Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Copyright updates

Posted by Megan on November 24, 2009

Copyright reform is an exceedingly hot topic in many different fields: higher education, law, the music and film industries, web design… Indeed, copyright regulations now touch most aspects of daily communication and creative production.

In Canada, Michael Geist, professor of law at the University of Ottawa, is the authoritative source of current debates and legislation.

Another new and useful source of international copyright legislation is Copyright Watch. Still a work in progress, the site collates relevant legal documents and sources of monitoring that are searchable by country.

The Hill Times Policy Briefing recently included a series of articles about intellectual property and copyright legislation:

  • Q&A with Industry Minister Tony Clement
  • Copyright consultation provides blueprint for reform by Michael Geist
  • Getting it right: Tories must move from regressive to progressive copyright by NDP MP Charlie Angus
  • Introducing a copyright bill is kind of like swatting at a bee hive with a big stick by Simon Doyle
  • Canada’s copyright regime is outdated and lags behind its major trading partners by Harris MacLeod
  • ‘There has never been a better time to live than right now’: Heritage Minister James Moore delivered on June 22 on copyright and digital media
  • Canada can capitalize on digital reality, unparalleled opportunities by Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore
  • Canadian Copyright collectives and Copyright Board after 20 years: does the system serve its purpose? by Howard Knopf
  • Canadian copyright’s just three things by Giuseppina D’Agostino

Hat tip: Special Info & Musings for Ottawa Information Professionals by CLA-CASLIS Ottawa

And finally, Lawrence Lessig, eminent copyright expert in the U.S., gave a rousing speech at the 2009 EDUCAUSE conference in Denver, Colorado, which I was fortunate enough to attend. Lessig spoke extensively on his work with creative commons. He argued that the current system is strangling rather than protecting culture and intellectual work. He called on educators and IT professionals in higher education to actively advocate for a re-evaluation of copyright legislation especially in the realm of academic publishing and distribution of information.

A video of the talk is available here.


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