Supreme Court to rule on five copyright cases affecting wide range of uses - InfoNews

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Supreme Court to rule on five copyright cases affecting wide range of uses

A series of rulings from the Supreme Court of Canada today could have an impact on everything from grade-school handouts to the cost of downloading music. The top court decided last year to consider five different copyright-related cases at once. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
July 12, 2012 - 4:00 AM

OTTAWA - A series of rulings from the Supreme Court of Canada today could have an impact on everything from grade-school handouts to the cost of downloading music.

The top court decided last year to consider five different copyright-related cases at once.

One of the appeals raises the question of whether elementary and secondary school teachers can photocopy materials for their students without having to pay copyright fees.

Education ministers and school boards from across Canada are arguing that the practice falls well within the so-called fair dealing exemptions of the Copyright Act.

Another case is about whether Internet service providers who transmit music to customers should be made to pay royalty fees for those songs.

A similar case involves music in video games, and whether royalties should be paid each time a game is downloaded online.

It's unclear whether the court will respond to the various appeals with one ruling or separate ones.

The rulings come just a few weeks after the federal government passed long-awaited changes to the Copyright Act.

The changes included more protections for educators and students who use materials during the course of their studies.

At the centre of the case on photocopying at schools is the question of whether the Copyright Board made a mistake by analyzing the teacher's purpose in copying the materials rather than the student's purpose.

The Centre for Innovation Law and Policy at the University of Toronto intervened in the case, arguing that the concept of fair dealing should be given a large and liberal interpretation.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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