Please note that you may also be interested in my French-language blog called “culturelibre.ca“
This morning, I had the great honor of leading an undergraduate communications studies class lecture and discussion around the topic of “copyright” within the context of media policy. I recorded my session with a wrist-bound smartwatch, here are the two resulting audio files:
The last 30 minutes was devoted to open classroom conversation and I did not record this part.
The students were asked to read Sara Bannerman’s excellent article titled “Canadian Copyright: History, Change, and Potential” published in the Canadian Journal of Communication in 2011 (Vol 36 (2011) 31-49). This article presents the history of copyright media policy in Canada starting in the mid-19th century. Back then, the United-States produced unauthorized copies of published British books to support their burgeoning publishing sector.
These american copies were finding their way to the Canadian market, squeezing out opportunities for local entities to flourish and pricing authorized British copies out of the market. Bannerman doesn’t quite get into this in her article, you really have to read her excellent book at UBC Press (The struggle for Canadian copyright : imperialism to internationalism, 1842-1971). Nonetheless, I tried to position the copyright rules presented by Bannerman in the late 19th and early 20th century to some contemporary issues faced by Internet users.
Specifically, I explained that Bannerman is presenting Canada as a “middle power” (p. 31) state engaged in negotiating a multinational trade instrument. In the 19th century, Canada was still a colony, under the aegis of the British but also had to deal with the situation in the United States.
Bannerman states (p. 36),
The United States, in 1891, took measures to recognize international copyright on strictly limited terms. Instead of adopting the Berne Convention, the United States granted copyright to foreign nationals on a bilateral basis, on the condition that works be registered and printed in the United States (Boyde & Lofquist, 1991-92; United States, 1891). In this way, the United States adopted a bilateral and protectionist international copyright policy, while Canada was bound to the Berne Convention, which disallowed the types of industry protections built in to the American law.
Canada shifted its position, as exemplified during the 1910 Imperial Copyright Conference.
At the conference, whose proceedings were kept secret, the Canadian representative secured a commitment that the imperial government would negotiate, for Canada, terms that took the form of a protocol to the Berne Convention in 1914 (Protocole additionnel, 1914). This protocol eased Canadian concerns and paved the way for Canada to adhere to the Convention. Under the 1896 revision of the Berne Convention, authors from non-Union countries such as the United States could obtain copyright throughout the Berne Union by publishing their works first in a Berne country (such as Canada). This gave non-Union countries “back door” access to the rights granted by the Berne Convention without requiring said countries to join the Berne Convention. Berne Union authors (including Canadians) did not receive reciprocal protection from the United States; they faced stringent domestic manufacture provisions before they were eligible to receive copyright protection in that country (Berne Convention, 1896, Article 1, Item II; Berne Convention, 1908, Article 6). The 1914 protocol, however, allowed a country of the Union to restrict protection granted to the works of non-Union authors whose government failed to protect in an adequate manner the works of authors of the Union (Protocole additionnel, 1914). This gave Canada the flexibility of recognizing American copyright on a more reciprocal basis, a key requirement for Canadian adhesion.
During the interwar years, which were characterized by optimism about international institutions’ potential to bring about justice and peace, the Berne Convention represented for Canada a powerful international community and a forum for the expression of Canada’s newfound international personality (Hillmer & Granatstein, 2005). Canadian leaders felt that a failure to join in that Union would make Canada “an outlaw among the copyright nations of the world” (O’Hara, 1919), an “outsider in the general community of nations” (Canada, House of Commons, 1921, p. 3833), and a “non-harmonious and non-musical instrument” (Canada, House of Commons, 1931, p. 2309) within the concert of nations.
(Bannerman, p. 37)
But, again, Canada’s position shifted a few decades later.
A 1957 Royal Commission on Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Industrial Designs concluded that the Berne Convention represented a European approach to copyright, granting high levels of copyright and placing the rights of authors above the interests of users, consumers, and the public. The commission suggested that a more American approach—with a utilitarian view of copyright that understood copyright as serving the public interest above the interests of authors—might be more suitable to Canada as a net copyright importer— a nation of copyright consumers more than a nation of copyright exporters. (Bannerman, p, 37)
It seems that Canada is still flip-flopping:
Under CETA it appears, according to leaked documents, that the European Union is pushing for Canada to adopt a longer term of copyright protection (70 years rather than 50 years after the death of the author for standard works and other term extensions in other areas), a new resale right for art, a new distribution right, new rights for broadcasters, including a fixation right and a retransmission right, and the extension of reproduction rights to performers and broadcasters (Canada-EU, 2010). (Bannerman, p.40)
The result of this for Canadians today is the possible erosion of Canadian copyright sovereignty, the possible Americanization of Canadian copyright law via American-style digital locks provisions—without the extensive fair use safeguards of the American system, the potential unbalancing of rights and rewards, and the further unbalancing of international flows. (Bannerman, p. 43)
(For the record, these are the passages I cite in my lecture.)
Finally, here are some sources I suggest for further reading:
I discuss an article which attemps to measure the « optimal » lenght of copyright’s duration. It is this one: Landes, William M. and Posner, Richard A., Indefinitely Renewable Copyright (August 1, 2002). U Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 154. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=319321 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.319321 (it was published in the University of Chicago Law Review in 2003).
When launching a new business, information about industries, markets or competitors can be invaluable. In this session, we will cover resources from the Internet as well as licensed market and industry intelligence databases available from Concordia University Library. This is a workshop adapted from the “Entrepreneurship” course at the John Molson School of Business.
Locate industry and market reports from the Internet and the Library
Understand how to use datasets from Statistics Canada (Census & Cansim) and other national agencies
Develop a healthy information diet
Proposed Course Outline
1. Where does information come from?
It is imperative to use both licensed (library) and free web sources to have a complete picture.
Here is a bibliography on the topic of research in Canadian universities. In no particular order, I’ve tried to incorporate some sub-themes, namely graduate students; research support; international; innovation. I’ve grouped results based on the type of source, such as trade associations, government reports and academic articles.
Trade Associations & Think Tanks
(Criteria: reports in English from the last 5 years issued by Canadian organisations. Method: Google with a focus on PDF files and keywords such as research, innovation, university)
(Using Google and Publications Canada’s search engine. Because universities are governed by provinces in Canada, I also looked to Québec. I included here reports provided by Concordia University, my employer, to government agencies. OECD also had some interesting reports, but not UNESCO.)
Science Canada. Collaboration between Federal Research Funding Organizations: Policies and Guidelines. Multiple pages. Retrieved from: http://www.science.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_1E7A5F18.html (list of cross sectorial issues important to all disciplines, including open access and research data management)
Statistics Canada, 2016. Higher Education Research and Development Estimates (HERD). Multiple Websites. Retrieved from: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/imdb-bmdi/5109-eng.htm (yearly data, last updated on June 2016. Click on “related products” and explore publications, CANSIM data and The Daily for various reports and datasets)
(Using Concordia University Library‘s Discovery layer, I searched for canad* AND universit* AND (research* or innovat*) and filtered for peer-reviewed articles from the last 5 years. I reviewed the first 50 hits and selected articles based on perceived relevance.)
Moore, Gabriel, et al. “Implementing Knowledge Translation Strategies in Funded Research in Canada and Australia: A Case Study.” Technology Innovation Management Review 6.9: 16-27. Retrieved from: https://timreview.ca/article/1016
SÁ, CRESO M., and ANDREW KRETZ. “Technology Commercialization as University Mission: Early Historical Developments at the University of Toronto.” Technology & Culture 57.1: 119-43. Retrieved from: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/611802
(ebook) Lacroix, Robert, Louis Maheu, and Paul Klassen translator, eds. Leading Research Universities : Autonomous Institutions in a Competitive Academic World. Montreal Quebec ;aKingston Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario: McGill-Queen’s University Press; Canadian Electronic Library. Retrieved from: http://clues.concordia.ca/record=b3231050
(ebook, original edition) Lacroix, Robert, and Louis Maheu, Les Grandes universités De Recherche : Institutions Autonomes Dans Un Environnement Concurrentiel. Montréal, Québec: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal. Retrieved from: http://clues.concordia.ca/record=b3293016
A colleague of mine used a tool call Padlet in a classroom setting during a presentation to foster open collaboration with attendees. Padlet is a collaborative website which allows posting small tidbits of information in a series of “wall-like” pages. A bit like a community board filles with sticky notes of links, videos and the like.
If you fiddle with the access settings of a padlet site, you can create a semi-open collaborative activity with a class.
Here is a quick tutorial I found on Youtube:
In fact, this tool reminds me of this interesting list of iPad apps presented at this training event in my university:
The summer is over and I am getting ready for the new semester. On the agenda this academic year: launching some training videos on youtube, to show undergrads in business the ins and outs of research. Stay tuned for the links, soon…
The Knight Foundation has already granted us “prototype” funding last year to create our alpha prototype, codenamed Alice (family pictures on the proposal page). Now, we want to develop and test our library videogame system with partner libraries (Brooklyn NY, San José CA, Civilla in Detroit and with the Indigenous Futures communities in the North) over the next few years. The Knight Foundation focusses on the USA and rest assured that we will be seeking support to deploy our system in Canada and elsewhere!
Because the News Challenge uses an “open” community based evaluation process (in addition to a formal review), you can help in some very simple ways:
1. Please click on the link to get the page view count up.
2. Register an account on the system to either “heart” the proposal or leave a comment. Some useful comments could be “I would love for my local public library to have indie/digital games” or, if you are a game maker, “I would love for libraries to add my game to their collection” (or some variation thereof). Of course, please feel free to add your own comment!
3. Forward this email to anyone who believes that libraries should have Game Clubs and Indie Games.
The Comment phase of the granting cycle closes in about 2 week.
On a more personal note, my ambition is to strengthen libraries everywhere by devising an open social computing platform so that everyone can play and make games. This will also help libraries acquire and preserve digital content through open markets (fixing some pesky collective action & copyright & technological issues). I am blessed with a myriad of colleagues at Concordia who also share this vision and are willing to embark on this quest!
Thanking you in advance for your support of our project,
The context of the lecture is the “Knowledge Management” graduate course in Education. Although this is in the EdTech program, a sizable proportion of students are in traditional teaching roles but may want exposure to other contexts. I also understood that the students will be called upon to either manage copyrighted content for others or be the creators of copyrighted content (as freelancers).
The lecture will be divided in three sections:
Introduction to copyright (Canadian copyright, reserved rights, moral rights, exceptions…)
Managing copyrighted content (CMS, importance of policies & contracts, permission vs. exceptions, open licensing…)
Copyright & the freelancer (rights & responsibilities, work-for-hire & contracts, going to court…)
Here is a draft outline I just created for a professor teaching an entrepreneurship class for Fine Arts students. Caveat being that these students are not business majors, so we have to spend more time explaining why each resource is useful and how to incorporate these sources in their assignments. Also, the bit about copyright is because they are Fine Arts students and the professor wanted me to cover this as well.
–> Please make sure students bring their devices or borrow laptops from the circulation desk to LB-322 <–
->Total duration: 150 minutes, which leaves room for a 15 minute break <-
1. Basic business & industry information
– Browse NAICS codes related to Fine Arts, enable students to discover their codes by engaging them to state their line of business
– Show the IBIS World system and present a sample report (uses NAICS codes)
– Show the SME Benchmarking system and a sample report (uses NAICS codes)
ACTIVITY: have students retrieve the IBIS World & SME Benchmarking reports. Troubleshoot NAICS codes & interface issues.
2. Basic market information
– Passport GMID
ACTIVITY: Can you identify one trend or statistic that can impact your project from either source?
3. Stats Can
– Census: know your neighbours!
– CANSIM: Household spending & more
– Mention SimplyMap but do not show it
ACTIVITY: What is the average household spending for your product? How do you define your market (geography, demographics, etc.)?
4. Articles (trends, major players…)
– Business Source Complete
ACTIVITY: Locate one article (news, trade or academic) which relates to your project.
– What does copyright mean for you?
– Using copyrighted content as part of your work