1/06/2011

Copyright reform in Canada

Sara Bannerman - a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Governance of Knowledge and Development at the Australian National University - has contributed a chapter titled Copyright: Characteristics of Canadian Reform to the recently published book Canadian Copyright and The Digital Agenda: From Radical Extremism to Balanced Copyright (edited by Michael Geist). From the chapter abstract:
The current Canadian copyright reform initiative can be viewed in light of a number of trends that have characterized Canadian copyright reform since the time that Canada’s first copyright Act was put in place in 1868. Most importantly, Canadian copyright has always taken place in the context of the push and pull of international pressures. Domestic and international demands often conflict, and there is often significant resistance within Canada to demands for reform coming from outside the country. While in the early days of Canadian copyright such conflict resulted in rebellion against Imperial and international copyright norms, this type of conflict has been replaced by a slow and relatively obliging tendency in reform, generally involving unhurried progress, minimalist adhesion to international treaties, and carving out made-in-Canada approaches. Although there have been instances where Canada has stepped into the role of a leader on international copyright, that position has been quickly abandoned and leadership left to stronger powers. In general, made-in-Canada approaches result in innovative policy solutions on narrow issues alongside a general acquiescence to the visions of copyright forged in international institutions and larger countries.