Meera Nair


About Fair Duty

Years ago, a member of my doctoral committee said “fair dealing” lacked transparency and challenged me to rename the exception. And so “fair duty” came into being; to make evident the duty of copyright holders to follow the law and not impede legitimate exceptions to the rights of control afforded by law. Those legitimate exceptions, known as User Rights, exist in order to ensure that the rights of copyright do not impede the goals of copyright–goals which include furthering creativity, disseminating knowledge, and supporting civil society.

Under this title is an eclectic collection of writings, some explaining the law, others touching on subjects allied to reading, writing, creativity, innovation, access, domestic politics and international copyright-related activity. Many people have aided my work over the years; my thanks to all but none more heartfelt than to my late mother.

Selected publications and speaking engagements

Canadians should have a right to repair their own devices, Published by Edmonton Journal, May 4, 2022.

Fair dealing’s future – artificial intelligence or willful ignorance?  Keynote speaker for Alberta / BC Fair Dealing Week, 23 February 2022.  Slides available here. Video available here.

A post-truth existence for fair dealing? Keynote speaker for University of Alberta Fair Dealing Symposium 2020, 26 February 2020. Slides available here.

“In the spirit of widening the circle: Examining the role and influence of copyright © paratexts on readers, authors, and publishers,” speaker for Bibliographical Society of Canada, (Congress 2019), June 3, 2019.

It was a great honour to participate in a memorial for Dr. Gregory Younging, during ABC Copyright Conference 2019, May 30, 2019.

Keynote Speaker for Balancing the scales: the role of fair dealing in Canada held in Vancouver during Fair Dealing Week 2019.  The entire event is available here. (My contribution was the last one; choose balancing_scales_role(4).mp4.)

“The Geopolitics of Nineteenth-Century Canadian Copyright, as seen by some British Authors,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society, Special Issue — Canada 150. Bound by Three Oceans Vol. 55, No. 2 (2017). Published February 2019.

Where might billion-dollar industries be found?” Published by Edmonton Journal, September 12, 2018.

“Towards Reconciliation,” speaker for ABC Copyright Conference, May 31, 2018.

“Seeing Ourselves in Fair Dealing,” invited speaker for University of Guelph Fair Dealing Week, February 27, 2018

Reviewing Copyright? Check the history.” Published by Policy Options, August 31, 2017.

“A denial of independence–a stunting of Canada’s print industry,” speaker for Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture & Bibliographic Society of Canada (Congress 2017), May 30, 2017.

Seeking the Margins, Fair Use and Copyright, Harold Innis and Israel,” in eds. Doagoo et al, Intellectual Property for the 21st Century: Interdisciplinary Approaches (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2014) Chapter 14 (p.310-326).

“Canada and Israel – Similarities and Differences in Modern Copyright Exceptions,” speaker for Canada and Israel in a Changing World: New Trends and Directions, hosted by Hebrew University of Jerusalem, May 20-22, 2013.

Awarded an Azrieli Postdoctoral International Fellowship for 2012-13. Gratitude is owed to the Azrieli Foundation for supporting my work, Professor Menahem Blondheim of Hebrew University for his interest in my coupling of Harold Innis and Israeli copyright development.

Invited speaker for Out of the Shadows, hosted by the BC Librarians Association, November 2, 2011. My remarks concerned the role of Access Copyright in educational licensing.

“Fair Dealing at a Crossroads,” in ed. Michael Geist, From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2010) p.90-120.

Copyright and Ethics – An Innisian Exploration,” in Global Media Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1, November 2009, p.23-39.

“The Copyright Act of 1889 – A Canadian Declaration of Independence,” in The Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 90, Issue 1, March 2009. p.1-28. Nominated for the 2010 Peter Oliver Prize of The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.

And, courtesy of Chris Hadfield, my most-viewed blog post: gratitude would have been better

Pic2_ResizedAbout me

I am the Copyright Specialist for the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). The opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

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