Canadian Copyright Law: A Primer


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This presentation, geared to web designers, provides an overview on the basics of Canadian copyright law as well as a brief introduction to the aspects of Canada's current copyright reform bill (Bill C-11) most relevant to web designers.

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Canadian Copyright Law: A Primer

  1. 1. Canadian  Copyright  Law:  A   Primer   Lorraine  M.  Fleck   Web  Design  Graduate  Cer9ficate  Course  Sheridan  Ins9tute  of  Technology  and  Advanced   Learning   March  9,  2012     These  slides  do  not  cons9tute  legal  advice.  
  2. 2. Overview  I.  Canadian  Copyright  Law  Primer   1.  What  is  copyright?   2.  What  does  copyright  protect?   3.  How  is  copyright  created?   4.  How  long  does  copyright  exist?   5.  Who  owns  copyright?   6.  Who  can  use  copyright  materials?    
  3. 3. Overview  I.  Canadian  Copyright  Law  Primer   6.  What  is  copyright  infringement?  Are  there   excep9ons?   7.  What  are  “moral  rights”?   8.  What   are   some   of   the   highlights   of   the   Canadian   copyright   reform   bill   (Bill   C-­‐11)   relevant  to  your  work?  II. Ques<ons?  
  4. 4.   Canadian  Copyright  Law  Primer  
  5. 5. What  is  Copyright?  The  exclusive  right  to  reproduce  original  content  and  stop  others  from  reproducing  that  content.  §  Means   that   you   must   get   others   permission   to   use   their   content   unless   your   ac9vity   falls   within  an  excep9on  to  infringement.  §  Applies  to  the  Internet!  §  The   laws   in   Canada   and   the   US   can   differ   drama9cally.  
  6. 6. What  Does  Copyright  Protect?  Original   literary,   drama9c,   musical   and   ar9s9c  works.  §  Literary   works   include   books,   pamphlets,   magazines,   newspapers,   tables,   computer   programs,  compila9ons  of  literary  works.  §  Drama9c   works   include   choreography,   wri^en  music,  movies  and  musical  plays.  
  7. 7. What  Does  Copyright  Protect?  §  Audible   musical   works   include   music   with   or   without  words.  §  Ar9s9c   works   include   pain9ngs,   drawings,   maps,   charts,   plans,   photos,   engravings,   sculpture,  cra_s  and  architectural  works  such   as  buildings,  sculptures  and  models.  
  8. 8. How  is  Copyright  Created?  §  The   original   work   is   created   by   a   Canadian   ci9zen   or   ci9zen   of   a   Berne   Conven)on   country.  §  The  work  must  come  into  physical  existence;   copyright  does  not  exist  in  ideas.  §  If  the  work  is  published,  the  work  is  published   in  Canada  or  a  Berne  Conven)on  country.  
  9. 9. How  is  Copyright  Created?  §  No   need   to   register   or   mark   (e.g.   ©   2012,   Lorraine  M.  Fleck).  §  Registra9on   is   a   rebu^able   assump9on   of   copyright   that   can   be   useful   for   li9ga9on   purposes.    §  Best   to   register   early;   Canadian   courts   are   skep9cal   of   registra9ons   obtained   shortly   before  or  during  a  lawsuit.  
  10. 10. How  Long  Does  Copyright  Exist?  Depends  on  the  type  of  work  and  whether  there  are  joint  authors.  For  e.g.:  §  Most   works   =   Life   of   the   author   +   Rest   of   the   calendar  year  in  which  the  author  died  +  50  years  §  Joint   authors   =   Term   lasts   to   the   end   of   the   50th   year  of  the  last  author  dies  §  Unknown   author   =   Lesser   of   the   end   of   the   50th   year   a_er   publica9on   OR   75   years   a_er   the   work   was  made  
  11. 11. How  Long  Does  Copyright  Exist?  §  Photographs  =  To  the  end  of  the  50th  year  from  the   making  of  the  ini9al  nega9ve  §  Movies   =   To   the   end   of   the   50th   year   from   first   publica9on  and  if  not  published,  50  years  from  the   making  of  the  movie  §  Sound   recordings   =   50   years   from   when   first   recorded  §  Broadcasters  =  50  years  from  communica9on  
  12. 12. Who  Owns  Copyright?  Usually   the   person   who   creates   the   copyright  work  but  there  are  excep9ons.  §  Photographs:  The  first  person  who  owns  the   nega9ve   of   the   photo   (not   always   the   photographer).  §  Employees:  Employers  are  the  first  owner  of   works   created   for   the   employer   by   the   employee.    
  13. 13. Who  Can  Use  Copyright  Materials?  §  The   owner.   Ownership   can   be   transferred,   but   must   be   in   wri9ng.   The   ownership   transfer   agreement  usually  is  called  an  “assignment’.  §  Anyone   who   has   permission   (“license”).   The   terms  of  the  license  dictate  what  the  “licensee”   can  do  under  the  license.  The  fee  paid  under  the   license   to   the   copyright   owner   (“licensor”)   is   a   “royalty”.  
  14. 14. Who  Can  Use  Copyright  Materials?  Be  careful  with  “royalty  free”  content!  §  Each  site  has  its  owns  terms  governing  content  use.  §  Many  sites  only  allow  non-­‐commercial  use.  §  Commercial   licenses   are   o_en   restricted   e.g.   number  of  copies,  territory.  §  Read  license  terms  carefully.  §  Know   how   the   content   will   be   used   before   purchasing  a  license  to  avoid  wasted  $$$.
  15. 15. What  is  Copyright  Infringement?  §  The  making  of  an  unauthorized  copy.  §  There   must   be   a   “substan9al”   por9on   of   the   material  copied.    §  No   hard   and   fast   rule   as   to   what   is   substan9al.  §  Test   is   quality,   not   quan9ty:   Does   the   copy   take   enough   of   the   work   so   as   to   convey   at   least  a  por9on  of  the  value  of  the  work?  
  16. 16. What  is  Copyright  Infringement?  §  Two  types:   1.  Primary:  A  copy  is  made  without  permission  (e.g.   copying   a   most   of   a   magazine   ar9cle,   pirated   so_ware).   2.  Secondary:   The   sale,   rental   or   distribu9on,   or   display   or   possession   for   that   purpose,   of   an   unauthorized   copy   provided   the   person   in   possession  of  the  copy  knows  it  was  an  infringing   copy  (e.g.  bootleg  DVD  stores,  file  sharing).  
  17. 17. Are  There  Excep<ons  to  Copyright   Infringement?  §  Yes,  but  under  specific  circumstances.    §  Major  category  is  “fair  dealing”:   1.  Research/private  study.   2.  Cri9cism/review.   3.  News  repor9ng.  §  While   not   limited   to   private   or   non-­‐commercial   contexts,   not   very   useful   for   adver9sers.   No   adver9sing  specific  excep9on.  §  Parody  is  NOT  currently  an  excep9on  in  Canada.  
  18. 18. Are  There  Excep<ons  to  Copyright   Infringement?  §  What   factors   are   used   to   assess   what   is   “fair”   in  the  context  of  “fair  dealing”?     1.  Purpose.   2.  Character.   3.  Amount.   4.  Nature  (of  the  work).   5.  Available  alterna9ves.   6.  Effect  (of  the  dealing  on  the  work).    
  19. 19. What  Are  Moral  Rights?  §  The  author’s  right  to:   1.  Retain  the  integrity  of  the  work;   2.  Not  have  her/his  work  distorted;   3.  Have   his/her   name   associated   or   not   associated  with  the  work.  §  Ac9vi9es   must   be   shown   to   be   to   the   detriment  of  author’s  honour/reputa9on.  
  20. 20. What  Are  Moral  Rights?  §  Cannot   be   transferred,   but   can   be   waived.  §  Can   prevent   you   from   altering   content   or   prevent   your   content   from   being   altered,  unless  there  is  a  waiver.  §  Term   is   the   same   as   copyright   in   the   work.  
  21. 21. Bill  C-­‐11  Highlights  §  The   Copyright   Moderniza)on   Act   is   the   fourth   a^empt  at  reform  since  2005.  §  Canada’s   copyright   act   has   not   been   significantly   amended  since  1997.  §  Some  of  the  significant  changes  that  affect  those  in   web  design  and  adver9sing  include:   1.  The  “mash-­‐up”  excep9on.   2.  Changes  in  statutory  damages.   3.  Excep9ons  for  parody  and  sa9re.  
  22. 22. Bill  C-­‐11  Highlights:  Mash-­‐Ups  §  Infringement   excep9on   for   non-­‐commercial   user   generated   content   created   using   copyright   material   legi9mately   obtained   by   the  creator.  §  Applies  to  non-­‐commercial  uses  only.  §  Could  affect  the  market  for  the  works  used  to   create   the   mash   up   (e.g.   transla9ons,   sequels).  
  23. 23. Bill  C-­‐11  Highlights:  Statutory  Damages   §  Would   cap   statutory   damages   against   individuals   who   infringe   copyright   for   non-­‐ commercial  purposes  to  $100  –  $5,000  for  all   works  in  the  lawsuit.   §  Currently,   statutory   damages   are   $500   -­‐   $20,000  per  copy.   §  May   result   in   less   deterrence   for   large   scale   infringers.    
  24. 24. Bill  C-­‐11  Highlights:  Parody  &  Sa<re  §  Most  relevant  for  web  design  and  adver9sing.  §  Parody:  The  original  work  is  ridiculed.  §  Sa9re:   Use   of   the   original   work   to   mock   someone  else.  §  No   need   to   iden9fy   source/author   as   for   cri9cism/review  and  news  repor9ng.    
  25. 25. Bill  C-­‐11  Highlights:  Parody  &  Sa<re  §  While  parody  and  sa9re  excep9ons  will  give  those  in   adver9sing   such   as   web   designers   more   tools   to   create  content,  s9ll  need  to  be  careful.  §  Parody   and   sa9re   may   infringe   trade-­‐marks,   result   in  defama9on.  §  Use  of  content  must  be  “fair”:  do  not  use  too  much,   and   avoid   impac9ng   exis9ng   opportuni9es   for   content  owner  to  exploit  copyright.    
  26. 26.   Ques<ons  
  27. 27. Ques<on  1  Q:  Can  you  use  a  copyrighted  image  if  the  image  is  no  longer  recognizable?    A:  Depends.  No  if  the  altera9on  impacts  the  ability  of  the  copyright  owner  to  exploit  the  work.  Even  if  that  is  not  the  case,  if  the  distor9on  nega9vely  affects  the  creator’s  honour/reputa9on,  then  no  because  the  distor9on  would  affect  the  author’s  moral  rights.  
  28. 28. Ques<on  2  Q:   What   happens   if   you   are   accused   of   using  copyrighted   material?   What   are   some   of   the  consequences  and  how  should  you  approach  resolving  this  ma^er?    A:   Usually,   the   plain9ff’s   lawyer   will   send   a   demand  le^er.   If   the   ma^er   cannot   be   resolved   at   that   stage,  the   copyright   owner   may   sue.   The   limita9on   period   is  three  (3)  years.  Criminal  proceedings  are  also  available,  but  rare.    
  29. 29. Ques<on  2  (con<nued)  A:  Remedies  for  copyright  infringement  include:  1.  An   injunc9on.   The   only   available   remedy   if   an   infringer   can   prove   (s)he/it   had   not   reasonable   basis  for  knowing  copyright  existed/was  infringed).  2.  Damages   and   profits   or   statutory   damages   (currently  $500  to  $20,000  per  copy).  3.  Interest,   puni9ve   and/or   exemplary   damages,   “delivery   up”   of   infringing   materials   and   “costs”  (payment  of  plain9ff’s  legal  fees).  
  30. 30. Ques<on  2  (con<nued)  A:   A   copyright   dispute   can   be   very   expensive    money   and   9me   wise,   with   each   party’s   legal  fees   easily   exceeding   $100,000   or   more,   and   a  lawsuit  in  Federal  Court  currently  taking  two  (2)  years   to   reach   judgement.   Proceedings   in  Ontario   Superior   Court   can   take   considerably  longer  to  go  to  trial.  
  31. 31. Ques<on  2  (con<nued)  A:   What   approach   to   take   depends   on   the   facts   (e.g.   whether  there   is   copyright   in   the   work   allegedly   being   infringed).   While  many   are   hesitant   to   do   so   because   of   the   cost,   it   o_en   is  cheaper  and  in  a  party’s  best  interest  to  hire  a  lawyer  who  has  experience  with  copyright  disputes  to  assess  whether  there  is  a  claim   and   to   develop   an   ac9on   plan   (e.g.   whether   to   send   a  demand   le^er,   whether   to   se^le   a   dispute   –   which   is   o_en  cheaper).      
  32. 32. Ques<on  3  Q:   When   blogging   about   other   peoples   work  (i.e.   photos   from   magazines,   illustra9ons,   etc.)  and   wan9ng   to   post   images   we   find   online,   is  there  a  hard  and  fast  rule  about  how  we  should  credit   the   original   author?   What   should   we   be  wary  of  when  doing  this?  
  33. 33. Ques<on  3  (con<nued)  A:   OK   if   doing   for   cri9cism/review   or   news   repor9ng   provided  you  credit  the  author  by  men9oning:   1.  the  source;  and     2.  if  given  in  the  source,  the  name  of  the:   a.  author,  in  the  case  of  a  work;   b.  performer,  in  the  case  of  a  sound  recording;  or   c.  broadcaster,  in  the  case  of  a  communica9on  signal.    Otherwise,  an  infringement  even  if  the  author  is  men9oned  and  the  above  informa9on  is  provided.  
  34. 34. Ques<on  4  Q:  How  can  we  best  protect  our  own  work  that  we  post  online  that  might  get  picked  up  by  other  people?    A:  Some  9ps.  §  Disable  right  clicks  (but  will  not  work  with  the  tech  savy).  §  While   not   legally   required,   copyright   no9ces   and   website   terms  of  use  on  your  own  sites  can  be  a  deterrent.  §  Register   copyright   in   commercially   important   works   that   might  get  infringed  so  you  have  your  registra9on  in  advance   of  li9ga9on.  
  35. 35. Ques<on  5  Q:  What  exactly  are  the  ownership  rules  of  the  social  media/blog  sites   that   we   use   all   the   9me   (i.e.   Facebook,   Twi^er,  Wordpress)?  We  never  read  the  fine  print  or  if  we  do  we  don’t  understand   it.   What   should   we   look   for   and   be   aware   of   to  protect  our  crea9ve  rights.    A:  As  of  wri9ng:  §  You  own  your  content  on  Twi^er  and  Wordpress.  §  Facebook  has  a  license  to  all  your  content  un9l  your  account   is  deleted,  unless  any  content  is  shared  with  friends.  §  Pinterest  has  a  perpetual,  worldwide  license  to  your  content.  
  36. 36. Ques<on  5  (con<nued)  A:  Fine  print  may  be  boring,  but  you  have  to  read  each  website’s  terms  of  use  to  determine  what  rights,  if  any,  you   are   giving   the   service   provider   in   respect   of   your  content.      Given   that   each   service   provider’s   terms   of   use   vary,  you   have   to   read   the   en9re   document   to   appreciate  what   you   are   getng   into.   There   are   unfortunately   no  shortcuts.  
  37. 37. Ques<on  6  Q:   I   have   a   few   older   design   projects   from   school  where  I  dont  know  where  I  found  the  images,  and  they  are   currently   online.   If   I   wrote   a   sentence   saying   it   is  student  work,  is  this  enough?    A.   Unfortunately,   no.   There   is   no   copyright  infringement  excep9on  in  that  case.    
  38. 38. Ques<on  7  Q:  I  have  a  piece  in  my  poruolio  that  was  created  using  a  collage  of  images  from  magazines,  and  then  manipulated  in  photoshop.  Can  I  s9ll  have  this  piece  in  my  poruolio  as  student  work  even  if  I  dont  have  the  copyright  of  the  magazine  images?    A.   Unfortunately,   no,   unless   the   collage   relates   to   cri9cism/review   and   the   author   a^ribu9on   informa9on   in   ques9on   3   is  included.   Otherwise,   it   is   copyright,   and   poten9ally,   moral   rights  infringement  as  well.  
  39. 39. Ques<on  7  Q:  I  have  a  piece  in  my  poruolio  that  was  created  using  a   collage   of   images   from   magazines,   and   then  manipulated  in  Photoshop.  Can  I  s9ll  have  this  piece  in  my   poruolio   as   student   work   even   if   I   dont   have   the  copyright  of  the  magazine  images?    A.   Unfortunately,   no,   unless   the   collage   relates   to  cri9cism/review   and   the   author   a^ribu9on   informa9on  in  ques9on  3  is  included.  Otherwise,  it  is  copyright,  and  poten9ally,  moral  rights  infringement  as  well.  
  40. 40. Ques<on  8  Q:   Many   companies   (i.e.   ad   agencies,   marke9ng   &  communica9ons   firms)   and   i ns9tu9ons   are  encouraging,   even   requiring,   their   employees   to   tweet,  blog  etc.,  to  promote  their  brands.  Who  is  responsible  if  an  inappropriate  or  defamatory  tweet  goes  out  over  one   of   these   "official"   feeds   -­‐   the   employer   or   the  employee?
  41. 41. Ques<on  8  A:  It  depends.§  Employers   may   be   liable   for   representa9ons   made   in   the   “scope  of  employment”.  §  Statements   made   on   an   employee’s   personal   9me/account   may  be  a^ributed  to  employer.  §  But   the   employee   may   be   liable   if   the   ac9vity   was   not   authorized.    Cri9cal  to  have  policies  in  place  –  and  a  paper  trail  showing  what  content  was  authorized  –  to  protect  employees  and  employers.  
  42. 42. Ques<on  9  Q:   True   story:   employees   of   one   such   company   have  recently   been   reprimanded   (or   more)   for   things   they  have   wri^en   or   images   that   have   appeared   in   their  personal  blogs,  Facebook  or  Twi^er  accounts.  Example:  Marke9ng  person,  who  works  for  an  agency  that  has  a  major   beer   company   as   a   client,   posts   a   picture   taken  at   a   birthday   party   in   a   bar   one   night.   The   bo^les   of  beer   on   the   table   in   this   picture   are   not   the   clients  brand.   How   much   control   does   your   employer   legally  have  over  your  social  media  life  outside  of  the  office?    
  43. 43. Ques<on  9  A:  From  a  labour  and  employment  lawyer…  §  If  non-­‐union  employee,  more  control  than  you   think.  §  If   your   outside   of   work   ac9vi9es   nega9vely   impact  the  business,  can  lead  to  dismissal.  But   how   likely   that   the   photos   would   nega9vely   impact  the  business  in  this  case?  
  44. 44. Ques<on  9  A:    §  Ul9mately,   in   this   case,   would   need   to   prove   that   you   were   construc9vely   dismissed   and   sue   for   construc9ve  dismissal  –  which  would  require  quitng   your   job.   Li9ga9on   is   expensive   and   no   guarantee   you  would  win.  
  45. 45. Thank  you…Ques<ons?   Lorraine  M.  Fleck  Barrister  &  Solicitor  |  Trade-­‐mark  Agent     E-­‐mail  |   Website  |   Blog  |   |@  HofferAdler  @lorrainefleck  
  46. 46. Canadian  Copyright  Law:  A   Primer   Lorraine  M.  Fleck   Web  Design  Graduate  Cer9ficate  Course  Sheridan  Ins9tute  of  Technology  and  Advanced   Learning   March  9,  2012     These  slides  do  not  cons9tute  legal  advice.