Landmark Copyright Decision on Fair Dealing and Other Aspects of South African Copyright Law

 Posted by on May 9, 2016  Comments Off on Landmark Copyright Decision on Fair Dealing and Other Aspects of South African Copyright Law
May 092016

uct ip unit[University of Cape Town IP Unit, Link, (CC-BY-SA)] On 5 May 2016, the Gauteng High Court delivered the long awaited decision in Moneyweb v Media24. The case’s history is nicely captured here. In a nutshell, the case dealt with, among other things, the alleged copyright infringement of 7 articles published by Fin24, a part of Media24. Moneyweb had argued that through publishing these articles, Media 24 infringed its copyright by unlawfully copying, appropriating and/or plagiarising articles previously published by Moneyweb. The dispute raised important issues regarding the substance and extent of copyright protection in news articles and the outcome clarified crucial aspects of South African copyright law, including fair dealing and the meaning of originality. Continue reading »

Apr 182016

wcl-sydney-torontoIntellectual property scholars and researchers from prominent universities in the U.S., Canada and Australia have released a submission to the Australian Productivity Commission strongly criticizing a report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC) on the economics of fair use (PWC Report).”

According to the Academics’ Submission:

The diffuse and forward-looking benefits of open exceptions like fair use may be hard to measure, but they are no less real. The PWC’s evaluation of the costs and benefits of fair use are not real. It is full of imagined horror stories that are unlikely to take place in fact. Continue reading »


Court Rules Copyright Is Infringed by 8 Second Video Clips

 Posted by on March 21, 2016  Comments Off on Court Rules Copyright Is Infringed by 8 Second Video Clips
Mar 212016

llama[Reposted from, Link (CC-BY_NC-SA)] How much do you need to reproduce a video or broadcast in order to infringe copyright? In the age of Vine, Periscope and animated gifs, this question has become more important than ever. We now may have a partial answer in the case of England And Wales Cricket Board Ltd v Tixdaq Ltd.

The claimants in the case are Sky and the E&W Cricket Board (EWCB), which own the copyright in most live cricket broadcasts. The defendants operate the website Fanatix, which offers sport news, video and commentary. Fanatix’s users uploaded a considerable amount of 8 second cricket clips to the Fanatix companion app, and these were also available in other social media operated by the defendants. The claimants argue that these clips infringe their copyright, while the defendants argued that these fall under fair dealing for reporting and news coverage. Interestingly, the defendants also used an intermediary liability defence, arguing that they were simply mere conduits and hosting content uploaded by third parties. Continue reading »

Mar 162016

michael-geist[Reposted from, 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 »

Feb 222016

canada[Posted on, 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 »

Mar 102015

jbandUpdated March 10, 2015, to include UK Fair Dealing amendments.

Updated on April 3, 2013, to include Liberia.

More than 40 countries with over one-third of the world’s population have fair use or fair dealing provisions in their copyright laws. These countries are in all regions of the world and at all levels of development. The broad diffusion of fair use and fair dealing indicates that there is no basis for preventing the more widespread adoption of these doctrines, with the benefits their flexibility brings to authors, publishers, consumers, technology companies, libraries, museums, educational institutions, and governments. Continue reading »

Jul 012013

jon-bandJonathan Band and Deborah Goldman

One of the arguments used by rights holders opposed to the adoption of open-ended fair use or fair dealing provisions outside of the United States is that those jurisdictions would lack a body of case law to guide judges, and it would take decades for such a body of case law to develop. This argument overlooks the fact that those jurisdictions could look to decisions in other jurisdictions with open-ended fair use or fair dealing provisions, such as the United States and Canada, as they develop their own jurisprudence. (Courts in other countries often rely on U.S. decisions in areas where U.S. jurisprudence is very developed, such as software copyright.) Additionally, in cases that fall within the scope of traditional fair dealing, courts could consider decisions from jurisdictions with traditional fair dealing provisions. Significantly, many of the opinions in these decisions are available online. Continue reading »

May 022013

giest-book-2013[Posted to (CC-BY)(Link)]  Copyright cases typically only reach the Supreme Court of Canada once every few years, ensuring that each case is carefully parsed and analyzed. As readers of this blog know, on July 12, 2012, the Supreme Court issued rulings on five copyright cases in a single day, an unprecedented tally that shook the very foundations of copyright law in Canada.  In fact, with the decisions coming just weeks after the Canadian government passed long-awaited copyright reform legislation, Canadian copyright law experienced a seismic shift that will take years to sort out.

I am delighted to report that this week the University of Ottawa Press published The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law, an effort by many of Canada’s leading copyright scholars to begin the process of examining the long-term implications of the copyright pentalogy. Continue reading »


A la demande générale, nous avons traduit en français le manuel sur l’usage loyal et l’utilisation équitable

 Posted by on April 17, 2013  Comments Off on A la demande générale, nous avons traduit en français le manuel sur l’usage loyal et l’utilisation équitable
Apr 172013

jon-band[By popular demand, we have created a French version of the Fair Use/Fair Dealing Handbook]  Plus de 40 pays, qui comptent plus du tiers de la population mondiale, ont inscrit des dispositions d’usage loyal ou d’utilisation équitable dans leur législation sur le droit d’auteur. Ils sont dans toutes les régions du monde et à tous les niveaux de développement. La vaste diffusion de l’usage loyal et de l’utilisation équitable fait qu’il n’existe pas de fondement pour bloquer l’adoption encore plus généralisée de ces doctrines, avec les avantages que leur flexibilité représente pour les auteurs, les éditeurs, les consommateurs, les sociétés de technologie, les bibliothèques, les musées, les établissements d’enseignement et les gouvernements. Continue reading »


A Mixed Bag For Fair Use In China’s Newest Copyright Law Draft

 Posted by on November 27, 2012  Comments Off on A Mixed Bag For Fair Use In China’s Newest Copyright Law Draft
Nov 272012

Matt Webb

On July 6, 2012, China’s National Copyright Administration published a Second Draft for a new (third) revision (Chinese version) to the Copyright Law for the People’s Republic of China 《中华人民共和国著作权法》. Once adopted, this will become the Third Revision to the Copyright Law since it was originally enacted in 1990.  Changes in the Second Draft from the First Draft published March 31, 2012 (Original Chinese / English translation by China Copyright and Media) represent a move to a more American system, including both an “open list” of exceptions to exclusive rights and a pseudo-“three step test” to which these exceptions must conform.  I have also translated the Chapter on The Limitations to Rights from the Second Draft (highlighting the differences between the two recent drafts).

Continue reading »