Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fair dealing and fair use

One oft asked question is whether fair dealing and fair use are the same? Fair use exists in the US Copyright Act; and fair dealing in the Canadian Copyright Act. Share your thoughts on this issue by posting your comments below.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Registering a copyright-protected work

Copyright registration is voluntary in the U.S. and in Canada (due to international copyright requirements). Each country however has a voluntary government registration system which provides you with certain advantages if you choose to register. In both countries, it is best to register upon creation of a work but you can register at any time and it is highly advisable you register before commencing a law suit as there are specific advantages if you do so.

One difference between the two registration systems is that you must deposit a copy of the work with the US Copyright Office whereas the Canadian Copyright Office does not accept any deposits -- you merely fill out the form and pay your fee. As such, many Canadians choose to register their work in Canada (for advantages in a copyright infringement suit) and also in the US so a copy of the work is deposited and can be called upon should an infringement issue arise.

This is a quick summary of some of the differences. Please ask your questions below as a comment and I'd be happy to expand on this subject.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Using clips in documentary films

Do you need permission to use clips in documentary films or does this fall under fair use in the U.S. or under fair dealing in Canada? American University has developed guidelines to answer this question under U.S. law. See: http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/fair_use/">http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/fair_use/">http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/fair_use/

Now a Canadian filmmaker is taking on this issue with his new documentary. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090314.ARIP14/TPStory/TPEntertainment/Television/