Deflating the Michelin Man: Protecting Users' Rights in the Canadian Copyright Reform Process
Bailey, J. “Deflating the Michelin Man: Protecting Users’ Rights in the Canadian Copyright Reform Process”, In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law, Michael Geist, ed., (Toronto: Irwin Law Book, 2005)
Posted: 6 Oct 2013
Date Written: 2005
In 2005, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-60, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act, in which further protections for technological protection measures (TPMs) were proposed. In this article, the author suggests that the proposed protection of TPMs raised serious constitutional concerns in terms of freedom of expression, arguing that the constitutionality of the Copyright Act was already legitimately subject to question and that expanding the Act’s incursion on freedom of expression by broadening its scope to prohibit circumvention of TPMs could only serve to heighten constitutional concerns. She suggests that if the Act is to be amended to extend legislative protection to these private and non-transparent forms of censorship and surveillance, constitutional contouring will be necessary to ensure explicit protection of users' rights. Without such contouring, she suggests that the legislation risked trenching too deeply on rights of access to and use of information that are essential to a healthy and innovative expression marketplace. The article concludes by suggesting that the Canadian government had the opportunity, and the obligation, to chart a course that compromised public commitments to freedom of expression in favour of the economic interests of copyright holders only insofar as was necessary to serve the public interest in a robust marketplace of ideas.
Keywords: Canada, government, Bill C-60, Act to Amend the Copyright Act, technological protection measures, TPM's, constitutional concerns, freedom of expression, Copyright Act, legislative protection, censorship, surveillance, protection, users, rights, legislation, access, information, economic interests
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