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ABC Copyright Conference

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The ABC Copyright 2019 Conference was held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on May 30 and 31, 2019. The theme of this year’s conference was “Negotiating Copyright: Local, National and Global Contexts.”

Hosted by the University of Saskatchewan Copyright Office


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Now showing 1 - 13 of 13
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    The Decline of Collective Copyright Licensing in Canada's Post-Secondaries Explained Using the Theory of Fields
    (2019-05-31) Taylor, Donald
    Fligstein's and MacAdam's Theory of Fields was used to analyze how Access Copyright lost its incumbent advantage in the traditionally stable field of copyright administration in Canadian post-secondaries and why that field is still unsettled today. Theory of Fields considers actions rather than motives and explains how a field moves into crisis using the concepts of: strategic action fields composed of incumbents (Access Copyright) and challengers (post-secondaries); external shocks to a field (e.g. court rulings); the social skill of the actors, particularly how an inability to envision alternatives leads to prolonged disruption. A field enters a crisis when the challenger(s) or incumbent act in ways which causes others to attempt to disrupt the status quo. Through interviews with copyright professionals and administrators actively involved at the beginning of the period of contention (2010-2012), analysis of institutional communications and records, and analysis of judicial and tribunal decisions, I used the Theory of Fields to analyze the actions of groups in the field of post-secondary copyright management and in proximate fields such as government and the courts. This approach moves us away from hyperbole and the "us against them" paradigm with its oversimplifications of "Access Copyright got too greedy" and "universities are trying to rip off creators". The presentation, using the Theory of Fields, will demonstrate how the actions of Access Copyright and of organizations like AUCC (now Universities Canada) led post-secondaries to challenge the status quo and how a series of actions/reactions, along with a lack of skilled social action by both incumbents and challengers, naturally brought us to the current period of contention in copyright management in the post-secondary environment.
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    The sky is not falling--A discussion about the Fair Dealing Guidelines
    (2019-05-31) Nair, Meera
    Over the past year, the Federal Government has sought input from Canadians regarding the state of the Copyright Act; a particularly divisive issue has been the inclusion of "education" in the scope of Fair Dealing. Brought in via the prior amendments of 2012, authors and copyright-owners have been forthright in their requests to remove, or curtail, that inclusion. While such a prospect may appear worrisome to academic administrators across the country, the reality is that Canadian educational institutions never needed "education" to begin with. Complicating matters is the ongoing litigation concerning York University. Yet, this should not limit application of fair dealing by students, instructors, and staff, as currently practiced under the national approach known as the Fair Dealing Guidelines. The legitimacy of those guidelines begins, not with the events of 2012 or later, but by the complete oeuvre of the famed CCH decision of 2004. In this session, Heather Martin and Meera Nair place contemporary educational practices involving fair dealing against not only CCH's history, but also institutions' own histories in terms of vendor relations and acquisitions. Participants will engage in discussion with the goal of reframing the Fair Dealing guidelines in light of current events, and to more accurately reflect a principled-approach to exercising fair dealing.
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    Towards Reconciliation
    (2019-05-30) Nair, Meera
    As we remember Dr. Gregory Younging, we might also consider that Indigenous precepts underwrite the system of copyright as we have come to know it. Not only is the Copyright Act tri-jural, representing precepts of common law, civil law, and Indigenous law, but Indigenous traditions concerning creativity and property show more affinity to the lived experiences we attribute to those words.
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    Negotiating copyright in online creative spaces: how Canadian fan writers navigate and learn about law
    (2019-05-30) Katz, Rebecca
    The Internet makes it easier than ever for users to access, transform or "remix", and distribute content. This technological and cultural revolution makes creators of us all - and makes copyright more relevant to more people. However, despite the ease of creating and sharing media online (as opposed to simply consuming: see Lessig, 2004), public copyright literacy has not necessarily increased. Amateur online creators typically lack formal copyright training, which may lead to legal misunderstandings or concerns, as well as an amateur-grown culture of informal copyright norms for negotiating the law. This research uses fan fiction writers as one example of online creators. Fan fiction refers to stories based on identifiable segments of popular culture, such as books, movies, or TV shows (Tushnet, 1997). Fan fiction is typically amateur-written and shared in free online communities. Fan fiction writers are one among many online subcultures who create second-generation works drawing on pre-existing media, and who are therefore copyright stakeholders. Prior research with fan creators indicates that copyright norms are prevalent in fan communities. Norms may track or integrate legal doctrine to varying degrees; however, misinformation also circulates in fan spaces, as creators may refer to peer sources and find legal texts inaccessible (Fiesler, Bruckman, 2014; Fiesler et al, 2015; Freund, 2014). This presentation reports on the author's preliminary dissertation findings regarding fan writers. It is interdisciplinary, drawing on scholarship in law, information studies, and fan studies. It presents a literature review of the subject as well as results from a pilot study and early qualitative interviews addressing how Canadian fans negotiate copyright. This research adds a Canadian perspective to the literature on online creators' copyright knowledge, research, and needs. It also adds further qualitative data about how stakeholders outside law, libraries, and traditional publishing negotiate copyright law in a global, digital context.
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    Cultural Appropriation in Fashion: Is Copyright the Answer?
    (2019-05-31) Vézina, Brigitte
    Cultural appropriation cases spark passionate debate because while fashion's borrowing of stylistic elements from other cultures is common practice, it can in reality be offensive to the holders of source cultures. Misinterpretation or disregard for the cultural significance of a traditional cultural expression (TCE), even unintentional, can have drastic consequences for its holders. Calls for action to curb appropriation emphasize a need for indigenous peoples to have better control over their TCEs. Cultural appropriation may be explained by the jarring relationship between TCEs and copyright. While TCEs, such as traditional designs or motifs, are a product of the human mind, it is difficult to protect them within the existing copyright system, which casts most TCEs into the public domain. For instance, protection remains unavailable for TCEs that have been passed down the generations and fail to meet the originality criterion. This presentation explains the concept of cultural appropriation and illustrates it with multiple examples from fashion. It shows how copyright law fails to provide adequate protection to TCEs and thus make them vulnerable to appropriation. The presentation concludes by showing how copyright principles, particularly moral rights, could be adapted to offer strong protection to TCEs against cultural appropriation.
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    OA policies & traditional publishing agreements: Status of non-exclusive licenses in Canadian copyright law?
    (2019-05-30) Graham, Rumi; Bell, Allan; Lapierre, Dominique; Swartz, Mark
    To ease the problem of paywall-blocked access to scholarly articles arising from publicly funded research, some universities have adopted a rights-retention OA policy. In this type of policy, faculty grant to the university a blanket non-exclusive license to make the accepted manuscript version of their scholarly articles publicly available in the university's research repository. But what happens if a university adopts an OA policy and faculty subsequently continue to sign publishers' standard publishing agreements that typically require an author to either transfer all copyrights or provide an exclusive license to the publisher? This presentation outlines a project that explores this question within Canadian copyright law.
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    Language and Discourse in the Copyright Act Review
    (2019-05-30) Savage, Stephanie; Zerkee, Jennifer
    This is the slide deck and speaker notes that accompanied our ABC Copyright Conference 2019 presentation which outlines progress on our qualitative assessment of the content and impact of written submissions to the The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology's review of the Copyright Act of Canada.
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    Copyright: An International Perspective
    (2019-05-30) Dryden, Jean
    National copyright laws necessarily include a number of provisions that are required to comply with international copyright treaties. The World Intellectual Property Association (WIPO) has traditionally been focused on treaties that strengthen the rights of copyright owners. However, for nearly a decade, WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) has been discussing the need for a treaty setting out copyright exceptions for libraries and archives. Such a treaty would require signatory nations to include in their domestic copyright laws a minimum level of exceptions (a.k.a. users' rights) that would enable libraries and archives to fulfill their public interest mission. Drawing on her experience as a representative of the International Council on Archives at SCCR, Dr. Dryden describes the current state of these discussions, including the players, the obstacles, strategies, and prospects for success.
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    Social Media and Copyright
    (2019-05-30) Bosher, Hayleigh
    Since copyright protects books, films, music, art and images, we evidently need to use copyright protected works in our teaching for illustration, reference and resource. On top of this, social media is being increasingly used in the classroom, and as a medium for teaching and learning. However, many teachers and lectures are unaware of the copyright implications of social media use. There are certain exception to copyright which allow for free use of the material without permission, however these are qualified and narrow. If a teacher is using social media, this would fall outside the remit of the educational exception. Other exceptions could be explored such as critique or quotation which may apply in certain circumstances. One of the key issues with using social media is that once content is uploaded to a platform, the platform is granted the right to share it, under the user agreement. This means that often users are licensing their work without knowing it, or worse, sub-licensing someone else's work without permission! Social media user agreements are controversial, and leave users vulnerable to copyright infringement claims. Social media can be a valuable teaching device to enhance student experience and engagement, as long as risks are appropriately mitigated. This presentation will take a look at using copyright protected materials and social media in higher education. In particular, it will consider risk management, relevant exceptions and the controversial nature of the terms of use.
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    Software Preservation and Copyright - Adapting the ARL Fair Use Code of Best Practices for Canada: Preliminary Findings
    (2019-05-31) Swartz, Mark; Slaght, Graeme
    Preserving and maintaining library collections is an area where libraries and copyright naturally intersect, particularly in the modern age. To properly preserve and maintain print and digital library materials and the outputs of digital scholarship, libraries must make copies of works in many cases. In fact, digital works are often at risk of being lost well before the term of copyright expires. This is most relevant for formats that are either obsolete or becoming obsolete, or which require the use of computer software that is itself becoming obsolete. Computer software is a class of works that presents unique preservation issues. As articulated by Krista Cox on September 24, 2018: Libraries, archives and museums hold thousands of software titles that are no longer in commercial distribution, but institutions lack explicit authorization from the copyright holders to preserve these titles or make them available. Memory institutions also hold a wealth of electronic files (text, images, data, and more) that are inaccessible without this legacy software. Over the next six months, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) will investigate adapting the Association of Research Libraries' "Code of Best Practices in Fair use for Software Preservation" for use in Canada. This session will report on the progress of this investigation, and will include an in-depth examination of the use of fair dealing for software preservation. We will examine the applicability of other Copyright exceptions for preserving software in library collections (including the library preservation exception). Finally, we will discuss other legal restrictions that may stand in the way of library software presentation, including issues around licensing and anti-circumvention.
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    CUSMA & Technical Protection Measures
    (2019-05-30) Tiessen, Robert
    If CUSMA (aka USMCA or MUSCA) is ratified it will severely limit the ability of the Canadian Government to limit the impact technical protection measures on Canadians and Canadian libraries. Section 41 of the Copyright Act is already a Canadianized version of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. After CUSMA is ratification, the Government will be extremely limited in making any changes to Section 41 of our Copyright Act because of the limits placed on Canada (and Mexico and the US) by the trade agreement. Going against CUSMA would require Canada to either convince both of its trade partners to amend CUSMA; or it would need to withdraw from the agreement. This presentation will take a look at how TPMs have evolved in international arena from the WIPO Copyright Treaty in 1996 through to current times. Then it will look at what kind of flexibility and exceptions CUSMA does allow member countries and what kinds of regulations or amendments to the Copyright Act that we might want to lobby for.
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    Crown copyright: More than just an outdated provision
    (2019-05-30) Wakaruk, Amanda
    Presentation at ABC Copyright 2019. Conference program abstract: Section 12 of the Copyright Act is at odds with the aims of Open Government and many government works have become inaccessible, or even been lost due to Crown copyright chill. This session will report on recent advocacy work to persuade Canada's federal government to update an antiquated and undemocratic copyright provision.