Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



It is very kind of you to invite me to talk about User Rights at the Association’s Copyright Symposium. In ancient times, symposia were occasions to discuss and debate matters of great moment, to the accompaniment of copious food, wine, and revelry. Zoom of course limits the conduct of this symposium but I hope participants will take the ancient precedent to heart at their end of their internet connection. Sometimes a symposium would wait until the hunt for a wild boar was over before starting. I hope that was not the motive behind your organizers hunting me down for this talk. I shall try to avoid being the bore of your event.

Over today and tomorrow you will discuss how user rights do and should work. I’ll try to set the stage by talking about where these rights now stand in Canada and how they got there. I’ll concentrate on fair dealing but first I’ll say a few words about the right to use unsubstantial parts of a work. This is not usually thought of as a user right, but it can be viewed that way, and it can be as important as fair dealing.