Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy


Michael Geist

Document Type


English Abstract

In this submission, the author presents seven principal proposals for reform that he argues would foster innovation, creativity and marketplace success. First, he argues for an expanded fair dealing provision that would enhance its flexibility. His second reform proposal engages with the issue of anti-circumvention provisions, where he argues: 1) for a direct link between anti-circumvention provisions and copyright infringement; 2) against bans on devices that can be used to circumvent technological protection measures (provided that it has non-infringing uses); 3) for the creation of authorized circumventers; and 4) for a positive requirement to unlock for exceptions/right of access. The author then moves on to a consideration of intermediary provisions, and argues for the establishment of a legal safe harbor in the form of a ―notice and notice‖ takedown system for internet intermediaries and a useful provision for Information Location Tool Providers, while rejecting the ―three strikes‖ system adopted in other jurisdictions. Fourth, the author proposes reforming the backup copy provision and rationalizing the statutory damages provisions as a means of modernizing copyright law. The fifth reform proposal involves enhancing the public domain, by rejecting an extension in the copyright term and abolishing Crown copyright. Sixth, library provisions should rely on fair dealing provisions, while there should be no internet exception for education. Lastly, it should not be possible to contract out of the core protections and policies underlying the copyright balance.