Course ID: 207397
Though it may not fully be appreciated, most aspects of our culture, communication, and consumption are affected by the law of copyright; from the entertainment we enjoy or create, to the buildings we design and build, to our correspondences and visual exchanges, use of the internet, and the games we play and books we read, copyright is an integral part of our lives and impacts how we as a society relate, educate, create, earn a living, or simply participate in meaning making through the exercise of our expressive freedom. The year 2012 was celebrated as a turning point in Canadian copyright law with significant legislative reforms and five Supreme Court of Canada decisions ("the pentalogy") that could be said to have considerably expanded user rights and public interests in copyright. Can this celebration continue in light of more recent cases? The Copyright Act extends a limited term of protection to original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works as well as neighbouring rights in a performer's performance, a maker's sound recording, and a broadcaster's broadcast of communication signals. This course provides a brief introduction to the field of intellectual property in order to situate copyright in the policy framework of industrial and cultural property. The theoretical rationales for and judicial understanding of the role and function of copyright are explored as means for examining the continued debates about the appropriate scope of rights, the need for limits, and the goal of 'balance' to be given effect by copyright law and policy. The course is focused on two main issues: copyright subsistence and infringement, taking into consideration the differences between authorship and ownership, moral rights and economic rights, nature and extent of rights and the allowable exceptions, defences, and remedies. How should copyright law evolve in the face of major technological shifts? We will also consider some of the legal means by which copyright is made to expand or contract in accordance with public policies, through the use of internal doctrinal mechanisms such as the expression/idea dichotomy, the merger of expression with ideas, the allowable use of stock devices, and the freedom of users to deal fairly with copyrighted works, as with the user generated content exception, all of which may give more or less effect to the public interest in expressive freedom and a vibrant public domain. Copyright theory will be tested against its application, such as with the legal characterization of tampering with digital locks and technological protection measures as infringement. Students are encouraged to think critically about the law¿s inclusions and exclusions. Why is art protected but not craft? What has historically counted music? Ought food or yoga sequences be protected? Why or why not? Is copyright more about rights or utility? Whose rights? What utility? And, have we got the 'balance' right? Cross listed with LAW 868.
Assessment Method: Take home
Degree Requirement Fulfilled: Substantial Term Paper