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May 16, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Elizabeth May and C-11

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, was the focus of attention for the debate at report stage of Bill C-11.  In her speech introducing amendments she spoke about why she introduced 18 amendments to the act.  It was also voting on each of these amendments that was taking the time yesterday during votes, and it was she that eventually "released the hostages" by allowing previous votes to apply to later motions.

Unlike other MPs and other parties, her amendments more closely reflected what Canadians said in consultations.   While there were other issues up for debate, such as educational copyright, the bulk of submissions and participation in the consultations were opposition to legal protection for "technological measures".  Given this, while she also addressed educational copyright, the bulk of her amendments addressed various aspects of technological measures.

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April 12, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Crack the Coursepack

Crack the Coursepack is a public legal education project about Canadian copyright law, created in the context of Prof. Tina Piper’s Intellectual & Industrial Property class at the McGill Faculty of Law.

November 29, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Should we use other terms for copyright: authors rights? WorkRight?

In the November 22'nd issue of StraightGoods, author John Degen discussed a possible renaming of the term "copyright" to "WorkRight" as a transition to thinking of a creative work as an act. He was echoing Abraham Drassinower, Associate Professor and Chair in Legal, Ethical and Cultural Implications of Technological Innovation in the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, who suggested that, "Unauthorized publication is wrongful because it is compelled speech."

The concept of "unauthorized publication" relates to a work that was not yet published, and is very different than the concept of copyright infringement which nearly always relates to published works. While copyright infringement or exceptions to copyright are nothing like being compelled to speak, I find the idea of moving away from discussing creativity as a form of property to being tied to authorship to be a very useful one.

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July 14, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» U Sask seeks alternatives for educational works: authors should too!

The following is my comment to an opinion piece in Straight Goods by John Degen.


There are many things in this opinion piece which are misleading or false. You need to understand what Access Copyright is in order to recognize them all.

Access Copyright is not a government agency or funding body, although it sometimes acts like one. It takes what appears like a “tax” on the money flowing through it to fund the Access Copyright Foundation, which is doing work far more appropriate for a government agency. If I were a member of Access Copyright having my money redirected this way, I would be quite offended.

Access Copyright is not a union representing a class of workers, even though people like Mr. Degen often try to confuse people into thinking it is.

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January 1, 2011

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The 2010 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Heather Morrison, Doctoral Candidate at Simon Fraser University's School of Communication, has written an article describing the Dramatic Growth of Open Access in 2010.

With some Canadian post secondary schools questioning the value of blanket licensing from the legacy publishing industry offered by Access Copyright, 2011 may be a big year for Canadian growth in academic Open Access.

December 6, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Putting fairness back into the fair dealings debate

One of the witnesses in front of the C-32 committee today will be Roanie Levy, General Counsel and Director, Policy and External Affairs, for Access Copyright. We have a pretty good idea what she will have to say today given she also has an opinion piece in this week's Hill Times.

It is a repeat of the false claim that adding the word "education" to the first step of the fair dealings evaluation will greatly harm the legitimate interests of creators.

November 5, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Hyperbole from traditional educational publishers: postcards/etc.

Today I received a copy of a misinformation package from Nelson Education Ltd. about Bill C-32. In the package there was a letter from Greg Nordal (President and CEO), a "call to action", a printed copy of an article headlined Copyright bill threat to our identity, and 4 postcards (One to Prime Minister, one each to Industry and Heritage Ministers, and one intended for the local MP) that pointed to Access Copyright's campaign site copyrightgetitright.ca.

CIPPIC lawyer David Fewer discussed much of the misinformation about C-32 educational fair dealings in this package in an Ottawa Citizen article headlined Copyright bill is no ripoff of textbooks. In short, C-32 doesn't say any of the things that traditional educational publishers are saying in their mail-outs.

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November 4, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The general mood of the House of Commons debate on C-32 thus far.

From watching and reading the transcripts of day 1 and day 2 of the debate on C-32 I notice a certain mood. While it is often claimed that Canada's copyright law is outdated and in critical need of modernization (See the C-32 FAQ for the truth), the level of the debate in the house could be confused for being the mid 1990's towards the passing of the Bill C-32 that passed in 1997. Every once in a while a brand name product that didn't exist in 1997 is mentioned, but otherwise the debate hasn't advanced much with parliamentarians.

(Please also read Meera Nair's article which discussed education and fair dealings).

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September 22, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Copyright: Get It Right, by not following Access Copyright proposals

Collective Society Access Copyright, a business model intermediary used by some creators, has launched a C-32 related campaign website where they are critical of the fair dealings reform in C-32. I believe that the fair dealings reforms are a mixed bag of things which are "about time", things which are excessively complex, and only some I disagree with. As a creators' rights activist I must disagree with the perspective offered by Access Copyright, which I believe is harmful to the interests of Canadian creators.

Read full article on IT World Canada's blog >>

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September 13, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Geist: Significant new costs loom for students

An article in the Toronto Star by Michael Geist brings up the educational licensing debate again. I made my views on this debate known in an earlier article I titled The most objectionable aspect of the Copyright debate.

I've often felt that much of the infringement problem for copyright holders is self-inflicted due to business model issues ("not available for sale", regional restrictions, etc). I feel the same with the educational community which should take Michael Geist's suggestion and walk away from Access Copyright. It is the slow adoption in Canada of Open Access models which is at the heart of the educational licensing debate.

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August 19, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The most objectionable aspect of the Copyright debate

For those who did not know, Access Copyright, which represents a limited subset set of Canadian creators and publishers, has proposed (and will likely be granted) a yearly per-student fee for the use of photocopiers by schools. This increase will set the rate to $45 for Universities, and $35 for other educational institution, multiplied by the full time equivalents (FTE). (For details, read this PDF)

I have some sympathy for the economic situation these organizations find themselves in.
...

While I have this sympathy, I don't see what this has to do with Copyright.

Read Full article on IT World Canada's blog...

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August 27, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Government imposition of specific business models on creators

My first draft of the op-ed for Georgia Straight was far too long, and included not only discussion of digital locks but also commentary about government imposing royalty-based business models. It also used Georgia Straight articles by Bill Henderson and Marian Hebb as illustrations. I'm including here that last part that needed to be cut out of the op-ed.

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December 17, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» CAUT releases IP Advisory on Fair Dealing

A recent addition to the CAUT site under "Intellectual Property": Fair Dealing (No. 3) (Intellectual Property Advisory, Dec 2008).

From an announcement:

This advisory is significant because it combines both the internals and externals of copyright policy-making; it links together the federal legislative agenda with policy-making at the local institutional level. In this piece, CAUT is calling on colleges and universities to codify robust fair dealing practices in their institutional policies, and they are also setting forth a four-part legislative program to insure that any new copyright amendments enshrine the CCH principles.

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August 19, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Open Access textbooks, provincial ministers of education and Access Copyright

There is an interesting article by Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times talking about the "eye-popping costs" of college and university textbooks. Caltech economics professor R. Preston McAfee offers a solution, which is to create textbooks that can be freely distributed given the bulk of these costs come from copyright costs and the costs of largely unnecessary intermediaries. McAfee "finds it annoying that students and faculty haven't looked harder for alternatives to the exorbitant prices".

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's blog »

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June 19, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» CAUT: New Copyright Bill Harms Educators and Researchers

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) comments on C-61.

Bill C-61, the federal government’s proposed amendments to the Copyright Act, drastically restricts access to electronic documents and online material. If passed into law by Parliament, the amendments will represent a major setback for the interests of teachers, librarians, students, researchers and consumers.