Alberta privacy law ruled unconstitutional

John Cotter | Canadian Press | November 15, 2013

The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday struck down Alberta &s privacy law as unconstitutional in a case where a union photographed and videotaped people crossing a picket line during a long strike…

The union posted signs near the picket line saying images of people crossing the line might be posted on a website.

Several people cited Alberta &s Personal Information Protection Act in their complaints to the provincial information and privacy commissioner.

The commissioner appointed an adjudicator, who ruled that the union had violated the act.

But a court found that the ruling violated the union &s rights and the Alberta Court of Appeal granted the union a constitutional exemption from the act.

The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 ruling, essentially agreed, but also threw out the whole law. It has given the province a year to make appropriate changes.

For more on the story see:

NEW! August/September Workshops: Copyright and Teaching

Copyright and Teaching: Tools and tips for ensuring that your course is copyright compliant

This session will provide participants with practical solutions for delivering course materials in class and online via Moodle, etc. while adhering to legal obligations. A brief overview of the current copyright landscape will include a discussion of Canadian copyright law, Access Copyright and library license agreements. ***Register***

What will the TPP mean for Copyright?

…no-one’s entirely sure how it will all end up, but the multinational Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) currently being negotiated could have significant ramifications for Canadian Copyright. Canada, the US, Australia, are among the countries participating in this deal.

For example, Japan is considering extending its copyright period to 70 years (from 50) which would bring it on par with the United States copyright period. In Canada, we only wait 50 years after the author’s demise for a work to enter the public domain. Will our country be urged to follow suit?

Many are nervous about the lack of transparency surrounding these negotiations. Given that we are busily implementing the updated Canadian Copyright Act, more change is not necessarily a welcome thing.

Apropos Appropriation

RANDY KENNEDY | December 28, 2011 | New York Times

“In March a federal district court judge in Manhattan ruled that Mr. Prince – whose career was built on appropriating imagery created by others – broke the law by taking photographs from a book about Rastafarians and using them without permission to create the collages and a series of paintings based on them, which quickly sold for serious money even by today &s gilded art-world standards: almost $2.5 million for one of the works.”

For more on this article:

Who Owns my Blog and Blog Post?

Nov 14, 2012 | FBC

I blog, therefore I own my blog. This is a presumption that may not be true in all circumstances. So what does Canadian copyright law say about ownership? First, all bloggers need to know that there are copyright law rules on the ownership of blogs. We are not talking netiquette or what &s ethical when blogging or using Twitter or Facebook.

For more see:

Copyright Modernization Act – Coming into Force

November 7, 2012 | Michael Geist Blog

This morning, the majority of Bill C-11, the copyright reform bill, took effect, marking the most significant changes to Canadian copyright law in decades. While there are still some further changes to come (the Internet provider notice-and-notice rules await a consultation and their own regulations, various provisions related to the WIPO Internet treaties await formal ratification of those treaties), all the consumer oriented provisions are now active. These include:
•The addition of education, parody, and satire as fair dealing purposes.

•The creation of a non-commercial user generated content provision that creates a legal safe harbour for creators of non-commercial UGC (provided they meet four conditions in the law) and for sites that host such content.
•The adoption of several new consumer exceptions including time shifting (recording of television shows), format shifting, and the making of backup copies.
•Changes to the statutory damages rules that distinguish between commercial and non-commercial infringement. The law now includes a cap of $5000 for all non-commercial infringement. The change reduces the likelihood of lawsuits against individuals for non-commercial activities and would apply to educational institutions engaged in non-commercial activity and significantly reduce their potential liability for infringement.
•The inclusion of an exception for publicly available materials on the Internet for education. This covers the content found on millions of websites that can now be communicated and reproduced by educational institutions without the need for permission or compensation.
•The adoption of a technology-neutral approach for the reproduction of materials for display purposes. The current law is limited to manual reproduction or on an overhead projector. The provision may be applicable in the online learning context and open the door to digitization activities.
•The implementation of a distance learning provision, though use of the exception features significant restrictions that require the destruction of lessons at the conclusion of the course.
•The inclusion of a restrictive digital inter-library loans provision that will allow for digital transmission of materials on an inter-library basis, increasing access to materials that have been acquired by university libraries.
•A new exception for public performances in schools, which will reduce licensing costs for educational institutions.

See the Canada Gazette II (p45-47) for the specific sections:

Bill C-11 – cleared House of Commons

June 19, 2012

Bill C-11 – The Copyright Modernization Act cleared House of Commons on June 18, 2012. It is good news for the university community. It received its 1st reading in Senate yesterday night:

Here are commentaries from various sources:

Huffiington Post:

CBC News:


To follow the progress of the bill:

CLA on Copyright Act amendment

Protecting the Public Interest in the Digital World Revisted for Bill C-11
Canadian Library Association | December 12, 2011

“This analysis of Bill C-11, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act, has been prepared by the Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des biblioth ques (CLA) on behalf of its members, the Canadian library and information community, and all those interested in the creation, dissemination and preservation of Canadian culture. It identifies the provisions of the legislation that would appear to be of most direct interest to librarians, libraries, and others in the information community; and provides some analysis of those provisions from this perspective.”

For the full document see:

CanLII and the Federation to Defend Free Access to Law

CanLII and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada have been granted leave to intervene at the Supreme Court of Canada in SOCAN v. Bell et al., a copyright case to be heard later this year in which the Court will be asked to provide guidance on the meaning of research as a fair dealing user right under the Copyright Act.

For more see: