Meera Nair

Thank You Laura

In Posts on May 1, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Another teaching term has come to an end; now I need to catch up on my reading. I wandered into and saw that Laura Murray is stepping back from active involvement on copyright matters. Little known to most people is that Laura’s site was the first of its kind in Canada. Early in the new millennium, while copyright dialogue poured forth from the United States, there was virtually no discussion happening in Canada.

The elegance of a serif-font “f” surrounded by a circle caught my attention in 2003. For an aspiring PhD student interested in copyright, it was a relief to find someone in Canada to talk to. That the someone was outside the formal discipline of law was especially comforting. [No disrespect intended to lawyers or law professors.] It was confirmation that this issue transcended disciplinary boundaries. Copyright affects all Canadians.

Seven years later, the rising interest in copyright by Canadians is encouraging, although the political environment remains depressing. From reading Michael Geist’s Op/Ed in The Hill Times on April 26, it seems as though last summer’s much-heralded public consultation was all for naught. But I will take heart from the engagement I’ve come to enjoy with my own students. Many are genuinely interested in copyright beyond its effect upon their iPods. They understand the nuances of the law – that it is not to be summarily dismissed as a dividing line between creators and consumers. A sentiment Laura espoused right from the beginning. Thank you for all that you did, and continue to do …

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