Low-tech Case Has High-tech Impact

Michael Geist, Toronto Star, Mar 22, 2004
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Good analysis of a recent decision by a Canadian court on copyright law, one which, while it asserts that case summaries are subject to copyright (as they should be, since summarization is creative work - I know), a wide latitude ought to be granted to assessment of fair dealing (a.k.a. fair use), essentially fashioning "exceptions to copyright infringement as new copyright rights — users' right — that must be balanced against the rights of copyright owners and creators." Moreover, the court also "allows the providers of equipment to presume their equipment will be used lawfully," a ruling that makers of software that might be used to infringe - such as Kazaa - would welcome. The author also comments (correctly) that copyright has moved from the realm of the commercial into the personal - and that, therefore, "activities of millions of individuals — including judges — who will increasingly question standards of what is right and wrong through the lens of their own actions." As it should be.
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