Access Copyright vs York University: High Stakes for Canadian Culture

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Last week saw the beginning of a long-awaited trial pitting the authors and publishers collective, Access Copyright, against one of Canada’s largest universities, York University of Toronto. Continue reading “Access Copyright vs York University: High Stakes for Canadian Culture”

A Copyright Controversy: The Giant Rubber Ducky is Back

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Photo: Wikimedia commons

There is no ducking it. Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s giant rubber ducky creation is back in the news, and once again is the centre of a controversy over copyright. Continue reading “A Copyright Controversy: The Giant Rubber Ducky is Back”

The Australian Productivity Commission’s Copyright Recommendations: Using a Sledgehammer to Kill a Fly (or Killing the Golden Goose)

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When that pesky fly lands on your morning toast or afternoon scone, you can ignore it, or you can take reasonable responsive measures, such as closing the window, putting up a screen, or shooing it away. But if you don’t care about the consequences, you can take really draconian action like grabbing a sledgehammer to exterminate it once and for all. Of course, there might be some collateral damage, like broken chinaware, smashed fingers and a destroyed table, but for sure the fly will no longer be part of your life. That, it seems to me, is exactly what the Australian Productivity Commission has done in its Draft Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements, released on April 29 of this year. Continue reading “The Australian Productivity Commission’s Copyright Recommendations: Using a Sledgehammer to Kill a Fly (or Killing the Golden Goose)”

Whales, Copyright…..and Censorship?

Slide1A couple of months ago a story about the Vancouver Aquarium and copyright infringement caught my attention. It is not every day that whales and copyright get discussed in the same sentence. In this case the Aquarium had brought a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement against film-maker Gary Charbonneau, accusing him of lifting segments of his film (which was highly critical of the Aquarium’s whale, porpoise and dolphin program) from the Aquarium’s website without authorization. It was an interesting subject for a blog, I thought, illustrating the importance of copyright principles in daily life. A month or so later, the British Columbia Supreme Court issued an injunction at the request of the Aquarium requiring Charbonneau to remove from his film 15 contested segments, amounting to about 4 ½ minutes out of an hour long film. I updated my original blog to keep those interested informed of developments, and thought that would be that. But I was wrong. The “Whale of a (Copyright) Tale” story is the gift that keeps on giving, at least in terms of generating discussion of copyright issues. Continue reading “Whales, Copyright…..and Censorship?”