Canadian Supreme Court Supports Balance In Copyright Issues

from the balancing-users'-rights-vs-owners'-rights dept

Up in Canada, the Supreme Court has come out with a ruling saying that a legal society did not violate copyright laws by photocopying materials for lawyers, because those materials were being used for “research, review, private study or criticism.” In other words, they were looking at copyrights not just as the owners’ right – but as determining a balance between the creators’ rights and the users’ rights. As this analysis points out, this could have far reaching implications for intellectual property law in Canada, as it’s a very different way of looking at the issue. However, on the negative side, it appears the judgment also ruled that people could copyright compilations of facts. Here in the US, of course, this is currently illegal, but may soon change as a result of a bill making its way through Congress.

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Comments on “Canadian Supreme Court Supports Balance In Copyright Issues”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Yes, you can copyright facts ... sort of

As the article said “The legal test is whether “skill and judgment” were needed to put together the collection. ” If you are just talking about straight facts, then “no” that can’t be copyrighted. If you are talking about a collection of facts that required judgement (i.e. selecting specific news events for publication as in the vein of the Darwin books) then yes. The facts themselves cannot be copyrighted, but the compilation or organization of them can be.

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