Oct 262017
 

Reposted from michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)

It is open access week and this year I had the honour of delivering the keynote address at a terrific open access event co-sponsored by the Ryerson University Library and Archives and the University of Toronto Libraries. My talk – which can be viewed in full here or from the embed below – starts with a review of the remarkable success of open access over the past 15 years, but quickly shifts toward the continuing connection between balanced copyright and open access. Continue reading »

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Canada’s NAFTA IP and E-commerce Priorities: My Appearance Before the Standing Committee on International Trade

 Posted by on September 19, 2017  Comments Off on Canada’s NAFTA IP and E-commerce Priorities: My Appearance Before the Standing Committee on International Trade
Sep 192017
 

[Originally posted on michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] The House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade has been conducting hearings on the NAFTA negotiations. I appeared before the committee yesterday on a panel that included the dairy industry, food and beverage sector, and my comments on IP and e-commerce. The MPs showed considerable interest in both IP and e-commerce, asking questions about notice-and-notice, fair use, copyright balance, the public domain, and the privacy implications of the e-commerce chapter.

My opening remarks are posted below. Continue reading »

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Jun 292017
 

[Reposted from MichaelGeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] The Supreme Court of Canada released its much-anticipated Google v. Equustek decision today, upholding the validity of an injunction requiring Google to remove search results on an international basis.  The 7-2 decision (Justices Côté and Rowe dissented, finding that there were alternatives available, the order is ineffective, and expressing concern that the “temporary” injunction was effectively permanent) is not a surprise – last week’s Facebook’s decision suggested a willingness to side with the weaker Canadian litigant against Internet giants – but the decision will ultimately grant Google more power, not less. Continue reading »

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U.S. Lobby Groups Take Aim At Canadian Copyright Law in NAFTA Comments: No Balance, No Fair Use, & No Cultural Exception

 Posted by on June 22, 2017  Comments Off on U.S. Lobby Groups Take Aim At Canadian Copyright Law in NAFTA Comments: No Balance, No Fair Use, & No Cultural Exception
Jun 222017
 

[Reposted from michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] The U.S. just completed its consultation on negotiating objectives in the upcoming NAFTA re-negotiations (the Canadian consultation is open until July 18, 2017). There are well over a thousand comments, but a review of the lobby groups who pay attention to copyright reveals that they hope to use the talks to make significant changes to Canadian copyright law. This was expected – I touched on the trade dimension of domestic reforms in my recent Policy Options piece on the 2017 copyright review – but the extent to which many groups want to toss aside foundational elements of Canadian copyright law may still surprise. Continue reading »

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Why Copyright Law Poses a Barrier to Canada’s Artificial Intelligence Ambitions

 Posted by on May 18, 2017  Comments Off on Why Copyright Law Poses a Barrier to Canada’s Artificial Intelligence Ambitions
May 182017
 

[michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] The federal government placed a big bet in this year’s budget on Canada becoming a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI), investing millions of dollars on a national strategy to support research and commercialization. The hope is that by attracting high-profile talent and significant corporate support, the government can turn a strong AI research record into an economic powerhouse. Funding and personnel have been the top policy priorities, yet other barriers to success remain. For example, Canada’s restrictive copyright rules may hamper the ability of companies and researchers to test and ultimately bring new AI services to market. Continue reading »

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Mar 202017
 

[Originally posted on MichaelGeist.ca, (CC-BY) Link] Last month, I traveled to Australia and New Zealand as part of a group of experts to discuss copyright fair use and fair dealing. The trip included several public talks, meetings with government officials, a book launch on Reimagining Copyright, and the chance to discuss copyright policy directly with publishers, educators, and librarians. Videos of some of the panels are available online, including a New Zealand forum on copyright and innovation and a panel on comparative copyright limitations and exceptions at the Australian Digital Alliance annual conference. Continue reading »

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Oct 112016
 

michael-geist[michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] Last week, I appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as part of its study on the future of media. The committee has heard from dozens of witnesses and one of the surprising themes has been the emphasis on copyright reform as a potential solution to the newspaper industry’s woes. My opening remarks, which are posted below, warn against the reforms, including the prospect of new taxes on Internet services or linking as a source of revenue for the industry. Instead, I point to several potential policies including an ad-free online CBC, sales taxes for digital services, and non-profit funding models for investigative journalism. Continue reading »

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Jun 242016
 

michael-geist[Reposted from michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] In recent weeks, there has been some media coverage claiming that Canadian educational materials are disappearing in the face of copyright fair dealing rules. For example, several weeks ago, Globe and Mail writer Kate Taylor wrote a column on copyright featuring the incendiary headline that “Kids Will Suffer if Canada’s Copyright Legislation Doesn’t Change.” This week, the CBC provided coverage of a writer’s conference panel with a piece titled “Copyright-free material edging out Canadian texts” that speaks of sales falling off a cliff. Continue reading »

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Mar 162016
 

michael-geist[Reposted from michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] The role of copyright within the Canadian education system has emerged as a contentious issue in recent years as the Internet and digital technologies have transformed how schools provide students with access to materials. At the centre of the fight are a series of Supreme Court of Canada rulings that establish the boundaries of “fair dealing”,  which permits copying of reasonable portions of materials without the need for permission or further compensation.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that last month, the Copyright Board of Canada issued a landmark decision on copying practices in primary and secondary schools, largely affirming the approach adopted by educational institutions. As a result, Access Copyright, the copyright collective that represents publishers and authors, will collect far less for in-school copying than it originally demanded. Continue reading »

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Feb 222016
 

canada[Posted on michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] In the aftermath of the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2012 copyright pentalogy that strongly affirmed the importance of user’s rights and the need for a broad, liberal interpretation for fair dealing, Access Copyright insisted that the decisions did not mean what they said. While educational groups developed reasonable fair dealing guidelines based on the decisions (along with earlier decisions such as the CCH case and the inclusion of education within the fair dealing purposes in 2012 reforms), Access Copyright argued that the copying required its licence and that fair dealing guidelines based on general percentages could not be used. Continue reading »

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Nov 052015
 
booklist - stephanie vacher cc-by-nc-nd

Photo: Stephanie Vacer (CC-BY-NC-ND)

[Reposted from michealgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)] The New Zealand government posted the official Trans Pacific Partnership text today after years secret negotiations and occasional leaks of the text. It is an enormous deal with dozens of side letters between countries – Canada alone has eight side letters on intellectual property with seven TPP countries – that will require considerable study.

From a copyright perspective, the TPP IP chapter leaked soon after the deal was concluded and the chapter looks largely consistent with that document. There is a notable change involving the Internet provider and host takedown rules, however. Continue reading »

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Why U.S. Pressure Is Behind the Stalled Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Bill

 Posted by on September 2, 2014  Comments Off on Why U.S. Pressure Is Behind the Stalled Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Bill
Sep 022014
 

michael-geist[Reposted from michaelgeist.ca, Link (CC-BY)]  Last year, the federal government trumpeted anti-counterfeiting legislation as a key priority. The bill raced through the legislative process in the winter and following some minor modifications after committee hearings, seemed set to pass through the House of Commons. Yet after committee approval, the bill suddenly stalled with little movement throughout the spring.

Why did a legislative priority with all-party approval seemingly grind to a halt? Continue reading »

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