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Intellectual Property in the Digital Age

Richard Stobbe was interviewed by CTV for Intellectual Property in the Digital Age an interesting review of media, privacy, copyright and the concept of “fair dealing”. When you post pictures to Facebook, or other social-media or photo-sharing sites, you don’t give up ownership, but you certainly give up control. The Supreme Court of Canada and the Copyright Act are clear that those who deal fairly with a work for the purpose of research, private study, criticism, review or news reporting, do not infringe copyright.  So a reporter engaging in “news reporting” can copy your Facebook photo, and copyright will not be infringed, as long as the attribution rules are followed, and as long as the copying can be considered “fair dealing”.  When it comes to the fair dealing analysis, courts in Canada will look at these factors:

  • the purpose of the copying and use;
  • the character of the copying and use;
  • the amount of the copying;
  • alternatives to the dealing;
  • the nature of the work (such as the picture or other copyright-protected work); and
  • the effect of the dealing or copying on the work. 

These considerations don’t arise in every fair dealing case, but this list provides a useful framework to analyze when the copying will be considered fair for the purpose of this exception.

Authors
,Lawyer, Trademark Agent, CLP
rstobbe@fieldlaw.com