Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Canada, Copyright, and You

As many of you are probably aware by now, the Government of Canada is currently engaged in a process of consultation to more fully modernize the country’s existing copyright legislation. To that end, the Government of Canada is travelling across the country holding round table and town hall style meetings, as well as accepting submissions from citizens, groups, and organizations. This process is continuing until the 13th of September 2009.

The Government of Canada has established a website by which interested persons can follow as well as and more importantly, participate in the process (http://copyright.econsultation.ca). I would strongly encourage everyone (faculty, staff and students alike) to involve themselves in this process. It is the time when all our voices matter and it’s extremely important we all have our say. There are a great number of resources and primers on this discussion as to how best to get involved and make our voices heard about issues that matter to us, not only from a point of view of the educational field as it affects us, but as individual citizens in our day to day lives as well.

If you’re unsure where to begin in gaining or furthering your knowledge on the subject, there are a number of resources I recommend.

The first is an open letter from the President of Athabasca University that was sent to all students at that institution. In it he discusses the possibility of reintroduction of C-61-like legislation (the last attempt at copyright reform that died on the order paper with the general election call) and its negative impact on education. The text can be found here: http://suzviews.wordpress.com/2009/08/22/canadian-copyright-law/

The second valuable resource I recommend if you’re interested in making a submission to the consultation process, but don’t know exactly where to begin is to visit the Vancouver Fair Copyright Coalition website (http://faircopy.ca/) and read their consultation guide, available here: http://faircopy.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/fc-consultation-guide.pdf

The third is the blog of Michael Geist (law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law). He has followed the consultation process and continues to do so, summarizing and commenting up the submissions quite succinctly. His blog can be found here: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/

Again, I strongly encourage as many people as possible to actively participate and become involved in the consultation process. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Jason MacDonald
Copyright Information Officer
jmacdonald@mhc.ab.ca
ext. 3835

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