to Quebec culture, the educational exception proposed by Canadian Ministers of Education would have a devastating effect on that culture, and the Conservatives seem ready to support the education exception without any public debate.
Given the transparent efforts of the minority Conservatives to court the Quebec vote – this week alone Industry Minister Bernier gave two speeches in Montreal on economic development and the environment, while Heritage Minister Bev Oda opened an OAS conference on culture – it is worth considering how copyright reform will play in Quebec.
The working assumption is generally that culture is major issue in Quebec, that copyright is viewed as an integral part of cultural policy, and that therefore stronger copyright laws are an election winner in the province. Yet if the rumours about the contents of the forthcoming copyright bill are accurate, the Conservatives are about to fundamentally misread where the support for copyright reform lies. The bill is likely to contain two pillars – anti-circumvention legislation and the education exception (there will obviously be other provisions but these are the two issues designed to address the loudest lobby groups, namely CRIA and CMEC). Both issues are losers in Quebec.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on September 4, 2006 as Education Minister's Proposal Needs a Rewrite As thousands of children across the province return to school tomorrow, nearly everyone will be asking "what did you do this summer?” If the question were posed to Education Minister Sandra Pupatello, her candid […]