[kwlug-disc] are you going to be a criminal?

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Mon Jun 7 00:13:02 EDT 2010


Andrew Kohlsmith (mailing lists account) wrote:
> Format shifting is also fair use. Being able to watch it on a DVD player of my
> own making is also fair use.

Of course, if we're going to be analyzing a legal document (like a 
pending bill) we should be using the right terminology.

"Fair Use" is a U.S. exemption to copyright which does not apply in 
Canada.  Canada has "Fair Dealing", which covers only five explicit 
exceptions:

   Review
   Criticism
   Research
   Private Study
   News Reporting

There is no Fair Dealing for format shifting, time shifting, satire, 
parody or watching DVDs on a player of your own creation (you must pay a 
license fee on the order of tens of thousands of dollars to the DVD Copy 
Control Association, otherwise you're infringing by making a copy of the 
deCSS software or firmware).

Even if your use of copyrighted material falls under one of the Fair 
Dealing provisions you may still be infringing depending on the amount 
of material you copy, the length of time you intend to use it, whether a 
non-infringing alternative was available.  It is also possible that the 
Review and News Reporting provisions only apply to paid journalists.  
Bloggers may be infringers if they quote an excerpt of a copyrighted 
work on their book/film/music review blog...

Format Shifting was declared as a Fair Use in the U.S. after the Sony 
vs. Universal trial, the "Betamax Case". Of course, you may have meant 
that it is *unfair* _not_ be allowed to format shift or watch a DVD on a 
player of your own making, and I would agree. But it's not Fair Use in 
Canada...

--Bob.

Bob Jonkman<bjonkman at sobac.com>          http://sobac.com/sobac/
SOBAC Microcomputer Services              Voice: +1-519-669-0388
6 James Street, Elmira ON  Canada  N3B 1L5  Cel: +1-519-635-9413
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