Meera Nair

Partners 2009

In Posts on August 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Thank you to Partners 2009 for the opportunity to speak on copyright and the academy. This was a gathering of members from eleven post-secondary education advocacy groups, representing 330,000 Canadian students. Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to put this event together.

Needless to say, I talked almost entirely about fair dealing; what it is and the importance of CCH Canadian (2004). But from the question and answer session, a further thought came out…

One representative asked how technological protection measures (TPMs) affect fair dealing. Simply put, once a work is locked, it’s game over. Fair dealing is meaningless if you cannot access the material. Many individuals are anxious that IF Canadian law were to prohibit the circumvention of TPMs, such a prohibition should only apply to circumvention for infringing purposes. Meaning, if you circumvent a TPM for a noninfringing use, such as fair dealing, you will not run afoul of the law. Yet, there is a question of why permit the use of TPMs at all? TPMs take away existing rights available to Canadians. To limit access to published work is to deny fair dealing. Said another way, TPMs violate a structure of law that has been in place since the creation of copyright itself (nearly 300 years) and present in Canadian law since its inception in 1924.

  1. And thank you for your presentation. I was the one who asked about TPMs vs. fair dealing and your response was nothing short of remarkable. I have yet to make a personal submission to the copyright consultation and I will certainly emphasize this point.

    Is it possible for you to email me a copy of your presentation slides?

  2. It was fantastic to have you Dr. Nair. A true pleasure.The discussion on Fair Use vs. Fair Dealing was something I believe many students understand inherently regarding their academic work but is not something well understood in a deeper sense.

  3. Don’t see how you can prohibit TPMs. You can choose not to buy the product but there is no practical way in law that you can refuse to permit them, especially as 90% of the content we buy comes from outside Canada.

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