Network Security

Copyright issues at stake in court

When is fair fair?

The Supreme Court of Canada has heard arguments seeking to overturn a lower court ruling on so-called fair dealing of copyrighted material.

On one front, the nine judges heard from a variety of educators who are looking to re-establish the right to distribute excerpts of published materials to students as resource material.

The court also heard from Apple Canada, Bell Canada and other content providers who want to continue to be able to offer online previews of music without charge. The appellant, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), wants its members to be compensated each time someone streams a snippet of music. Currently, Canada's Copyright Act treats previews as “research” under fair trading provisions.

SOCAN is also facing off against Canada's telecommunications companies over internet transmission of copyright-protected works, looking to achieve a consistent application of the Copyright Act

The court's rulings are expected sometime in early 2012.

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