Fair Dealing by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dRkXwP
The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 52: Fair Dealing for Film Makers – Bob Tarantino on the Copyright Implications of the Room Full of Spoons Case
Dubbed by some as the worst film ever made, The Room has become a cult-like film classic. Written, directed, produced and starring Tommy Wiseau, the movie was the subject of the 2017 film The Disaster Artist and a documentary titled Room Full of Spoons by Canadian documentary filmmakers who wanted to tell the story of the film and its popularity. The documentary has been the subject of years of litigation with Wiseau at one point obtaining an injunction to stop its release.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently released an important decision in the case with significant implications for creators involving copyright, fair dealing, moral rights, and a host of other legal issues. Bob Tarantino, Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP, joins me on the podcast this week to discuss why the decision will be welcome news for documentary filmmakers.
Canadian media organizations face difficult challenges in an age of virtually unlimited Internet competition, a dramatic shift toward digital advertising, and an unprecedented global economic and health crisis. That has led media groups to urge the federal government to “take on” Google and Facebook by requiring them to fund local media. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has thus far declined to do so. That may spark criticism in some quarters but claims that government-mandated payments from Internet companies will solve the sector’s ills are unconvincing.
My Financial Post op-ed notes that everyone agrees the media sector is more competitive than ever. News organizations such as the New York Times and Washington Post, digital media companies like The Athletic and The Logic, podcasters competing with mainstream media audio offerings and the CBC’s continued digital expansion all offer compelling and competitive news alternatives. This breadth of choice for Canadian news consumers isn’t the fault of Google or Facebook. It is a reflection of low barriers to market entry and a proliferation of services that often do a better job than many established media companies of serving specialized content.
The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 50: Ariel Katz on the Long-Awaited York University v. Access Copyright Ruling
The Federal Court of Appeal delivered its long-awaited copyright ruling in the York University v. Access Copyright case last month. This latest decision effectively confirms that educational institutions can opt-out of the Access Copyright licence since it is not mandatory and that any claims of infringement will be left to copyright owners to address, not Access Copyright. The decision is a big win for York University and the education community though they were not left completely happy with the outcome given the court’s fair dealing analysis.
The decision also represents a major validation for University of Toronto law professor Ariel Katz, whose research and publications, which made the convincing case that a ‘mandatory tariff’ lacks any basis in law”, was directly acknowledged by the court and played a huge role in its analysis. Professor Katz joins me on the podcast this week to talk about the case, the role of collective licensing in copyright law, and what might come next for a case that may force Access Copyright to rethink the value proposition of its licence.
The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 48: Sam Trosow and Lisa Macklem on Copyright and Fair Dealing During a Pandemic
Fair dealing – the Canadian version of fair use – has been recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada as a users’ right. The need for a large and liberal interpretation to the right is a cornerstone of Canadian copyright law. With millions of Canadian students at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the importance of fair dealing has grown as teachers seek to provide access to teaching materials and ensure they remain compliant with the law. Sam Trosow and Lisa Macklem of Western University recently published a detailed analysis on fair dealing and emergency remote teaching in Canada. They joined me on the podcast to discuss fair dealing, its application during the current pandemic, and recent developments involving reading aloud programs as well as the Federal Court of Appeal decision in York University v. Access Copyright.
Federal Court of Appeal Deals Access Copyright Huge Blow As It Overturns York University Copyright Decision
The Federal Court of Appeal delivered its long-awaited decision the York University v. Access Copyright case yesterday, setting aside the lower court ruling that I had described as “a complete victory” for Access Copyright. The latest ruling will not leave York University and the education community completely happy given the court’s fair dealing analysis, but winning on the mandatory tariff issue removes both the threat of mandated payments to Access Copyright as well as the possibility of a copyright infringement lawsuit by the copyright collective. That represents an enormous win both for York and for a fair approach to copyright licensing that ensures users have licensing choice.