Bottom Line: Bill C-11 ("Copyright Modernization
Act") finally received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012,
although there is not as yet an in-force date. With the new
amendments to the Copyright Act, copyright owners will
have added protection in some ways and diminished protection in
others. For example, there is new latitude for others to use your
logos in parody and satire and for your copyrighted material to be
included in user-generated content (non-commercial). There are also
new prohibitions on enabling infringement as well as new
requirements for Internet service providers to address alleged
infringement. We outline some of the details below.
PARODY AND SATIRE NEW FAIR DEALING EXCEPTIONS TO
Under the current law, if someone produces a satirical work
using your logo, you can sue them for copyright infringement. That
option will become severely limited under the amended Copyright
Act, because of new parody and satire fair dealing exceptions
to infringement. Under the new law, creating a satire or parody
using logos owned by other parties may no longer be considered
copyright infringement, if the dealing is "fair". These
exceptions will likely provide new inspiration for creative
directors and new angst for logo owners.
NEW USER GENERATED CONTENT EXCEPTION TO
The new user-generated content exception to copyright
infringement has received a lot of attention. This allows one -
subject to certain conditions - to create and publish
"mash-up" videos and other user-generated content without
infringing the copyright in the works used. Note! This does not
mean that you can go ahead and encourage consumers to post
user-generated content on your website without the threat of a
copyright infringement lawsuit. The new exception does NOT apply
where the user-generated content is used for a commercial purpose.
The take-away? Advertisers still need to worry about vetting any
user-submitted content for copyright infringement.
"NOTICE AND NOTICE" REQUIREMENT V. THE US
"NOTICE AND TAKE DOWN"
In contrast to the "notice and take down" system under
US copyright law, Canada's "notice and notice"
approach only requires service providers to pass on any notice
alleging copyright infringement to the person identified as
responsible for posting the content. If they don't, they may be
subject to statutory damages of between $5,000-$10,000.
NO ENABLING INFRINGEMENT!
The new law prohibits online services that are primarily for the
purpose of enabling copyright infringement. Now, copyright owners
can sue the operators of sites like illegal peer-to-peer file
sharing and "pirate" sites.
DIGITAL LOCKS AND RIGHTS MANAGEMENT
The amendments also make it an infringement to circumvent
technological protection measures like digital locks, and prohibit
one from removing or altering rights management information like
digital watermarks that are used to identify copyrighted works.
This provides copyright owners with additional tools to help
protect and police their works.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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