Internet Copyright Law

Internet Copyright Law in Europe

Government or Crown Copyright

In Canada, the Canadian crown copyright, which provided that the government retains the copyright associated with any work that is prepared or published by or under its direction, created an enormous and unconscionable barrier to Canadian film making, political advocacy, and free speech.

In 2005 there were a civil disobedience campaign involving file sharing of the Eyes on the Prize documentary in Canada. While that activity put the spotlight on the copyright issues associated with obtaining rights for documentaries, Canadian film makers faced the additional burden of obtaining government approval when using public documents or video.

For several canadian law authors, like Michael Geist, using government documents and video materials without approval from the Parliament’s Speaker of the House should not be a case of civil disobedience. It should be permitted by law.

Recommendation from some authors

– Some authors recommended the ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organizations Internet treaties. The government of some countries, however, announced that it plans to implement provisions found in the treaties, but will delay ratification for the moment.

– Some authors recommended the establishment of a notice and takedown system for Internet service providers that would encourage ISPs to remove content upon receipt of an allegation of copyright infringement. Some governments announced that they plans to establish a more balanced notice and notice system that requires a court order prior to the removal of content.

– Some authors recommended the creation of an extended license that would force the education community to pay for publicly-available Internet materials. The governments, in general, shelved this entire proposal, calling for broader consultation on the issue.

– Some authors recommended reforms to photographers copyright, without protections for the privacy and economic interests of the general public. Some governments plan to include an important exception for commissioned photographs for personal or domestic use.

– Some authors cautioned against electronic delivery of interlibrary loans, suggesting that a new license might be warranted. Some governments committed to an amendment to allow libraries to directly deliver certain copyrighted materials electronically.

Once the legislation is introduced in those countries, compromise and balance will be forced to withstand the voracious array of well-funded lobby interests who will undoubtedly seek the return to a one-sided slate of reforms.

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