Canada’s New Copyright The Supreme Court Redefines Fair Use and Technological Neutrality

Marek Nitoslawski And Michael J. Shortt

©2013. Published in Landslide, Vol. 5, No. 5, May/June 2013, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

On July 12, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada released five decisions that address central copyright topics such as fair dealing, the collective administration of copyright, and digital copyright transactions. These decisions have come to be known as the “Copyright Pentalogy” or “Pentalogy.”1 While these decisions clarify some areas of the law, they also raise many new questions. Either way, the Pentalogy has broad implications for many copyright owners and users that do business in Canada, particularly those who operate over the Internet or are subject to tariffs under Canada’s system of collective management of copyright. U.S. lawyers should pay particular attention to these decisions, as several expressly declined to follow American authorities and instead adopted a novel Canadian position.

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