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Tuesday, February 02, 2010 

CBC's Clarification On 'Fair Use' Of It's Material And iCopyright Contract Is Even More Unclear Now

CBC's online spokesperson, Chris Ball, has tried to clarify Mothercorp's policy on 'fair use' of their material by bloggers.

We are now more confused than ever. If CBC is happy with that situation, so be it. As a taxpayer who pays for the corp., I am not very satisfied. I have tried to work through this .. but it has given me a headache.

Come on CBC ... clear this up!

The issue of fair dealing wasn't covered in depth in Chriss Ball blog post you linked to, but I cover it a bit more in depth here. Basically, fair use is not an infringement of copyright. That means that it is not open to the rights holder to limit fair dealing.

Quoting stories from CBC.ca and then commenting on them almost certainly falls within the fair dealing exception to copyright.

That means it doesn't matter what kind of policy CBC wants to implement, they cannot affect my right as a user to deal fairly with the copyright material.

So, unless you are planning on re-publishing CBC.ca articles in full, for profit, the iCopyright program doesn't affect you.

Actually, the clarification works for me.

Thanks Devin .. too bad that CBC didn't (or couldn't be bothered) to have made this all a bit more clear themselves. Oh well ... progressive bloggers seem to be the ones who have to clean up ALL of the messes of the Federal gov't lately.

HOLD ON A MINUTE: Ok .. so CBC says that as a blogger I can excerpt something from one of their stories in my blog post AND I can link to them .. but they want me to fill out this online form.

What are the consequences for not doing their little bit of paperwork??

"48 Before reviewing the scope of the fair dealing exception under the Copyright Act, it is important to clarify some general considerations about exceptions to copyright infringement. Procedurally, a defendant is required to prove that his or her dealing with a work has been fair; however, the fair dealing exception is perhaps more properly understood as an integral part of the Copyright Act than simply a defence. Any act falling within the fair dealing exception will not be an infringement of copyright. The fair dealing exception, like other exceptions in the Copyright Act, is a user’s right. In order to maintain the proper balance between the rights of a copyright owner and users’ interests, it must not be interpreted restrictively. As Professor Vaver, supra, has explained, at p. 171: “User rights are not just loopholes. Both owner rights and user rights should therefore be given the fair and balanced reading that befits remedial legislation.”"

"56 Both the amount of the dealing and importance of the work allegedly infringed should be considered in assessing fairness. If the amount taken from a work is trivial, the fair dealing analysis need not be undertaken at all because the court will have concluded that there was no copyright infringement. As the passage from Hubbard indicates, the quantity of the work taken will not be determinative of fairness, but it can help in the determination. It may be possible to deal fairly with a whole work. As Vaver points out, there might be no other way to criticize or review certain types of works such as photographs: see Vaver, supra, at p. 191. The amount taken may also be more or less fair depending on the purpose. For example, for the purpose of research or private study, it may be essential to copy an entire academic article or an entire judicial decision. However, if a work of literature is copied for the purpose of criticism, it will not likely be fair to include a full copy of the work in the critique."

"70 The availability of a licence is not relevant to deciding whether a dealing has been fair. As discussed, fair dealing is an integral part of the scheme of copyright law in Canada. Any act falling within the fair dealing exception will not infringe copyright. If a copyright owner were allowed to license people to use its work and then point to a person’s decision not to obtain a licence as proof that his or her dealings were not fair, this would extend the scope of the owner’s monopoly over the use of his or her work in a manner that would not be consistent with the Copyright Act’s balance between owner’s rights and user’s interests."

Supreme Court of Canada



(I will be publishing some of this on my blog)

Hi all, Chris Ball here from the CBC.

Just an FYI- we've just posted the following re: some of the questions and clarifications that have been asked for over the last 24 hours.



Chris Ball
Online Media Relations
CBC Public Affairs
Twitter: @chrisjballCBC

Hi all, Chris Ball here (from the previously mentioned blog post).

Just so you know we just posted the following:

As it says in the post:

"We’re reviewing your questions and we'll get back to you with answers shortly.

We’ll reply back directly to those who have posted direct questions either via the blog, on Twitter, or on Facebook and then collect all of the responses on this blog."


Chris Ball.
Online Media Relations
CBC Public Affairs.
Twitter: @chrisjballCBC

Chris - thank you for your response and action to try and unconfuse bloggers like me!

P.S. here is Chris's website.

So the CBC is paying an American company for what , exactly. And how much?

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