Here are some
developments we can expect soon in Canadian copyright law:
- York University will likely very soon
file a statement of defence in the lawsuit by Access Copyright. This has
already taken months longer than usual. York’s position and strategy will inevitably
attract much scrutiny, since an adverse outcome for York could profoundly and
negatively affect the entire Canadian educational community at all levels.
- The Federal Court could rule at any
time in the Voltage Pictures effort to compel Teksavvy to hand over the
identities of thousands of its customers. Teksavvy, it will be recalled, has spent
a lot of money not to take a position on this issue and to buy time for a law
school clinic to get involved as an intervener. Teksavvy’s counsel spoke
briefly at the end of the hearing, which took place on June 25, 2013 but
Teksavvy had not previously taken any position.
- The Copyright Board has just advised
that “the Tariff of Levies to Be Collected by CPCC in 2012, 2013 and 2014 on
the Sale, in Canada, of Blank Audio Recording Media is scheduled to be
published in the Canada Gazette this Saturday, August 31, 2013. The links to
the certified Tariffs, as well as the decision in respect of each Tariffs will
be available on our web site under the heading “What’s New” on Friday, by the
end of the business day.” The Board will also, at some point, rule on whether
it intends to proceed with a hearing on whether there can be a levy on microSDs
for the period of January 1 to November 6, 2012. The Government published a
regulation on November 7, 2012 that stated that “Memory cards in microSD form
factor, including microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC cards, are excluded from the
definition “audio recording medium” in section 79 of the Copyright Act.”
- The Supreme Court of Canada could at
any time now deliver its judgment in the case involving Cinar and Claude
Robinson, et al which will presumably focus on the question of what is a “substantial
somewhat longer term, we know that we will see:
- The hearing in the Federal Court of
Appeal on the Warman v. Fournier case, which involves fair dealing,
substantial copying, limitation periods, etc. and in which there are now some
- A ruling by the Copyright Board in
Access Copyright’s quest to get a tariff on copying by provincial civil service
- A hearing next May by the SCC on the
interplay between the Status of the Artist Act and the Copyright
Act and whether the National Gallery must negotiate exhibition rights,
etc. with respect to pre-existing art works under the aegis of the former act rather
than the latter, under which the artists have apparently never even tried to
get a tariff at the Board.
- A hearing by the Federal Court of
Appeal on whether Catherine Leuthold gets the $22 million or so that she
believes she is owed by CBC for the few apparently inadvertently unlicensed
re-uses of a few of her still photos from 9/11 that the Federal Court said was
worth less than $20,000 and what the cost consequences may be to her if she
does not succeed.
- A hearing beginning February 11, 2014
by the Copyright Board of the Access Copyright proposed Post-Secondary Tariff,
in which the AUCC has spent almost $2 million that we know about and withdrawn
its objections, leaving its members without any representation in a hearing in
which Access Copyright is seeking what it considers to be a “mandatory” tariff.
- A hearing by the Copyright Board
beginning April 29, 2014 into Access Copyright’s proposed tariff for K-12
schools, which is taking place notwithstanding that the K-12 school boards have
stopped paying anything to AC under the previous tariff.
issues to watch in the medium term will include:
- How will the educational community
react to York’s defence of the Access Copyright litigation?
- Will Access Copyright sue one or more
K-12 school boards?
- Whether the Government will look at
growing calls to deal with certain issues involving the Copyright Board, some
of which could be dealt with by regulation, rather than legislation.
- Whether Canada gives into expected
American and/or European pressure to extend the copyright term to life + 70 years,
etc. and other potentially controversial US and EU IP demands in the TPP and/or CETA negotiations.
- Whether the far reaching Bill C-56
dealing with anti-counterfeiting – but which goes far beyond what might be
required even by ACTA – is reintroduced after the expected prorogation, whether changes
will be made before it is re-introduced, and what will happen to it if it
proceeds through the committee process.
Most of the
above issues have been discussed before on this blog. Watch here for further