TheCanadian Copyright Act
TheCanadian Copyright Act
Changesbrought about by the evolution of computer and internet networking.With the sharing of information freely over the internet, theoriginal idea bearer’s right to enjoy his invention is limited in amajor way owing to the difficulties in controlling the intellectualproperty. Priory, the copy right protected ownership of a brand,trademark as well as other trade secrets a fact that has changed oflate to focus majorly on the monetary gains(Geist,2012).thereare several laws made and amended in various countries to regulatethe ever changing face of copy right and intellectual propertyprotection.
Thesis:To establish the viability of the current Canadian copyright Act asamended by Bill C-11by establishing whether it is a good or badpolicy and propose some of the possible adjustments.
TheCanadian copy right bill C-11 of June 2012is both a good and slightlydisadvantageous policy especially to the product owners. With thepublic being the major beneficiaries and with the laws protectingtem, the Canada’s copy right act is such a popular idea to thecommon person. The bill sought to protect both the rights of theproduct user and the product owners, with the former gettingprotection from a possible law suit if the use of the product isacquired for home use only. According to Geist,(2012),any product that does not infringe the rights of any given user isvery legal. He further observes that both videos and music copyrights are seriously being violated today, owing to the variousinternet softwares that facilitate free products downloads. The userin this case can download either a song or a movie and copy or burnit into a DVD. The Canadian copy right act protects users of inventedproducts from prosecution as long as they can prove that theirduplicating action does not intend to infringe the intellectualproperty they are downloading.
Thisis most applicable to individual cases, of persons who downloadsoftwares for non-commercial use. The act is in a major way focusingon the user-oriented products provisions that warrants some commonactivities (Geist,2012).Without making any payments, an individual is authorised by law torecord an ongoing programme to watch later at ones pleasure. The lawalso facilitates the transfer of these products in portable gadgetsfor the user to use at their most opportune time. This is a greatconvenience and cost effective system to the users, but a serioussetback to the product owner who might have intended to maximize thegains from the new invention. These gains cannot be realised in theevents where the public can record product for their own purposefreely.
Accordingto Geist,(2012)in the past, the copy rights gave the inventor an exclusive right tomaximize the gains from his or her creative work for a certain periodof time. Today however, the trend has changed in the sense that at noparticular time should a private inventory go public for free as itwas the case priory. The user has to keep paying for such productsand the inventor keeps getting the benefits for as long as one lives.Additionally, the ambiguity that surrounds some of these policiesgives the users a leeway to get away with most of their duplicatingcases. For instance, an internet service provider in spite of makingit easy and free for its users to download products in theirplatforms easily, are protected by the law against liability in casean individual infringe the copy right on their internet. Thisencourages the service provider to post more products to retain theircustomers much to the detriment of the copy right owner (Geist,2012).
Thiscan be improved should the act be amended to ensure that for everydown load made through the internet, the copy right owner gets atleast 60 percent of the total cost, as the internet provider gets thereminder due to their marketing tool. This way, both the internetservice provider and the copy right owner will be responsible for theactivities of the user and can come up with creative ways of safeguarding both their interests. Similarly the user right to produce abuck up copy of the original product leaves an open space for copyright infringement owing to its the lack of limit to substantiateback up copy and to what extent. This is because a product user caneasily keep reproducing copies of a product for commercial purposesin the pretext of keeping back up of the original copy (Geist,2012).In the long run, the copyright owner stands to lose the benefits inthe process as in case the original product malfunctions, and theuser has a back up. The user should buy another one if he or shefeels the need to continue enjoying the same product and to ensurethe inventor gets benefits for it.
TheCanadian copyright Act gives the user the right to use otherinventor’s products freely to make non-commercial products of theirown (DeBriyn, 2012). This again infringe on the copyright of theinventor considering that in most of these cases, the use of his orher product does not in any way benefit one. This points out at theambiguity of the term commercial, since it is very broad in everyaspect of justification where a user wants to get away with acopyright infringement case. The only restrictive response tocopyright infringement is the prohibition to tamper with the digitallock rules which prohibit access to personal information and orproducts without purchasing or authorization from the owner (DeBriyn,2012). Bypassing such technological security measures is tantamountto hacking into restricted private products. According to theCanadian copyright act, the act is punishable by law.
Underthe fair dealing act, an individual is protected in a major wayagainst a lawsuit even in the case where he mistakenly shares, ordownloads a restricted file for personal use. The law has set aliability of between $5,000 to $20,000 for any commercial relatedinfringement by either an individual or mostly by an existingorganization (Geist,2012).These guidelines should be extended to ensure that the copyrightowner gets the right compensation should damage have occurred in thecause of the copyright infringement. The damage should equate thecompensation and not just the statutory set parameters even in thecase where the damage incurred is more than the set liability. Byexpanding these parameters, the act would ensure that the rights ofthe inventor are fully respected and to encourage future inventoriesas per their projected benefits. According to DeBriyn, (2012), theCanadian way of monitoring unauthorised access to copyrightedmaterials is pegged on the cooperation of the product owner and theinternet service provider. The product owner is expected to issue theservice provider a notification bearing a warning to the subscriberpurported to have infringed the copyright act. The service providercannot disclose the identity of his subscribers nor take any furtheraction, a provision that might not assist the copyright owner in hisor her quest for justice.
TheCanadian copyright Act is one of the many efforts made in the modernsociety to arbitrate the existing conflicts between the productsinventors and the product users. These changes are mostlyorchestrated by the dynamic changes in the post internet era that hasnot only made information sharing easy, but also access tocopyrighted materials without much consequences. Such acts lead toexploitation of the artist’s work and can as well lead to the userfacing serous lawsuit even in cases where the copyright infringementwas not intentional or commercialised. In the fair dealing, thecitizens of Canada have immense freedom to enjoy artistic work totheir own liking as long as they don’t commercialize the use of theacquired products. The law also allows some heavy punishments shouldone infringe the copyright agreements especially to achieve monetarygains from another person’s work. These set parameters stipulatedin the Canadian copyright Act facilitate a win-win scenario in thepost modern information sharing on the internet. Although a fewamendments are necessary, any step along the way is in the correctpurpose, in the endeavour to restore order especially in the digitalentertainment platform.
DeBriyn,J. (2012). Shedding Light on Copyright Trolls: An Analysis of MassCopyright Litigation in the Age of Statutory Damages. UCLAEntertainment Law Review,19(1).
Geist,M. A. (2012). What the New Copyright Law Means For You, Berk.Tech. LJ,16,1345.