Archive for the ‘Copyright’ category
I had the pleasure of speaking yesterday at the Law Society of Upper Canada 20th Annual IP Law: The Year in Review. I spoke on the topic of Copyright and Technological Neutrality: CBC v SODRAC. My slides are shown below and can be downloaded here.
The Supreme Court released a landmark judgment yesterday in the closely watched case, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. SODRAC 2003 Inc., 2015 SCC 57. The 7-2 judgment of the Court was delivered by Rothstein J (with whom McLachlin C.J., Cromwell, Moldaver, Wagner, Gascon and Côté JJ agreed).
The judgment established the following principles.
Broadcast‑incidental copying engages the reproduction right. While balance between user and right‑holder interests and technological neutrality are important principles under Canadian copyright law, they are interpretive principles which do not trump, and cannot change, the express terms of the Act. The Court rejected the argument advanced by the CBC and CIPPIC, which intervened in the appeal, that the reproduction right should be interpreted in light of the principle of technological neutrality to apply only where the right would be consistent with the purposes of the Copyright Act.
Does by-passing a subscription paywall to access a news article violate the new prohibitions in the Copyright Act that make it an infringement to circumvent a technological protection measure (TPM)? Yes, according to a decision just released by an Ontario court in 395804 Ontario Limited (Blacklock’s Reporter) v Canadian Vintners Association, 2015 CanLII 65885 (ON SCSM). Can a defendant rely on the new fair dealing defense for education to excuse the copying if the defendant illegally accessed the work by circumventing a TPM to do so? No, the fair dealing defense cannot apply where a work is obtained illegally.
Last month, Robert Thomson, the CEO of News Corp., gave a keynote address at the 2015 Lowy Institute Media Awards dinner.
He spent a good part of that speech addressing challenges to the creative industries, and to media companies in particular, posed by powerful distribution channels – what he labels “distributionists” – such as Google.
I gave my annual presentation today to the Toronto computer Lawyers’ Group on “The year in review in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law”. It covered the period from June 2014 to June 2015. The developments included cases from Canada, the U.S. the U.K. and other Commonwealth countries.
The developments were organized into the broad topics of: Online Agreements, Licensing/Technology Contracting, Privacy, Online Liability, Cyber-security and Copyright.
The cases referred to are listed below. My slides can be viewed after the case listing.
Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., 763 F. 3d 1171 (9th.Cir. 2014)
The Government tabled legislation in Parliament today to implement certain provisions of the budget. The Bill summarizes the following key legislative provisions of interest to readers of this blog as follows:
- amends the Copyright Act to extend the term of copyright protection for a published sound recording and a performer’s performance fixed in a published sound recording from 50 years to 70 years after publication; it caps the term at 100 years after the first fixation of, respectively, the sound recording or the performer’s performance in a sound recording;
Last week the government announced an extension to the term of protection for performers and makers of sound recordings, increasing the term from 50 years to 70 years. In doing so, the Government exhibited respect for artists and their music and decided to act before their valuable recordings fell into the public domain.
Michael Geist was quick to criticize the announcement, claiming it could cost Canadian consumers “millions of dollars” and that it would result in fewer works entering the public domain. In support of his claims, Geist referred to several “studies”.
On Wednesday, the government announced an extension of the term of protection for performers and makers of sound recordings, increasing the term from 50 years to 70 years. The announcement was widely applauded by Canadian artists, such as Randy Bachman, Bruce Cockburn, Leonard Cohen, Cowboy Junkies, Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Kardinal Offishall, Serena Ryder, Tom Cochrane, Gordon Lightfoot, Loreena McKennitt, and Triumph, and by organizations representing artists and makers of sound recordings, including the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), Music Canada, and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).
Leonard Cohen expressed the sentiments of many artists in saying:
The Canadian Government announced today that it is amending the Copyright Act to extend the term of protection for performers and makers of sound recordings from its current term of 50 years to 70 years. The announcement, which also included a statement that Canada intends to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty for the blind and visually impaired, was made as part of the Government’s Budget and is expected to be enacted as part of a budget implementation bill to be tabled in Parliament within the next few days.
The Budget expressed the Government’s intentions as follows: