Archive for the ‘Articles’ category

Google’s search service exonerated from copyright liability by a French court

January 31st, 2011

When Google searches the web and indexes and caches and makes thumbnail copies of visual works available to the public, is it liable for copyright infringement?  Also, which country’s copyright laws apply to determining Google’s liability? Is it US law where much of the indexing and caching take place and from where Google transmits thumbnails and links to original works of art to the public? Or is it the place where the thumbnails are viewed (or communicated to)?

These issues were considered by the Paris Court of Appeal in the La société Des Auteurs des Arts Visuels et de L’image Fixe Visual Auteurs (SAIF) v Google France  S.A.R.L. and Google Inc case decided last week.

Digital Copying and Libraries: Copyright and Licensing Considerations

February 12th, 2010

The following article is an electronic version of an article published in the February 2010 issue of Feliciter.

Digital technologies are changing how libraries make available books, articles and other works to the public. There is clear demand for these services, and they provide unprecedented benefits to both libraries and their patrons.

However, librarians should be aware that the uses of digital media, such as books or articles in electronic form, e-books and audio books, raise legal issues that do not arise with making available traditional printed materials. These issues fall into two main categories: copyright and contract. The purpose of this article is to summarize what the library community should think about when acquiring digital copies of books or making them available to the public.

How can copyright reform best balance the rights of creators, intermediaries and users?

February 11th, 2010
Here is a digital version of the article published in the Februaryissueof the CBA National magazine. The following question was posed to  Prof. Geist and myself. My answer is set out below.

With a view to positioning Canada as a leader in the global digital economy, how can copyright reform best balance the rights of creators, intermediaries and users?

Copyright has become an emotional topic in Canada in which everyone has a stake. Authors’ livelihoods depend on it. Rights holders need clear, predictable, and fair rules that support creativity and innovation. The public needs access to books, music, art, software and other creative products, all of which are vital to our culture and values.

Graduated response and copyright: an idea that is right for the times

January 20th, 2010

This is a copy of an article published in The Lawyers Weekly (January  2010) by Barry Sookman and Dan Glover.

In mid-2009, the Canadian government launched a nationwide consultation meant to canvass what amendments to the Copyright Act are necessary to support Canada’s participation in the global, digital economy, and to foster innovation, creativity, competition and investment.

There is no doubt that our copyright laws need amending. Amendments are required on a number of fronts. New exceptions are required to meet legitimate user expectations to access and use copyright content without infringement. Amendments are also needed to reduce online piracy and to support making licensed services available to the public.

What Happens When Copyright Goes Digital

August 6th, 2009

Barry Sookman and Stephen Stohn, National Post August 6, 2009

Earlier this month, the federal government launched a copyright consultation asking Canadians for input on copyright reform. Chief among its questions were what sorts of changes would best foster “innovation and creativity,” “competition and investment” and best “position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy.”

These questions reveal fundamental insights about the objectives of copyright reform.

Reforming copyright law will stimulate investment in the creation and dissemination of movies, TV programs, books, music and software; help Canada to be a leader in the global digital market for cultural products; and enable Canadian actors, artists, performers, producers and publishers to be paid for their creative efforts and investments.


November 7th, 2008