Book cover of a Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide


Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide

CAUT Bulletin  

Laura Murray is an Associate Professor in the English Department of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and creator of the website


Samuel Trosow is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He is jointly appointed in the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.

Recent Decisions

Government Tables Flawed Copyright Bill
Friday, 13 June 2008

Yesterday the federal government tabled Bill-61, an Act to Amend the Copyright Act (contents, full text html, full text pdf, "fact sheets").


The pdf version is over 50 pages and like many other analysists, commentators and bloggers, I am working diligently to try to digest and unravel the full meaning of this exceptionally complex document.


Tags:  Bill C-61 Copyright
Government Copyright Bill to be Introduced on Thursday
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Despite a number of false starts, it appears as if the government will finally table its Copyright Bill tomorrow, Thursday June 12th.

Tags:  Copyright
Upcoming Talk on Copyright
Tuesday, 03 June 2008

I will be giving giving a presentation entitled "Constraining the Flow of Knowledge in Post-Secondary Education: Copyright as Impediment to Teaching, Learning and Research" at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law as part of the Conference on Education, Culture and the Knowledge Economy sponsored by the Center for Innovation Law and Policy.


The one-day conference is free and open to the public.


Friday, June 6th, 9am-5pm

Flavelle House, 78 Queen's Park

Faculty of Law, University of Toronto



Constraining the Flow of Knowledge in Post-Secondary Education: Copyright as Impediment to Teaching, Learning and Research

In recent years there has been a widening disconnect between the broader notions of users' rights articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada in CCH v. Law Society of Upper Canada and other cases, and on the other hand, the institutional practices of many Canadian post-secondary institutions. This presentation will identify these disparities, ask what accounts for them, consider their potential impacts, and suggest changes in policy necessary to insure that copyright does not become an impediment to teaching, learning and research.

Is the Copyright Bill Coming this Week?
Tuesday, 03 June 2008

Speculation is heating up that we may see the long awaited Copyright Bill as early as this week.  The National Post and Michael Geist have written that the government may table the bill this Wednesday.


According to the Post, the bill will include “provisions to target users with a $500 fine for all illegal files transferred online” and “measures to make it illegal to unlock cellphones or copy music from protected CDs to iPods as well as making it illegal to copy "time shifted" shows onto personal video recorders if flagged by broadcasters.” According to Geist, the Bill will be very similar to the one drafted last December with only some modest amendments to “include a few user-oriented provisions such as time shifting.”


Now that the public and the media have become so interested in copyright policy, perhaps the government feels that tabling a bill will divert attention away from some of the other problems they have been facing. I can't imagine how tabling a measure that threatens typical Canadian consumers with lawsuits will help improve the profile of the government, but we'll just have to wait and see what's in the bill. It should be an interesting week.



Two London Public Library Board Trustees to Receive CLA Intellectual Freedom Award
Friday, 02 May 2008


The Canadian Library Association has announced that Nancy Branscombe and Gina Barber are the recipients of the of CLA's Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada for 2008. Branscombe and Barber are members of the London (Ontario) Public Library Board as well elected members of London City Council. Here is CLA's press release. . .


Tags:  internet filtering censorship London Public Library Canadian Library Association
Publishers Sue Georgia State University for Infringement
Friday, 18 April 2008

The NY Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education report that a group of publishers have filed a lawsuit against officials at Georgia State University for copyright infringement.


The suit which was filed by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Sage Publications in US District Court in Atlanta, alleges that the university had “facilitated, encouraged, enabled and induced Georgia State professors to upload and post to" (various online systems and students to) “download, print, copy and distribute” many assigned course readings owned by the plaintiffs and others.  The complaint also alleges that requiring the payment of permission fees would not jeopardize legitimate exercises of fair-use. While the complaint names the University President, Provost, and Dean of Libraries as defendants, the University itself is not named (which is because of state immunity rules in the United States).


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I am an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario jointly appointed to the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS).


Before coming to Western, I was a law librarian at the Boalt Hall Law Library at the University of California at Berkeley and before that I was in private law practice in California. My doctoral work in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA focused on information policy issues.


I am currently a Network Investigator and Theme Leader with the GRAND NCE and also serve on the Librarians Committee of the  Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Scholarship @ Western

Western's Open Access Portal


Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda




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