SODRAC v. Quebec Artists?

Pier-Luk Bouthillier is a Montreal graphic designer. He had previously worked as an Art Director for the cultural weekly “ICI Montreal”, and in 2007, he launched his first in a series of environmentally-themed t-shirts. You can see his t-shirts on his website (as well as some ‘Fleur de lys’ boxer briefs).

One of Mr. Bouthillier’s shirts, J’aime Montréal, features a few stylized drawings of various Montreal landmarks, organized around the slogan J’♥ Montréal. According to the CBC, this got Mr. Bouthillier in some legal trouble. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Copyright, Copyright Collectives

From Copyright Children to Copyright Adults

Copyright Children to Copyright Adults: its time to grow up! @relkatz #copycon2015 by CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Some rights reserved by giulia.forsythe

Copyright Children to Copyright Adults: its time to grow up! by Giulia Forsythe licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The University of Toronto Library’s Scholarly Communication and Copyright Office and the University of Toronto Bora Laskin Law Library@ organized a terrific conference on copyright in Canada three years after the Copyright Pentalogy and the Copyright Modernization Act. I had the pleasure and honour to be one of the three featured speakers. Here is my talk: Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Copyright

Why Tariffs Aren’t Mandatory: Now the Factum

Supreme Court of Canada in OttawaYesterday, McGill’s Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and I filed a joint Intervener Factum in the CBC v SODRAC case before the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court granted us leave to intervene with respect to the question of whether tariffs that the Copyright Board approved can be imposed on users.

In the decision below, the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) held that a collective management organization (“CMO”) can ask the Board to approve a licensing scheme and then impose it on users. If correct, such users then have no choice other than to deal with the CMO, and must, as a matter of law, pay the entire specified royalties if they make even a single unauthorized use of a single work from the CMO’s repertoire. By so ruling, we argue, the FCA has upended the legislative scheme. Read more ›

Posted in Antitrust / Competition Law, Blog, Copyright, Copyright Collectives, Stationers Tagged with: , , , ,

Hollywood, be careful what you wish for

The_Interview_2014_posterIn the first day as a rookie in the North Korea Secret Service, my commander taught us the first rule of threats and extortion: you can’t threaten people to do something unless they can actually do what you want them to do.

Relax. I have never had any connection to North Korea or its Secret Service, but I assume that even the North Korean regime, as bizarre as it often looks, recognizes the first rule of threats and extortion: if someone can’t control something, you can’t threaten him to do it (or, according to Google Translate: 누군가가 뭔가를 통제 할 수없는 경우, 당신은 그것을 할 그를 위협 할 수 없습니다). Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Copyright, Piracy, Stationers

Attack Ads, Copyright, and Collusion: Have Canada’s Major Broadcasters Violated the Competition Act?

Canada’s first (and the world’s first) competition act: the Combines Act of 1889

Last week reports emerged that the Government is considering a new copyright exception for political advertising. The reports suggested that the exception would permit the use of news content by political parties without authorization. While most of the media coverage of this story focused on the copyright issue and the phenomenon of attack ads, documents that Sun Media obtained from the CBC (under an Access to Information request) reveal an even more interesting and more important story, both politically and legally. These documents, offering a rare glimpse behind the scenes of Canada’s major media organization, reveal a picture of a concerted action between the majority of Canada’s news outlets, action that might run afoul the Competition Act.  Read more ›

Posted in Antitrust / Competition Law, Blog, Copyright
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