[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.
[Joint comment endorsed by 14 organizations, listed below] We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to implement without further delay Department of Education Rule 2 C.F.R. § 3474.20 for “Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs,” which ensures that educational resources and other copyrightable works created with Department discretionary grant funds are openly licensed. We strongly support this rule, and encourage you to move ahead with its implementation immediately upon conclusion of this extension period.
[Médecins Sans Frontières, Link] Treatment for hepatitis C using the key drug sofosbuvir could be vastly scaled up in Brazil after the decision by the National Agency of Health Surveillance (Anvisa) to reject a key patent application on the drug marketed by pharmaceutical corporation Gilead. The decision could pave the way to enable generic competition in Brazil, which should lead to price reductions, making it more affordable to scale up treatment.
[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.
Last month, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, the Australian Digital Alliance and Internet NZ hosted a series of meetings and workshops on user rights in copyright reform in Australia and New Zealand. Both countries are debating copyright reform, and Australia is debating a proposal to add fair use to its copyright exceptions.
Participants in the events included Michael Geist, Bill Patry, Sang Jo Jong, Kimberlee Weatherall, Rebecca Giblin, Suzy Frankel, Jessica Coates, Heesob Nam, Peter Jaszi, Patricia Aufderheide, Sean Flynn and Meredith Jacob.
Below you will find video from two of the events, some of the follow up blogs and news stories from the trip.
Abstract: In 2014, the Supreme Court of Kenya had to determine whether the broadcast rights in free-to-air (FTA) programme-carrying signals were infringed by allowing the re-broadcasting of these signals pursuant to the so-called “must-carry” rule in the Broadcasting Regulations of the Kenya Information and Communication Act. In a unanimous decision, the apex court ruled that the ‘must -carry’ rule fell under the fair dealing provisions of the Kenya Copyright Act despite the fact that the dealing in question did not fit within one of the enumerated allowable purposes.
At the Australian Digital Alliance Forum, the first keynote from the Productivity Commission’s Deputy Chair Karen Chester busted myths about fair use. “Fair use has become not a nice-to-have, or even a good-to-have, but a policy must-have,” she said. She also charged in Q&A that those myths are being fecklessly promoted by industry actors.
[Teresa Hackett, Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] EIFL is participating in Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week, an annual celebration designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate success stories, and explain these doctrines. Over 40 countries around the world have fair use or fair dealing in their copyright laws. In this blog, Teresa Hackett, EIFL’s Copyright and Libraries Programme Manager, discusses the evolution of fair dealing in the copyright laws of five EIFL partner countries: Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Lesotho, Myanmar and Uganda.
[Meera Nair, Fair Duty, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] Tomorrow marks the start of Fair Dealing Week in Canada. There is much to be proud of with the steady advance in the realm of exceptions, gained not by intemperate action but by deliberative thought on the part of the judiciary, the government, the Copyright Board, and, institutions and individuals across the country. A moment of celebration and pride is warranted. Yet, significant challenges remain. Educational institutions continue to be a favorite target with copyright owners. Those who take aim at fair dealing lack a cogent argument grounded in either legality or economics, and so must rely on hyperbole. The picture painted is that educational institutions steal from an industry which is on its deathbed, to the detriment of those individuals who carry the very soul of the nation.
[Reposted from Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] The “Safe harbor” provisions of the DMCA have been critical to build the internet as we know it today. Provisions like this one have given space to intermediaries providing platforms to host and transmit user-generated content without being held responsible for third party acts. The above is the legal reason explaining innovation on user-generated platforms and ways to communicate and, as a consequence, enhance rights such as freedom of expression.
[Anubha Sinha, CIS-India, Link (CC-BY)] The latest judgment in the matter of Super Cassettes v. Myspace is a landmark and progressive ruling, which strengthens the safe harbor immunity enjoyed by Internet intermediaries in India. It interprets the provisions of the IT Act, 2000 and the Copyright Act, 1957 to restore safe harbor immunity to intermediaries even in the case of copyright claims. It also relieves Myspace from pre-screening user-uploaded content, endeavouring to strike a balance between free speech and censorship. CIS was one of the intervenors in the case, and has been duly acknowledged in the judgment.
The Australian Government Productivity Commission has released its final report on ‘Intellectual Property Arrangements,’ which recommends a number of reforms to IP law, including changes to the law on patents, copyrights and enforcement.
Regarding copyright and related rights, the Australian Government Productivity Commission warns that the scope of works eligible protection is too broad and the term of protection is too long, forcing copyright users face higher costs. It recommends clarifying the law on geoblocking and allowing parallel trade in books in order to expand access to works. The report recommends “Introducing a system of user rights, including the (well-established) principles–based fair use exception.”