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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Da Vinci Code Copyright Case

To lighten the tone of this week’s serious theme, I give you Justice Peter Smith’s trial reasons in the Da Vinci Code copyright case, aka Baigant and Leigh v. Random House Group Limited.

Just to add to the spicy controversy that seems to follow this popular (but only slightly entertaining and definitely non-literary) book, blogger Ashby Jones (WSJ) posits that the judge imbedded his own code into his judgment. Here’s part of his post for your own entertainment:

He just couldn’t resist, could he? Justice Peter Smith, the judge who presided over the recent “Da Vinci Code” copyright infringement

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Searching for Creative Commons Content

Thanks to the Service de recherche documentaire in Boucherville for a post that I missed last year about a feature on the Advanced Google Research page that could be very handy.

There is a box marked Usage Rights, which permits you to search for content that is
* free to use, share or modify, even commercially
* free to use, share or modify,
* free to use or share, even commercially
* free to use or share
* not filtered by licence

So if a page is liberated from traditional content restrictions by having a Creative Commons licence, you can . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Musicians Chime in on Copyright

Today is World Intellectual Property Day.

Just in time for our Copyright Week, a who’s who of Canadian Music announced yesterday the formation of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition.

They are a strong force:

Barenaked Ladies,
Avril Lavigne,
Sarah McLachlan,
Chantal Kreviazuk,
Sum 41,
Stars,
Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace),
Dave Bidini (Rheostatics),
Billy Talent,
John K. Samson (Weakerthans),
Broken Social Scene,
Sloan,
Andrew Cash
Bob Wiseman (Co-founder Blue Rodeo)

What is interesting from a copyright perspective is that they are articulating an artist-based, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Gervais and Craig on Copyright

The recent issue of the University of Ottawa Law and Technology Journal has two articles on copyright by Canadian scholars: “The Purpose of Copyright Law in Canada,” by Ottawa’s Daniel Gervais, and “The Evolution of Originality in Canadian Copyright Law: Authorship, Reward and the Public Interest” by my colleague at Osgoode, Carys Craig. Both articles are available online in PDF format. The abstracts follow:

Gervais:
In three recent cases, the Supreme Court of Canada provided several pieces of the Canadian copyright policy puzzle. We now know that the economic purpose of copyright law is instrumentalist in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Copyright, Librarians and the Greatful Dead

I just happened upon this fun, quick interview from last year with David Dodd, editor of The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics (Free Press: October, 2005) , chair–at the time–of the California Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, and director of the San Rafael Public Library. The interview was conducted by law librarian Mary Minow from California, and was posted to collaborative blog LibraryLaw Blog.

Greatful Dead were known for allowing their devoted followers to tape their concerts. Minow asks the big question, whether the same ethic of sharing followed when Dodd went to publish Dead lyrics in hard . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Copyright and the Demise of the Copier

There’s an article in today’s New York Times, in the Business Section (page C3) which reveals that Xerox profits have taken a downward turn and that its share price has fallen. Given all of the concentration these days on the ‘high-tech’ end of copyright, as well as the news-making cases of alleged plagiarism that have seen authors in court (and there’s yet another case, also in today’s Times, involving the author of the improbably named “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life” (page A14), its interesting to reflect on the story about Xerox and the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The Practical Side of Copyright

Having glanced through a number of the Theme Week articles, I haven’t yet found the practical advice I’m longing for – how can I (a lawyer who should know the law) make sure I don’t go astray when posting to SLAW?

Let me give some simple examples. I decide I want to include a link to an article I’ve recently read on another website. Is it clear that I can link to an “embedded” page rather than just to the first level page? What if I read the article on one of those new “aggregation” pages (I forget the technical . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Publishers and Copyright

The following, sent to Slaw by special arrangement, is a version of the lecture delivered at the session on Publishing and the Public Interest at the 6th International Publishers Copyright Symposium, Montreal, April 24, 2006, by David Vaver, Professor of intellectual property & and information technology law, University of Oxford, and director of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre, St Peter’s College.

The public image of publishers and copyright

What does the public want of publishers? As book buyers, they want ready access to cheap and varied books in their language of choice. They don’t want to be told . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Copyright… the Journal

There’s a new kid on the block. Copyright isn’t just the topic of Slaw’s theme week; it’s also the succinct title of a new journal. This should go on Simon Chester’s list, but it also deserves a notice all of its own. Here’s what the journal has to say about itself:

Copyright is an open-access, peer-reviewed, non-profit journal which focuses on rapidly reviewing, publishing, and disseminating scholarly analysis and commentary in the field of intellectual property, its Internet-era implications and quantitative effects. Copyright unites fields as disparate as law, statistics, and marketing around a common theme of IP by

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Access to Court Records

Here’s what the SCC has to say about access to court records:

The relevant fees for obtaining copies of documents are $0.50 per page plus $5 for consulting a closed file. A case file is considered closed as soon as the judgment is rendered. Copies of documents are mailed within 48 hours of the receipt of the cheque.

This may be changing where factums are concerned, as noted by SLAWers, who seem to think that there are not good legal or pratical reasons to restrict access. In my opinion, the practice of allowing court recorders to control the sale of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Copyright Law and the Law

A special theme week post by guest blogger Michael Geist, who holds the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa.

While the timing of a new Canadian copyright reform bill remains a mystery, there is little doubt that lawyers will play an important role whenever the successor to Bill C-60 is unveiled. Copyright reform invariably unleashes a torrent of conferences, workshops, papers, blog postings, and opinion pieces prominently featuring members of the legal profession, whether as advocates, lobbyists, counsel, or independent experts.

Often missing from the process, however, is discussion about the impact . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law