Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference Annual Reports

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is beginning its 2014 annual conference this weekend in Winnipeg.

Annual reports of committees and special interest groups have been submitted in anticipation of the general meeting.

Here are summaries of some of them:  

Education Committee: 
The New Law Librarians Institute (a crash course in law librarianship for new professionals in the sector) is being held June 8 to 12, 2014 at the University of Ottawa. Margo Jeske of the University of Ottawa’s Brian Dickson Law Library is the coordinator of this year’s session, and has carried out the planning for this event in close conjunction with CALL head office. Next year, the Committee will put a lot of effort into the work of the Core Competencies Working Group. The spring 2014 CALL Members Survey revealed an expressed need for more professional training and the Committee already helps accomplish this through its extremely active Webinar Subcommittee, which held 6 successful sessions in the 2013-2014 season:
  • How Can Law Libraries Use Social Media to Connect With Their Communities?
  • Staying Alert: The 411 on Free & Subscription Based Content
  • Taking the Business Case Approach
  • Google: Search Below the Surface
  • Civil Procedure 101 – An Overview for Legal Information Professionals - Legal Research and Knowledge Management Support of a Litigation Practice
  • Competitive Intelligence: How Intelligence Accelerates New Client Acquisitions for Law Firms
Membership Development Committee:
In 2014, the Committee conducted an in-depth survey of member needs and aspirations (findings will be made public later this year; they have been shared with committees and the executive of CALL). There is a strong indication from the survey that CALL needs to reach out more to students, reconsider a different membership model and redesign the website. The MDC would hope to reach out to non-members with a revamped website and promotional materials to present a fresh polished image.

It has also undertaken follow-up / outreach initiatives with expired members and it intends to be more active in getting existing members to renew membership. One of the big outreach activities of the Committee consisted of education visits to library technician and graduate library studies programs across Canada.

The mentoring subcommittee organized the mentoring program and advertised by email and on the CALL website. A couple of CALL blog posts and social media spots advertised the regular mentoring program and a "speed mentoring" event at the CALL conference in Winnipeg. Targeted emails were sent to all new CALL members. The program closed April 4 and 6 mentoring matches were made this year.

Scholarships and Awards Committee:
  • The 2014 Diana M. Priestly Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Veronika Kollbrand. She is currently enrolled in the JD/MLIS program at Dalhousie University 
  • 3 James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship were awarded this year: Jennifer Adams (Sir James Dunn Law Library, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University) received funding to support her attendance at the four day “Certificate in Leadership Excellence” course at St. Mary’s University; Mary-Jo Mustoe (R. Boak Burns Law Library, Welland County Law Association) received funding to attend the U of T iSchool Institute Symposium called “Defining New Metrics for Library Success”; and Bronwyn Guiton (Lawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver) will receive funds to attend a course at 2014 SLA in Vancouver this June. The course is called “CI Success for Librarians and Info Pros, from Start- up to World Class”. 
  • Education Reserve Fund: CALL members were invited to apply for funding from the Education Reserve Fund to support their attendance at the 2014 New Law Librarians’ Institute to be held at the University of Ottawa, June 8-12. Katherine Laundy (Manager, Collection Development, Supreme Court of Canada Library) will receive funding to attend
  • Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship: the winner will be announced at the Winnipeg conference
Canadian Law Library Review:
Publication of 38 (3 - 4) at the end of 2013 marked the beginning of a new partnership between the Canadian Law Library Review and Managing Matters, the company that took over the management of the association in 2013. The Review has been focusing on developing policies, procedures and timelines for managing the non-editorial aspects of publication. In 2014-2015 it will be focusing on developing a production style guide. For volume 39(2) the Review conducted a complete physical redesign, adding graphic elements and enhancing readability in preparation for the migration of CLLR from print to electronic. The Member Survey indicates that 25% of members read the CLLR from cover to cover and another 42% read some but not all of the articles.

Copyright Committee:
The Committee posted an article on the CALL/ACBD committee space and the CALL/ACBD blog on the Authors Guild v Google Books, Inc. and Authors Guild v HathiTrust litigation in the US. The post was accompanied by links to articles from the perspective of Canadian copyright lawyers and scholars and a copyright librarian. A co-chair participated in a local community panel discussion on the Authors Guild litigation and the elements of the defence of fair use in US copyright law, the comparisons with fair dealing in Canadian law, and the implications and importance of these themes for libraries and digitization, for Google Books, HathiTrust as research resources, and for authors, publishers, and booksellers.

In conjunction with this, the co-chair produced a curated commentary-based article explaining background to the Authors Guild litigation and the fair use issues implicated in US copyright law and discussing potential outcomes. The link to this article was shared with CALL/ACBD via the Committee blog.

The co-chairs tracked some outcomes of Access Copyright license withdrawal or expected withdrawal, via new practices implemented at their respective institutions. Members attempted to track developments in Access Copyright activities, including the litigation with York University and proceedings with the Copyright Board, via posts to the Committee blog.

In 2014-2015, the Committee will:  prepare a compilation of practices for institutions that have withdrawn from or have plans to withdraw from the Access Copyright license; research and get an understanding of whether legal publishing in Canada, particularly by smaller Canadian legal publishers, is being affected by the trifecta of amendments to the Copyright Act , the 2012 SCC copyright pentalogy, and widespread institutional withdrawal from the Access Copyright license; and monitor or review publishers/vendors’ license agreements to determine whether they include new attempts to work around fair dealing.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

May/June 2014 Issue of LawNow on Vulnerable Youth and the Law

The most recent issue of LawNow is available online.

The magazine is published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

The current issue is devoted to vulnerable youth. There is also a "special report" on copyright law.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Australian Law Reform Commission Copyright Report Recommends Introduction of Fair Use

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released the final report for its inquiry on Copyright and the Digital Economy.

The inquiry looked into whether the exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) are adequate and appropriate in the digital environment. Among other things, the ALRC was asked to consider whether further exceptions should recognise fair use of copyright material.

The major recommendation is the introduction of such a fair use policy [from the Summary Report]:
"Fair use is a defence to copyright infringement that essentially asks of any particular use: Is this fair? In deciding whether a particular use of copyright material is fair, a number of principles, or ‘fairness factors’, must be considered."
"The case for fair use made in the Report is based on several arguments, including:
  • Fair use is flexible and technology-neutral.Fair use promotes public interest and transformative uses.
  • Fair use assists innovation.
  • Fair use better aligns with reasonable consumer expectations.
  • Fair use helps protect rights holders’ markets.
  • Fair use is sufficiently certain and predictable.
  • Fair use is compatible with moral rights and international law."

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

US Court Dismisses Copyright Lawsuit Against Google Books Project

Judge Denny Chin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York today dismissed the copyright violation lawsuit that US author groups had launched against  Google.

The search giant has been digitizing millions of books to create a massive online library / bookstore but the project was opposed in a lawsuit by US publishers and author organizations dating back to 2005. The publishers' group split off and settled earlier.

The judge wrote that the project respects authors' rights and is a case of "fair use" (equivalent to fair dealing in Canadian copyright law):
"It preserves books, in particular out-of-print and old books that have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries, and it gives them new life. It facilitates access to books for print-disabled and remote or underserved populations. It generates new audiences and creates new sources of income for authors and publishers. Indeed, all society benefits."
The Infodocket website has full coverage and reaction from parties and observers. It also includes a full-text of the court decision.

Earlier Library Boy posts about the Google Book controversy include:

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Friday, November 08, 2013

Fall 2013 Issue of Law Library Journal Now Available

The Fall 2013 issue of Law Library Journal is available on the website of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Among the articles are the following:

  • Locked Collections: Copyright and the Future of Research Support: "Researchers in institutions of higher education depend on access to the scholarly record, and academic libraries play a critical role in supporting this research. As academic collections shift to primarily electronic format, research support is in jeopardy. Copyright holders, through the use of licensing and contracts to control electronic works, limit or prohibit interlibrary loan and other means of research support. As predominantly digital library collections increase, libraries may find that they have locked collections. They will be unable to lend or to borrow. This article examines how increased reliance on e-collections impacts the ability of academic libraries to support research and explores and assesses various approaches to ensure research support."
  • Oh My Blawg! Who Will Save the Legal Blogs?: "Legal professionals continue to need access to legal blogs for their scholarly, historical, and practical research. However, at this time there is no concrete solution guaranteeing the continued availability of the wide range of legal blogs. Without immediate action, the essential content of legal blogs may be lost forever. This article provides an overview of the state of legal blog preservation and suggests a blueprint for creating an optimal process to ensure continuing access to vital legal blogs."
  • Marketing and Outreach in Law Libraries: A White Paper: "In recent years, libraries have turned to marketing and outreach to better educate library users about services and resources while gaining an understanding of their needs. Marketing and outreach are relatively new concepts in academic law libraries, and librarians tasked with these functions have found resources and examples of this type of work to be lacking. Though focused on academic law libraries, the article identifies the challenges facing all law libraries, explains why libraries need marketing and outreach plans, and provides examples of marketing and outreach successes."

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Australian Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper on Copyright Reform

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released a Discussion Paper on Copyright and the Digital Economy.

Under the Terms of Reference for its study of copyright reform, the ALRC is to consider whether exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act 1968 are adequate and appropriate in the digital environment and whether further exceptions should be recommended. The ALRC is seeking feedback on the proposals from stakeholders.

According to the press release:
“The reforms proposed include the introduction of a broad, flexible exception for fair use of copyright material and the consequent repeal of many of the current exceptions in the Copyright Act, so that the copyright regime becomes more flexible and adaptable. An alternative model, should fair use not be enacted, suggests the addition of new fair dealing exceptions, recognising fairness factors. Other reform proposals relate to the replacement of certain statutory licences with voluntary licensing more suited to the digital environment; the use of orphan works; provisions relating to preservation of copyright material by cultural institutions; and contracting out of the operation of copyright exceptions. Two alternative proposals relating to the scheme for the retransmission of free-to-air broadcasts are set out for comment from stakeholders, in addition to other proposals relating to broadcasting.”

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Saturday, May 04, 2013

New E-Book on Canada's Top Copyright cases

University of Ottawa Press has published The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law available in print and as a free download under a Creative Commons licence. Individual chapters or the entire book can be downloaded:
"In the summer of 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada issued rulings on five copyright cases in a single day. The cases represent a seismic shift in Canadian copyright law, with the Court providing an unequivocal affirmation that copyright exceptions such as fair dealing should be treated as users’ rights, while emphasizing the need for a technology neutral approach to copyright law."

"The Court’s decisions, which were quickly dubbed the 'copyright pentalogy,' included no fees for song previews on services such as iTunes, no additional payment for music included in downloaded video games, and that copying materials for instructional purposes may qualify as fair dealing. The Canadian copyright community soon looked beyond the cases and their litigants and began to debate the larger implications of the decisions. Several issues quickly emerged."

"This book represents an effort by some of Canada’s leading copyright scholars to begin the process of examining the long-term implications of the copyright pentalogy. The diversity of contributors ensures an equally diverse view on these five cases, contributions are grouped into five parts. Part 1 features three chapters on the standard of review in the courts. Part 2 examines the fair dealing implications of the copyright pentalogy, with five chapters on the evolution of fair dealing and its likely interpretation in the years ahead. Part 3 contains two chapters on technological neutrality, which the Court established as a foundational principle of copyright law. The scope of copyright is assessed in Part 4 with two chapters that canvas the exclusive rights under the copyright and the establishment of new “right” associated with user-generated content. Part 5 features two chapters on copyright collective management and its future in the aftermath of the Court’s decisions."

"This volume represents the first comprehensive scholarly analysis of the five rulings. Edited by Professor Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, the volume includes contributions from experts across Canada. This indispensable volume identifies the key aspects of the Court's decisions and considers the implications for the future of copyright law in Canada."


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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Handbook

The infojustice.org website has just compiled a list of the fair use or fair dealing provisions in the copyright laws of 40 countries (including Canada).

The infojustice.org site is part of a project dedicated to the free flow of innovation among creators and consumers, issues related to international IP, open access initiatives, and efforts to expand access to knowledge-based goods. It includes academics in Brazil and the USA (American University and Columbia).

[Source: E-lerts, Canadian Association of Research Libraries]

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Monday, February 04, 2013

Latest Issue of Feliciter on Digital Rights Management

The February 2013 issue of Feliciter, the monthly journal of the Canadian Library Association, is now available online in 3 different formats:
The main theme of the issue is digital rights management.

Articles on the subject include:
  • Guest Editorial - Shifting Tides: How the Re-emergence of DRM Impacts Libraries
  • Digital Locks and Canadian Research Library Collections: Implications for Scholarship, Accessibility, and Preservation
  • Pick Your Digital Lock Battle: Is It the Law or Licenses We Should Be Worried About?
  • Canada’s E-book Withdrawal: Digital Rights Management and the Canadian Electronic Library
  • Public Libraries and E-books: After a Tumultuous Honeymoon, Seeking a Stable Marriage
  • Copyright and Digital Rights Management: Dealing with Artificial Access Barriers for Students with Print Disabilities

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Canadian Association of Research Libraries Report on Digital Locks

In February 2012, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries assembled a working group to explore the impact of digital locks on the work of Canadian library staff.

The report about digital locks in a changing copyright environment was made available recently on the association website:
"The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Canadian Library Association (CLA) and a number of groups expressed concerns when Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act was introduced to parliament in September 2011. These concerns focused on the impact that the bill’s restrictive language about the circumvention of digital locks would have on library operations."

"CARL, like many other groups, recommended that restrictions on digital lock circumvention be limited to infringing uses only, so as to avoid preventing otherwise legal uses, such as fair dealing. CLA raised similar concerns, stating that:"
"Legislation which does not include the right to bypass digital locks for non-infringing purposes is fundamentally flawed.  If digital locks trump access for legitimate purposes, Canada’s libraries will have difficulty in fulfilling their mandates and Canadians will lose access to some information that is currently available."
"In the fall of 2012, University of Ottawa law professor and information policy commentator Michael Geist ran a series of blog posts entitled the Daily Digital Locks Dissenter.  For 51 days, Dr. Geist posted statements from a wide variety of organizations and groups across Canada against the digital locks provisions contained in Bill C-11. "

"Digital locks clearly concerned many groups across the country, but questions remained about the real impact these locks will have on the day-to-day work of libraries. This question needed an answer as C-11 moved closer to becoming law, with its restrictive digital locks rules intact. " (...)

"This report of the group’s findings and recommendations can serve as a starting point for libraries as they begin to think about digital locks in a changing copyright environment."

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Canadian Association of Law Libraries November 22 Webinar on Copyright

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) will host a webinar on Copyright Excess and Access on November 22, 2012 at 1PM Eastern.

The speakers will be Mary Hemmings, Chief Law Librarian at Thompson Rivers University, and Howard Knopf, Chairman of the Copyright Policy Committee of the Canadian Bar Association.

Knopf has frequently lectured at the invitation of the judiciary, government officials, law schools, continuing legal education fora, the World Intellectual Property Organization and various NGOs. He publishes the Excess Copyright blog.

 Mary Hemmings is the Chair of the CALL Copyright Committee.

The webinar costs only $45.20 for members and $67.80 for non-members. Recordings of each session will be available to registered participants.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Two New Releases from Association of Research Libraries: Strategic Planning & Digital Archives

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) recently released 2 issues of its publication Research Libraries Issues.
  • Issue 278: "This issue of RLI features strategies for managing time from Shirley K. Baker, recently retired from Washington University in St. Louis. Her insights stem from years of experience and address the critical balance of multiple priorities in a library director’s life. Also in this issue, several authors discuss the value of the ARL 2030 Scenarios in strategic planning. Jennifer Church-Duran and Deborah Ludwig from the University of Kansas (KU) present a review of the ARL scenarios and how they can be used effectively to engage library staff in discussions about future services and programs. They follow this introduction by describing how the scenarios created a foundation for the KU Libraries’ strategic plan and influenced their contributions to the university’s campus plan. The ARL 2030 Scenarios come together with the balanced scorecard in an article by library staff at Johns Hopkins University and McMaster University."
  • Issue 279:  "This issue of RLI provides an overview of the legal and contractual issues involved in digitizing special collections and archives. The issue also includes a model digitization contract for use with outside vendors, as well as model 'deeds of gift' that can secure permission from rights holders to make donated material accessible on the web. Finally, the issue presents a critical essay by Kevin L. Smith, Director of Scholarly Communications at Duke University, on a new way of thinking about copyright and risk management in digitizing special collections."
ARL is a nonprofit membership organization of 126 research libraries in Canada and the United States.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Three Years of the Google Book Settlement

Walt Crawford devotes the entire August 2012 issue of his Cites & Insights publication to what happened to the proposed Google Book Settlement.

Google has been digitizing millions of books to create a massive online library / bookstore but the plans ran into legal difficulties when US author and publisher groups launched a copyright violation lawsuit against the search giant. A proposed settlement was rejected by the courts:
"Now? The settlement (modified) is dead: The judge struck it down as being unfair. Most of those who were commenting on it (including me) really didn’t deal with what turned out to be the core issue: You can’t substantially transform copyright law by settling a class action lawsuit."
"We are, in some ways, back to square one after the better part of a decade. There will assuredly be more developments over the next (year? five years? decade?), but given the clear death of the settlement itself, I thought this would be a good time to update the situation (...)"
"This is a long set of notes and comments (cites & insights). It strikes me that the topic and complexity deserve that length—but note that I’m offering much briefer excerpts and comments on most items than I normally would in this sort of roundup."
"After two sets of general notes and overviews (one before the settlement was rejected, one after) I’m breaking the discussion down by topics rather than chronologically."
Some of the topics Crawford covers include monopoly and antitrust; privacy and confidentiality; the public domain, open access, copyright; libraries and metadata; authors and publishers.

Earlier Library Boy posts about the Google Book Settlement include:


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Canadian Association of Research Libraries E-lert for Jume 29, 2012

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) publishes a weekly E-lert, a current awareness bulletin that links to material on "research, innovation, scholarly publishing, scholarly communication, scholarly journals, electronic journals, copyright and access to published government information".

The June 29, 2012 issue is available on the CARL website. 

This week's issue links to quite a number of articles on copyright issues, including:
  • CLA Statement on Licenses with Access Copyright in Post-Secondary Institutions
  • European Union lawmakers reject global copyright pact
  • An open letter on Access Copyright and the Canadian copyright emergency
  • How Fair Use Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Copyright Infringement Case Over Unauthorized Database Distribution of Court Filings

This is a follow up to the Library Boy post of February 27, 2012 entitled Thomson Reuters Sued Over Use of Facta in Litigator.

That post described a class action lawsuit that was recently certified by an Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge and that alleges that the database company Thomson Reuters breached copyright by copying original documents created by lawyers without their permission and making them available for a fee through its commercial Litigator service. This includes pleadings, court motions, affidavits and facta.

The final paragraph in the post refers to a similar class action suit in the United States against West and Lexis for the use of "briefs" (facta) in commercial databases.

Yesterday, the Law Librarian Blog reported on Another Copyright Infringement Class Action Suit Filed Claiming Unauthorized Commercial Database Distribution of Court Filings. The new case was filed against West in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

More on the U.S. situation from the Legal Research Plus blog (Stanford Law School).

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Monday, March 05, 2012

Canadian Association of Law Libraries in Front of Parliamentary Committee on Copyright Reform

Mary Hemmings, Chair of the Copyright Committee of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL), will be appearing as a witness before the Legislative Committee on Bill C-11 tomorrow morning, March 6, at 10:30 am EST.

The Association presented a brief to the previous parliament on Bill C-32, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. More CALL materials on copyright reform can be found on the CALL website.

The hearings of the committee are webcast live and also available on the parliamentary website after the hearing. You can access the committee hearings on the website of the Parliament of Canada.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Thomson Reuters Sued Over Use of Facta in Litigator

An Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge has certified a class action lawsuit against Thomson Reuters, according to the most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly [the decision can be found on CanLII: 2012 ONSC 1138]

The lawsuit, launched in 2010 by Toronto immigration lawyer Lorne Waldman, alleges that the database company breached copyright by copying original documents created by lawyers without their permission and making them available for a fee through its commercial Litigator service. This includes pleadings, court motions, affidavits and facta.

The defendant company argues fair dealing and "implied consent".

As the article explains:
"In opposing the certification of class proceedings, Thomson Reuters argued that Waldman is trying to limit access to publicly filed court documents, asserting this is antithetical to the open court system, access to justice, behaviour modification and judicial economy."

"But Justice Perell ruled there were common issues that should be determined on a class basis, albeit not all of the issues presented for certification by the plaintiff (...)"

"The judge certified two common issues relating to Thomson’s alleged conduct. Did the company through its Litigator service: (1) 'reproduce, publish, telecommunicate to the public, sell, rent, or hold itself out as the author or owner of court documents?' or (2) 'authorize subscribers to reproduce, publish, telecommunicate to the public, sell, rent, translate, or hold themselves out as the author or owner of court documents?' "

"The judge also certified common issues raised by Thomson’s defences: 'Does Thomson have a public policy defence to copyright infringement or to the violation of moral rights based on (a) fair dealing, (b) the open court principle, (c) freedom of expression, (d) the necessity of using the idea of the court document as it is expressed, or (e) a business or professional custom or public policy reason that would justify reproducing, publishing, telecommunicating to the public, selling, renting, translating, or holding itself out as the author or owner of court documents?' "
There is a similar case in the United States, where a class action suit has been launched against West and Lexis for the use of "briefs" (facta) in commercial databases.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Library-Related International Copyright Developments

The World Intellectual Property Organizations’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (WIPO SCCR) is meeting in Geneva from 21 November to 2 December.

Member states will, among other things, consider a draft treaty on copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives. The draft treaty was prepared by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) in collaboration with others.

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has observer status at the WIPO SCCR.

IFLA and CLA have both made statements in support of the draft treaty.

A background document on why this treaty is necessary was prepared by IFLA and its partners, and presented at the meeting.




[Source: Canadian Library Association]

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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Copyright Modernization Act

The Library of Parliament has prepared a legislative summary of Bill C-11: An Act to amend the Copyright Act:

"Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, was introduced in the House of Commons by the Minister of Industry, the Honourable Christian Paradis, and received first reading on 29 September 2011. The bill is a reintroduction of Bill C-32, which was introduced in the 3rd Session of the 40th Parliament. Bill C-32 had received second reading and had been referred to a legislative committee of the House of Commons which heard witness testimony on the bill until the 40th Parliament was dissolved in March 2011."

"The bill adds new rights and exceptions to the Copyright Act. As noted in the bill’s summary, the objectives of Bill C-11 are to:

  • update the rights and protections of copyright owners to better address the challenges and opportunities of the Internet, so as to be in line with international standards;
  • clarify Internet service providers’ liability and make the enabling of online copyright infringement itself an infringement of copyright;
  • permit businesses, educators and libraries to make greater use of copyright material in digital form;
  • allow educators and students to make greater use of copyright material;
  • permit certain uses of copyright material by consumers;
  • give photographers the same rights as other creators;
  • ensure that [the Copyright Act] remains technologically neutral; and
  • mandates a review of [the Copyright Act] by Parliament every five years."

"Whether the bill will achieve these objectives is a subject of debate amongst the various stakeholders affected by copyright reform, including authors, artists, musicians, record labels, book publishers, collective societies, libraries, museums, school associations, software developers, retailers, and consumers."

It is possible to follow the progress of the bill through Parliament on the LEGISinfo website.

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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Canadian Government Reintroduces Copyright Amendment Legislation

Late last week, the Canadian government introduced the Copyright Modernization Act.

It is identical to proposed legislation that died on the order table when the last Parliament was dissolved for the May 2011 elections.

This is the fifth attempt in less than a decade to update Canada's copyright law.
  • Government backgrounder : "Librarians will be allowed to digitize print material and then send a copy electronically to a library client through an interlibrary loan. The requesting client could either view the material on a computer or print one copy. Libraries, archives, and museums will be permitted to make copies of copyrighted material in an alternative format if there is a concern that the original is in a format that is in danger of becoming obsolete. "
  • Copyright changes: how they'll affect users of digital content (CBC News, September 30, 2011): "If passed in its current form, the Copyright Modernization Act will allow Canadians to: (...) Use copyrighted content for the purposes of education, satire or parody. This expands what is known as the fair dealing provisions of the existing law — which until now covered only research, private study, criticism and news reporting (...) The new law will also: Prohibit the circumventing of digital locks, even for legal purposes — such as the education or satire uses protected by other sections of the Act. This is one of the most controversial parts of the legislation. Many experts have criticized the government for not including an exemption that would allow for the bypassing of digital locks for legitimate purposes, such as the copying of parts of digitally locked textbooks to view on another device or for use in an assignment."
  • University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist's blog comments on the bill

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