When lawyers say that hard cases make bad law, they usually mean that extreme or unusual circumstances provide poor basis for making legal rule that would have to be applicable to a wider range of more common cases. Sometimes the phrase describes cases that involve a party whose hardship draws sympathy even if its legal case is weak. But sometime hard cases can make good law, when they present smart judges with difficult dilemmas and force them to think hard and deep on their ruling and its broader consequences. Yet courts don’t always choose the cases that come before them …

Google v. Equustek: Unnecessarily Hard Cases Make Unnecessarily Bad Law Read more »

Earlier today, Australia’s Productivity Commission released its long-awaited Inquiry Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements. The Productivity Commission was set up by statute to provide the Australian Government independent research and advisory body on a range of economic, social and environmental issues, in order to help governments make better policies, in the long term interest of the Australian community. The lengthy report and its recommendations should be of interest to many readers of this blog. With respect to copyright, one of the Commission’s main areas of study was whether Australia should adopt an open and flexible fair use regime and abandon …

Productivity Commission: Tales of the Widespread Demise of Canadian Publishers are Just That Read more »

I am excited and honoured to give the Hong Kong University Public Lecture in IP next Wednesday, Nov 9, 2016. The title of my lecture is “Fair Dealing: Have We Had Fair Use All Along?” The lecture is based on this book chapter. Abstract: Conventional wisdom holds that while the fair use doctrine in the United States is omnipresent and flexible, fair dealing, its Commonwealth cousin is more rigid and can only apply to the specifically enumerated statutory purposes. Fair use, on this view, is an American invention—foreign to the copyright traditions of the rest of the common law world. …

Fair Dealing: Have We Had Fair Use All Along? (HKU Public Lecture in IP) Read more »