Archive for the ‘Fair Dealing’ category

Fair use for Australia? A report from the Kernochan Centre

May 6th, 2013

During the copyright reform process leading up Bill C-32 (the Copyright Modernization Act), some proponents of reform had advocated broadening the Copyright Act’s fair dealing exception to a US style fair use regime. This was opposed by a wide spectrum of the Canadian creative community. Eventually the proposal was not adopted when Bill C-11 was finally proclaimed into force. See, Barry Sookman and Dan Glover, Why Canada Should Not Adopt Fair Use: A joint submission to the Copyright Consultation

A big week in copyright, Kirtsaeng, isoHunt, and Associated Press v Meltwater

March 25th, 2013

Last week was a very eventful one in copyright law with three significant copyright rulings from US courts. The US Supreme Court ruled that importing genuine grey market works into the US does not infringe copyright. The Ninth Circuit affirmed a ruling that the Canadian bitTorrent site isoHunt is liable for contributory copyright infringement. Last, a US District Court ruled that Meltwater’s controversial electronic news clipping service is liable for copyright infringement and is not protected by fair use doctrine.

Copyright law 2012: the year in review in Canada and around the world

January 11th, 2013

Yesterday, I gave a talk at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s 17h Annual Intellectual Property Law: The Year in Review program. My talk canvassed developments in copyright in Canada and around the world in 2012. My slides are shown below. The associated paper prepared in collaboration with Glen Bloom, with the help of others, is available here.

The following copyright cases from Canada, the USA, UK and Ireland, Australia, and  Europe are dealt with in the paper and slides.

Canada

Adobe Systems Incorporated v. Dale Thompson DBAAppletree Solutions, 2012 FC 1219

Aga Khan v. Tajdin, 2012 FCA 12

Copyright Board refuses CAB request to rescind CSI tariff

December 21st, 2012

The Copyright Board released a decision earlier today dismissing the application of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) for a decision reducing the royalties paid by commercial radio stations to CSI, AVLA/SOPROQ and ArtistI by 90 per cent, from November 7, 2012 until the Board renders a decision on the merits in the commercial radio tariff proceeding.

The CAB contended there is no longer a legal basis for a tariff targeting the reproduction of a sound recording, or a performer’s performance or work that is embodied in a sound recording, by commercial radio stations as a result of the recent Bill C-11 amendments to the Copyright Act and the fair dealing decision of the Supreme Court in SOCAN v. Bell Canada. The CAB also asked the Board to issue a decision rescinding the CSI tariff.

When a tweet crosses the line

September 26th, 2012

I can’t figure this one out. I’m a lawyer, not a psychologist.

After the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the Access Copyright case, two academics, Michael Geist and Ariel Katz, stepped up their attacks on Access Copyright.

Michael Geist claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model. In a reply blog post I showed this claim did not stand up to scrutiny.

Even more on Access Copyright and the Supreme Court: eviscerated or not?

September 24th, 2012

My mother warned me to be suspicious when people give gratuitous compliments. So, I read with some suspicion the recent blog post by Ariel Katz, who responded to my post Did the Supreme Court eviscerate Access Copyright’s business model? A reply to Michael Geist, generously calling me a “well experienced lawyer” and a “smart well-trained lawyer”.[[1]]

In that post I argued that Michael Geist’s claim that the Supreme Court’s decision eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model did not stand up to scrutiny. I pointed out that his assertions completely ignored the teachings of the Supreme Court that whether something is a fair dealing is a question of fact and that his claims were not based on any analysis to demonstrate why the Supreme Court decision had the effects he claimed.

Did the Supreme Court eviscerate Access Copyright’s business model? A reply to Michael Geist

September 12th, 2012

Michael Geist in a series of recent blog posts claims that the decisions of the Supreme Court in the SOCAN v. Bell Canada, 2012 SCC 36 (SOCAN v Bell) and Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2012 SCC 37 (Access Copyright) cases eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model.[1] He asserts that the cases make all copying that would be subject to a license from Access Copyright fair dealings. Moreover, he claims that publishers would not suffer significant economic harm if all copying permitted under Access Copyright licenses or model licenses were fair dealings and no educational institution, whether elementary, secondary, or post-secondary, paid a penny for all such uses.

Fair use for Australia?

August 23rd, 2012

Earlier this week, the Australian Law Reform Commission published an Issues Paper titled Copyright and the Digital Economy. The paper asked 55 questions about copyright and possible reforms to Australia’s copyright laws. The paper discusses many reforms debated in Canada during the 2009 Copyright Consultations and more recently during the debates and examination of The Copyright Modernization Act (Bills C-32 and C-11) in the House of Commons Special Legislation Committee. These include new exceptions to permit copying for private uses such as format and time shifting, online uses for social media, uses by libraries, archives and for education, and safe harbours for Internet intermediaries.

Did the Supreme Court supplant the market for Access Copyright licenses?

July 31st, 2012

Just over two weeks ago, the Supreme Court released its opinion in the Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, 2012 SCC 37 (Access Copyright) fair dealing case. In that proceeding, the Copyright Board examined whether copying of short extracts of works for classroom teaching purposes was a fair dealing.* The Board and the Federal Court of Appeal found it was not. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and remitted the matter to the Board to reconsider its decision in accordance with the Court’s construction of the fair dealing factors.

Supreme Court decisions to affect future Copyright Board cases

July 23rd, 2012

The five copyright decisions released by the Supreme Court of Canada just over a week ago are bound to influence copyright cases for a long time. Nowhere is this more likely than in future proceedings before the Copyright Board which was the source of all of the appeals in the first instance.

The Supreme Court decisions will clearly be relevant in follow on tariffs to those that were the subject of the appeals such as SOCAN Tariff 22.A (online music services) and Tariff 22G (game sites) and the Access Copyright Educational Institutions tariff.