What the Supreme Court's copyright rulings mean for you

Peter Nowak, CBC News, Jul 13, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Canadian Supreme Court came down with sweeping rulings this week upholding the principle of fair dealing (also known as 'fair use' in the U.S.). Here's the most important bit: "The court said that downloading a copy of a song is essentially the same as going to buy it in a store — so no additional royalties should be added beyond what the artist already gets through existing licensing agreements." Things like music previews, photocopies of excepts of books (contra Access Copyright, which "failed to show that photocopying in schools adversely affects the market for printed works") and playing music in games were all allowed without extra royalties, on the grounds that the work has already been purchased and the use amounts to a fair use of the purchased work. See also Michael Geist.

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