Friday, October 16, 2009

Towards a Parody Consensus?

Glenn Kauth has an article in the current Canadian Lawyer magazine entitled Push and Pull of Copyright Reform.

He quotes several lawyers, including Ron Dimock, Peter Wells, myself and Jason Gratl (a Vancouver lawyer acting for a defendant in the Vancouver CanWest case which may turn on parody). But the most interesting quote is from Roanie Levy of Access Copyright, which wants to collectively license just about anything imaginable having to to do with the printed word and then some.

To my delight, even Roanie seems to concede that an amendment is necessary to deal with parody. She is quoted as follows:
“The law is not clear. In my opinion, [an exception for parody] is there. But we don’t have a lot of case law on it in Canada,” she says, calling for a “specific, limited exception” for such works.
Now, it seems that even Access Copyright is on board for a parody right/exception and will hopefully refrain from trying to monetize it through a "commercially available" exception to the exception or a "market-based solution" as is its wont. (I'm just kidding - please don't anyone get ideas). Can other content owner interests be far behind? Is this at least one area where there might be a glimmer of agreement?

Will Canada be able to regain its rightful place in the G8 of humour, at least?

In all seriousness, a satire and parody right/exception should be an obvious inclusion in any new legislation. It should by no means be the only "user friendly" gesture, as I am sure some content owners would like to see. But it would be a good start to restoring some sense of balance and civility in the great copyright wars that are unfolding.


No comments:

Post a Comment