July 1 was the nation’s birthday, but that day passed in a blur… my daughter was running a blazing fever and nothing else mattered. As she is now on the mend, I’ll indulge with a greeting: Happy Birthday Canada!
That today is July 4 is not lost on me. It serves as a convenient backdrop to the launch of this blog. I just finished reading John Ibbitson’s Open and Shut: Why America Has Barack Obama and Canada Has Stephen Harper. With remarkable economy of language, Ibbitson details the common challenges faced by both countries, and explains why Canada’s prospects look bleak in comparison. At times I wanted to reach for my suitcase and head south.
But Ibbitson provides inspiration as well. Writing about the decay of cities, he laments Canada’s “unwillingness to experiment.” Therein lies our best route forward for copyright. Let’s experiment. We have a unique opportunity in Canada to utilize the limited rights of copyright as no other nation has yet to do. As Harold Innis (1894-1952) wrote, “To be Canadian is not to be parochial.”
Copyright is internationally sought after as a means of balancing the rights of creators with the rights of society. As I hope to convince you, Canada has attained that much-coveted balance already. It’s called Fair Dealing. But it’s useless, if we don’t use it.
More to come in the days ahead…