Queen's University

Canadian copyright law

2010-06-16

Queen’s English professor Laura Murray is available to discuss a federal bill on new copyright legislation, expected to be introduced today.

“The question will be if this legislation is any different than Bill C-61, introduced in 2008,” says Professor Murray. “That bill aroused a great deal of opposition amongst consumer and education/research communities. Canadians need a law that will recognize copyright as a balance between owners' rights and users' rights (as asserted by the Supreme Court's CCH v. LSUC case in 2004). If digital material is encrypted, researchers, satirists and consumers ought to still be allowed to make 'fair' use of it. Otherwise, innovation and free speech are impeded. Piecemeal exceptions are not workable: people don't understand them, and it is the larger principle that the law ought to enshrine so that as new technologies and practices emerge, the law continues to function. We need to make distinctions between industrial-scale piracy, which is indeed detrimental to our cultural industries and needs to be curtailed, and research, commentary, and critique, all of which are essential to our cultural life. I am concerned that this legislation will not assert this distinction clearly enough. “

Professor Murray is an expert in copyright law and theory. She is the co-author of Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide, and maintains a blog on the subject at www.faircopyright.ca.

To arrange an interview, contact Kristyn Wallace at (613)533-6000 ext 79173 or (613)331-0939 kristyn.wallace@queensu.ca or Michael Onesi at (613)533-6000 ext 77513 michael.onesi@queensu.ca, News and Media Services, Queen’s University.

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