Copyright Laws Weaving a Wicked Web

That’s the title of my Free Press article from Monday. As it seems to be getting a large number of hits on my own blog, I thought it worthwhile to post it here as well.

I can’t reproduce it here for contractual reasons – the full article is here.

The gist of it is that in both the Canadian and US elections, there were instances where those running for office were frsutrated by the very laws they enacted or positions they took on proposed legislation.

McCain complained to Youtube that they took down content based on allegations of copyright infringement – a result of the DMCA that he supported. The Conservatives included content in ads that allegedly violated copyright – that might have been acceptable if fair dealing rights were expanded as some have suggested.

From the article:

In both countries, the same politicians who enact or try to enact tough copyright laws, have exhibited the very behaviours they wanted to stop in others.

This shows how important it is for lawmakers to carefully think through the practical ramifications of legislation.

Hopefully, these examples will give Canadian politicians pause for thought when it comes time to bring forth a new copyright reform bill.


  1. As I recall, the main trouble both campaigns ran into was trying to use music in their ads without securing rights. It’s not likely there will be an expansion of fair dealing so huge that it would permit commercial advertisers to appropriate creative work without payment or permission.

    Maybe the lesson is that political parties should be more concerned to comply with copyright norms and laws, rather than legislate self-serving exemptions.