Hugh Stephens Blog

World IP Day: IP and Youth-Innovating for a Better Future (Kidovate as an Example)?

Hugh Stephens Blog

This year the theme of World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, April 26, is “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future”.

Copyright References in the Budget: Good Intentions Are Welcome but Early Action is Needed

Hugh Stephens Blog

Last week I discussed the copyright needle buried in the 2022 Canadian budget haystack, a reference to impending legislation to amend the Copyright Act to fulfill Canada’s obligation under the USMCA/CUSMA to extend its term of copyright protection from the life of the author plus 50 years to “life plus 70”.

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Flagging Copyright Concerns: Vexillologists Take Note?

Hugh Stephens Blog

People who are really into flags are known as vexillologists, a rather specialized field that studies the history, symbolism and usage of flags.

The Mickey Mouse Copyright Extension Myth: A Convenient “Straw Man” to Attack

Hugh Stephens Blog

The Walt Disney Company has delighted generations of children and adults with its style of wholesome family entertainment, whether it’s movies, cartoons, games or theme parks. That’s the Disney brand.

IPO Diversity in Innovation Toolkit

Women and diverse employees have the technical skill and knowledge, yet their contributions are not patented at the same rate as those of their male counterparts.This toolkit can help organizations move the needle on achieving gender parity in innovation.

Grappling with Online Safety Legislation: How to Hold the Platforms Accountable?

Hugh Stephens Blog

When it comes to online safety—or its flip side, online harms—many countries are grappling with the problem.

What Happens when Fair Dealing is not “Fair”??

Hugh Stephens Blog

February 21-25 is Fair Use/Fair Dealing week, so proclaimed by a number of participating organizations in the US and Canada and organized by the Association of Research Libraries under the umbrella of fairuseweek.org.

The “Declaration for the Future of the Internet”: What Does it Mean for Copyright Industries?

Hugh Stephens Blog

On April 28, with little advance notice, an announcement was released by various governments informing the world that they had just signed a “Declaration for the Future of the Internet”. In all, sixty-one countries signed this grandiose-sounding document, ranging from Albania to Uruguay.

Winnie the Pooh, the Public Domain and Winnie’s Canadian Connection

Hugh Stephens Blog

On or around January 1 each year we get a recrudescence of the same old story, a “celebration” of all the works that have just entered the public domain in the United States.

Books, e-Books, Authors, Publishers and Libraries: A Complex Relationship?

Hugh Stephens Blog

On January 1, 2022, a new law entered into force in the state of Maryland requiring that authors and publishers holding the rights to an e-book title must offer unlimited copies of that title to public libraries in the state at an undetermined “reasonable price” if and when the title is offered to individual consumers.

Books and Supply Chains: A Christmas Challenge for Authors, Publishers and Booksellers

Hugh Stephens Blog

On October 22, the Malta registered giant container ship Zim Kingston, enroute from South Korea to Vancouver, lost 109 containers overboard in heavy seas off the coast of Vancouver Island. Although four containers washed ashore further north up the coast, most are assumed to have sunk.

What Lies Ahead for Canada in 2022 from a Copyright and Content Perspective?

Hugh Stephens Blog

As I noted in my year-end wrap up a couple of weeks ago, some of the copyright and content related issues that were under discussion in Canada in 2021 will likely move forward in a more aggressive way this year.

Some Copyright Highlights in 2021-Around the World and in Canada?

Hugh Stephens Blog

The Humanity of Copyright

Hugh Stephens Blog

Recently the US Copyright Office (USCO) reaffirmed its longstanding position that human authorship is a pre-condition for recognition of copyright, despite being pushed hard by a particular protagonist within the tech community to accept artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of a machine (NB his machine) or software as a creator with rights.

Requiring Digital Platforms to Pay for Using News Content: Canada Follows Australia’s Lead—But Not Precisely?

Hugh Stephens Blog

Anti-Copyright Hyperbole Fails to Sway the Canadian Government

Hugh Stephens Blog

Call it a victory for common sense. The Canadian Budget Implementation Bill, which includes needed amendments to the Copyright Act to implement Canada’s CUSMA treaty commitment to extend its term of copyright protection to bring it into alignment with its major trading partners, has now been tabled.

Why is New Zealand’s National Library Declaring War on Authors??

Hugh Stephens Blog

At first blush, one would think that a natural symbiotic link would exist between authors, publishers, librarians and readers.

Those Problematic Comments on Facebook—Who Bears Responsibility for Them??

Hugh Stephens Blog

How Can News Publishers Best Protect Their Content? The US Copyright Office Explores Options

Hugh Stephens Blog

This past October, the US Copyright Office (USCO) announced it would be undertaking “a public study to evaluate the effectiveness of current copyright protections for publishers in the United States, with a focus on press publishers.”

Another Poke in the Eye for Authors and Publishers from New Zealand’s Libraries?

Hugh Stephens Blog

Copyright Takedown Gives Conservative Party Pretext to Remove Clumsy Political Attack Ad

Hugh Stephens Blog

Good political attack ads make voters angry with–or mock–the politician in the ad, reminding voters how much they dislike the targeted individual or party they represent.

Surprise! Canadians Like to Pirate NHL Games–But Dynamic Site Blocking Orders May Soon Put a Stop to the Free Rides

Hugh Stephens Blog

Singapore’s Copyright Act Revisions: A Step in the Right Direction, But….

Hugh Stephens Blog

Singapore’s long awaited and long debated revisions to its copyright law were tabled in Parliament at the beginning of July with a view to enactment by the end of summer. This follows a two-month public consultation by the Law Ministry and Intellectual Property Office.

Supreme Court of Canada Decision Undermines Canada’s Collective Licensing System: A Parliamentary Fix is Needed

Hugh Stephens Blog

The American Music Fairness Act (AMFA): The Canadian Dimension

Hugh Stephens Blog

Last week I posted a blog on the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA), draft US legislation that seeks to end the exemption that US terrestrial broadcasters enjoy with respect to payment of broadcast royalties to performers and labels for playing recorded music.

Music 207

Will the Content Tail Wag the Wireless Dog? The Rogers/Shaw Merger in Canada?

Hugh Stephens Blog

Nowadays it is not uncommon for major telecommunications companies (telcos) to provide infrastructure in the form of wireless, wireline and fibre optic, cable and satellite connectivity while also directly controlling some of the content distributed via this infrastructure.

The American Music Fairness Act (AMFA): A Better and Fairer Solution for Performers than Just Seeking “National Treatment”

Hugh Stephens Blog

From the title of this draft legislation, introduced into the US House of Representatives in late June, you can surmise that something is unfair about music in America.

Music 207

Michelle’s Country Music Murals: An Update?

Hugh Stephens Blog

Some readers may recall two blogposts (Mural, Mural on the Wall and Were They Commissioned, One and All?) that I wrote a couple of years ago about muralist Michelle Loughery and her copyright dispute with the Merritt Walk of Stars Society.

Music 190

Do News Publishers “Own” the News? (And Should They be Compensated when Others use News Content they Publish?)?

Hugh Stephens Blog

The issue of whether news publishers should receive compensation when their content is used by “others” (such as internet platforms, specifically Facebook and Google) has become a hot topic in a number of countries of late.

Canada’s Pointless Pandemic Election and its Implications for Copyright, Content Industries and Digital Platforms?

Hugh Stephens Blog

For those of my readers outside Canada who may not have noticed, Canada has just held a general election. If many outside Canada were not following this election, many Canadians were also not focused on it.

Adapting Opera in the Age of COVID: From “Grand Rights” to “Synchronization Licenses”

Hugh Stephens Blog

Source: [link] Think of yourself as Ian Rye, CEO of Pacific Opera Victoria (POV), my hometown opera company. You’ve been planning ahead for the next season, and advance planning is very much a requirement in the opera scene.

Poppy Time Again: Watch Out for Infringers!?

Hugh Stephens Blog

For the past couple of years at this time, as Remembrance Day (November 11) approaches, I have posted a blog on the copyright and trademark implications of the commemorative red poppies that become so ubiquitous on people’s lapels at this time of year, at least in certain countries.

An Open Letter to Justin Trudeau: Canada’s News Publishers up the Pressure on Facebook and Google

Hugh Stephens Blog

Source: National Post I was at my local newsstand the other day, perusing the morning papers.

Should User-Generated Content (UGC) be Exempt from Law and Regulation? Should Internet Platforms Bear any Responsibility for UGC they Distribute?

Hugh Stephens Blog

Should user-generated content (UGC) on social media platforms be free from any regulation and the rule of law, simply because it is user-generated? Should social media platforms be given a pass when it comes to any responsibility for the UGC that they distribute?

Some Reflections on What Can—and Cannot—Be Protected by Copyright?

Hugh Stephens Blog

My wife was flexing her wrist, extending her forefinger and manipulating her thumb, following the instructions on the sheet in front of her that the physiotherapist had provided. She (my wife that is) had broken her wrist a few weeks earlier, in an unfortunate fall.

Blocking Offshore Pirate Content Sites: The Philippines is Joining a Growing International Consensus

Hugh Stephens Blog

In the ongoing struggle against content piracy, a global scourge that undermines and competes unfairly with legitimate content producers and distributors, blocking offshore web and streaming sites that distribute pirated content has proven to be an effective tool in many countries.

“It’s Not Really Our Fault: It’s the Algorithm”

Hugh Stephens Blog

This seems to be the prevailing view these days amongst the large digital social media and search platforms when the results of algorithmic selections they have programmed turn out to yield undesirable results.

Local Content Production and Sensible Regulation: New Studies Demonstrate the Close Relationship

Hugh Stephens Blog

The Institute for International Communications (IIC) annual meeting held recently in the UK (London, October 5-7) featured, among other topics, a “streaming video roundtable”, an informative discussion of the issues surrounding growth of the VOD sector in the current regulatory climate.

Copyrighting the Ogopogo: The © Story Behind the News Story?

Hugh Stephens Blog

The headline in the local paper grabbed my attention. City of Vernon transfers copyright to legendary Ogopogo to B.C. Indigenous nations”.

Paying for Use of News Content? The US Launches Study on Free-Riding by News Aggregators

Hugh Stephens Blog

A couple of weeks ago I put up a blog posting looking at the history of copyright and news content over the past two hundred years or more. It discussed the longstanding question of who “owns” the news, and who should be compensated when news content is copied.