Sweat of the Brow, Creativity and Authorship: On Originality in Canadian Copyright Law
20 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2004
The paper offers a theoretical analysis of the tension between "sweat of the brow" and "creativity" approaches to the "originality" requirement in recent Canadian copyright jurisprudence. The paper formulates that tension as one between two different and incompatible versions of the very meaning and purpose of copyright law. On the one hand, the "sweat of the brow" approach reflects a "misappropriation" model of copyright law, for which fairness to the author as laborer is the central and animating concern. On the other hand, the "creativity" approach reflects a "public interest" model of copyright law, for which the production and dissemination of authorial works in the name of the public interest is the central and animating concern. In that context, the paper reveals the neglected influence of a third vision of copyright law: the "authorship" model. On that basis, the paper shows that, because it is not framed in terms of the traditional opposition between author and public, the authorship model offers a vision of copyright law for which respect for authorship is consistent with the public domain. In so doing, the paper engages themes fundamental to the Supreme Court of Canada's recent landmark decision in CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada.
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