Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bill C-32 Brief from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Here's a thoughtful and important brief on Bill C-32 from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, which represents more than 50,000 researchers in 72 scholarly associations, 75 universities and colleges, and 6 affiliates, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is the national voice for the university research and learning community in these disciplines.

Here's the Executive Summary:

Bill C-32, the most recent legislation proposed to amend the Copyright Act, sets out several changes that would achieve a more fair and balanced approach to copyright. Our community commends several proposed amendments in Bill C-32, including the expansion of the definition of fair dealing to include parody and satire, and the amendment stating that an individual does not infringe copyright when using existing copyright-protected material in the creation of new work (provided that certain conditions are satisfied).

At the same time, we believe there are some areas of the Bill that would greatly benefit from minor adjustments. The following document contains recommendations that we believe will strengthen Canadian copyright law. In particular, we recommend that two general changes should be adopted: first, that the phrase “such as” or “including, but not limited to” be included in the list of fair dealing exceptions; and second, that with regards to technological protection measures (TPMs), it is only an offence to circumvent a TPM for infringing purposes.

In addition to these general changes, the Federation also recommends the following changes to Bill C-32:
- Libraries, archives and museums should be allowed to retain intermediate copies for the purpose of maintenance;
- Libraries, archives and museums should be allowed to copy items licensed for individual use for the purpose of preservation;
- Constraints on interlibrary loans should be removed;
- Impairment of a TPM should be allowed in adapting works in any format or medium for persons with perceptual disabilities;
- The requirement to destroy course materials 30 days after students receive their final course evaluations should be removed;
- The requirements for control and monitoring of digital teaching materials should be struck;
- Such phrases as ‘has a reprographic reproduction licence’ should be expanded to ‘has an agreement with the relevant rights holder(s) or has a digital reproduction licence’;
- Private educational institutions and their associated libraries, archives and museums should be included within the definitions of “educational institution” and “library, archive or museum”;
- Bill C-32 should explicitly specify that private study legitimately involves ‘performing’ or otherwise displaying or using copies in the presence of others;
- A general research exception to Bill C-32’s anti-circumvention provisions should be included with regards to TPMs;
- Anti-circumvention provisions should be accompanied by stipulations concerning the feasibility of circumvention options and clear visibility of notices regarding TPMs; and
- Crown copyright should be abolished.


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