Canadian Supreme Court expands Fair Dealing

In a big decision today, SCOC expanded fair dealing for educators.

They also dismissed a laughable claim that iTunes (and other online music stores) should have to pay royalties if someone listens to a song preview, finding that it fell under user research.

Michael Geist (a well-known Canadian copyright expert) also has analysis. According to his analysis, the counts says that “fair dealing is a user’s right that must be interpreted in a broad and liberal manner”.

So, it is a user’s right, not something granted by companies (and therefore not something that companies can deny an end-user), something to keep in mind in the future. Also, it should be interpreted broadly and liberally, which seems to me to say that it should be in favour of the end-user more often then not.

A pretty great ruling overall for a complicated area of law (copyright). The SCC ruled 5-4, so this ruling is binding on all lower courts throughout Canada.

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