Berne, Fair Dealing, and other Red Herrings

Michael Geist reports that the International Publishers Association threatens Canada with WTO complaint over Bill C-11. The threatening letter mentions the explicit inclusion of education in the fair dealing provision and a few additional minor exceptions. The publishers allege that the provisions violate the Three Step Test found in the Berne Convention and other treaties.

These allegations are baseless. If there are provisions in Bill C-11 that are more suitable candidates for challenge are those that are designed to allow Access Copyright (which represents many of the publishers whose organization sent the letter) to appropriate to itself the copyrights of others and entrench its monopoly (I wrote about those in an earlier post). But as beneficiaries of this monopoly, these publishers are understandably silent about those provisions.

Still, one cannot help but wonder whether all the brouhaha about fair dealing and the other minor exceptions is just a red herring, designed to divert attention away from the real Big Access Copyright Grab.


Red herring image courtesy of Misocrazy. Some rights reserved.



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