by Mike Masnick
Fri, Nov 16th 2007 10:03am
Michael Geist points us to the news that Access Copyright, an organization representing approximately 9,000 Canadian publishers and writers has sued Staples/Business Depot for copyright infringement over photocopying done at the stores in Canada. They're asking for $10 million, which Geist notes is "the largest lawsuit ever launched over copyright infringement of published works in Canada." For photocopying books in stores? Are book publishers really worried about the photocopier menace? Hopefully there's more to this claim than just the fact that people can photocopy passages from a book at Staples. It's pretty difficult to believe that this practice is widespread enough to cause any serious harm to publishers or writers. If it's just about people copying an occasional passage, as Geist notes, a previous lawsuit against libraries had found that the libraries weren't responsible and that "fair dealing" (similar to fair use in the states) shouldn't be constrained. Sure, if Staples were somehow copying books and selling the photocopies out the back you could make an argument that it's an issue, but if people are just using the photocopier in the store to copy parts of a book for personal reasons, it's hard to see the rationale here.
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