15 Pages Posted: 29 May 2009
Date Written: May 26, 2009
This working paper examines several priority issues pertaining to copyright and innovation. Intellectual property rights (IPRs) can facilitate innovation if an appropriate balance is struck between sufficient protection and free competition. Canada’s laws governing IPRs are recognized to be very good, but could be improved. With respect to copyright in the digital environment, three priority issues to deal with are implementing treaty provisions regarding TPMs, clarifying intermediaries’ liabilities and obligations and enabling greater use of flexibilities and limitations.
Canada should follow the example set by Israel and adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ approach toward TPMs, in order to avoid entrenching a potentially inappropriate regulatory regime for technologies with an uncertain economic and cultural future, or a middle-ground model with circumvention prohibitions tied to infringement should be adopted. Intermediaries should be required to assist in online copyright enforcement under a ‘notice-and-notice’ system that requires them to inform customers of alleged infringements, and policy-makers should closely follow and participate in discussions about self-regulation. Canada’s statutory system for fair dealing should be amended to take account of technological, cultural and commercial realities and to create new opportunities for economic growth and innovation, while stakeholders simultaneously work together to design best practices online.
Keywords: intellectual property rights, copyright, innovation, networked information economy
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