Google announced on Friday it is updating its search algorithms. In making the announcement Google said the purpose is to “help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed fromSpotify.” According to the statement, it plans to reduce search rankings for sites with “high numbers” of valid takedown notices.
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.
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.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court released reasons in the five copyright appeals heard back to back on December 6 and 7, 2011 in the following cases:[i]
- Entertainment Software Association v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, 2012 SCC 34 (ESA v SOCAN)
- Rogers Communications Inc. v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, 2012 SCC 35 (Rogers v SOCAN)
- Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Bell Canada, 2012 SCC 36 (SOCAN v Bell)
- Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2012 SCC 37 (Access Copyright)
- Re:Sound v. Motion Picture Theatre Associations of Canada, 2012 SCC 38 (RE:Sound)
The copyright bar has been eagerly awaiting the release of the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada in the five copyright appeals which were heard on December 6 and 7, 2011. The Court announced earlier today that the decisions will be released this Thursday, July 12, 2012.
Bill C-11, The Copyright Modernization Act passed Third Reading in the House of commons and was given First Reading in the Senate on June 18, 2012. On June 26, 2012, the Bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. On June 27, 2012 the Senate Banking Committee reported C-11 back to the Senate without amendment. Earlier today, June 29, 2012, the Bill was passed by the Senate and given Royal Assent. It will come into force in the next few months through an order-in-council process.
The following are my opening remarks to the Senate Committee studying Bill C-11 earlier today. The link to the webcast can be found here.
I would like to thank the committee for inviting me to appear today to provide input on Bill C-11.
Before starting my remarks, I would like to give you some background about myself.
- I am a senior partner with the law firm McCarthy Tétrault.
- I am an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where I teach IP law.
- I am the author of 5 books including the leading 6 volume treatise on Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law.
So you want to protect computer programs by copyright, the Oracle v Google and SAS v WPL cases (Updated)June 3rd, 2012 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »
Are computer programs protected by copyright? That issue was a hot one three decades ago when courts began to struggle with whether these intangible utilitarian objects could be protected. Were they machine parts outside the realm of copyright or literary works, the kind of subject matter that copyright protects? This issue was quickly resolved in favor of copyright protection, first by the courts in the US, Australia, Canada and elsewhere in a series of cases involving the Apple II operating system and in other cases, then by international conventions and treaties and worldwide copyright amendments by governments that wanted to be sure programs could not be blatantly pirated.