The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law

The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law

Paul Daly, Graham Reynolds, Giuseppina D'Agostino, Michael Geist, Margaret Ann Wilkinson, Ariel Katz, Samuel E. Trosow, Meera Na

Language: English

Pages: 476

ISBN: 2:00153626

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In the summer of 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada issued rulings on five copyright cases in a single day. The cases represent a seismic shift in Canadian copyright law, with the Court providing an unequivocal affirmation that copyright exceptions such as fair dealing should be treated as users’ rights, while emphasizing the need for a technology neutral approach to copyright law.

The Court’s decisions, which were quickly dubbed the “copyright pentalogy,” included no fees for song previews on services such as iTunes, no additional payment for music included in downloaded video games, and that copying materials for instructional purposes may qualify as fair dealing.

The Canadian copyright community soon looked beyond the cases and their litigants and began to debate the larger implications of the decisions. Several issues quickly emerged.

This book represents an effort by some of Canada’s leading copyright scholars to begin the process of examining the long-term implications of the copyright pentalogy. The diversity of contributors ensures an equally diverse view on these five cases, contributions are grouped into five parts. Part 1 features three chapters on the standard of review in the courts. Part 2 examines the fair dealing implications of the copyright pentalogy, with five chapters on the evolution of fair dealing and its likely interpretation in the years ahead. Part 3 contains two chapters on technological neutrality, which the Court established as a foundational principle of copyright law. The scope of copyright is assessed in Part 4 with two chapters that canvas the exclusive rights under the copyright and the establishment of new “right” associated with user-generated content. Part 5 features two chapters on copyright collective management and its future in the aftermath of the Court’s decisions.

This volume represents the first comprehensive scholarly analysis of the five rulings. Edited by Professor Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, the volume includes contributions from experts across Canada. This indispensable volume identifies the key aspects of the Court's decisions and considers the implications for the future of copyright law in Canada.

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that the Court has changed its attitude to reasons being advanced by the minority in a decision, acknowledging before completing the drafting that these reasons will not govern the outcome of the case at bar and thus keeping them quite short and relying on elements of the majority opinion such that the minority reasons cannot be read as stand-alone judgments. This, in turn, has led to a shift in nomenclature about the reasons wherein the majority reasons are generally termed “judgments” while the

parliamentary omnipotence, and its core objective has been the division of theoretically unlimited legislative power between the Dominion of Canada and the Provinces. Moreover, the Statute of Anne did not use the term “copyright”, and although the term had already been in use by the end of the eighteenth century, the language in the US Constitution might have been adopted simply to describe the mandate that was given to Congress. It would be unnecessary to do the same in Canada because by 1867,

Parliament’s desire to limit fair dealing to the enumerated purposes. As I explain below, a small number of early English courts misinterpreted Parliament’s intent, adopting a restrictive but erroneous view of fair dealing, which has never been seriously challenged. Moreover, the 104 | THE COPYRIGHT PENTALOGY legislative history of section 107 in the US indicates that the decision of Congress to add the words “such as” reflects a lesson learned from the British earlier exercise in

v Access Copyright (SCC 33888). Howard Knopf and I wrote that factum; this chapter is based in part on the research conducted in its preparation. Howard Knopf deserves much credit for helping me develop some of the ideas in this chapter, as well as for being instrumental in distilling them into a ten-page factum. I also wish to thank Abbas Kassam, Rachel Weinberg, and David Yi for their research assistance, as well as Aharon Barak, Barton Beebe, Michael Birnhack, Oren Bracha, Carys Craig, Abraham

open-ended fair use model, fair dealing models typically identify specific categories or purposes for which fair dealing is permitted. The model creates a two-stage analysis: first, whether the intended use qualifies for one of the permitted purposes, and second, whether the use itself meets the fairness criteria. By contrast, fair use raises only the second-stage analysis, since there are no statutory limitations on permitted purposes. Given the need for a two-stage analysis and the prospect

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