Last year, I wrote the following essay, as part of a collection of essays, “NAFTA and the Knowledge Economy”, published by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). The essay discusses what Canada’s approach to intellectual property in the context of the renegotiation of NAFTA should be. Since the issues are back at the table, I thought I’d post it again.
- Sean Flynn, American University Washington College of Law
- Michael W. Carroll, American University Washington College of Law
- Peter Jaszi, American University Washington College of Law
- Ariel Katz, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
- Leandro Mendonça, Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Cultural Production Department
- Diane Peters, Creative Commons Corporation (HQ)
- Allan Rocha de Souza, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ)
Copyright laws the world over are under massive pressure to reform to fit the digital environment. One key area often in need of reform is in the exceptions to copyright that enable the digital practices. Without exceptions, common practices may be illegal, such as sharing photos on social media, making technical copies to send and stream, and uploading excerpts to closed networks for student access.
None of these and dozens of other digital issues were considered when most of our laws were drafted in the 1970s. South Africa is on the cusp of reforming its law with a new hybrid exception that contains both a set of modern specific exceptions for various purposes and an open general exception that can be used to assess any use not specifically authorized.