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Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide [Paperback]

Laura J. Murray , Samuel E. Trosow , Jane Burkowski
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Oct. 15 2007
In the age of easily downloadable culture, messages about copyright are ubiquitous. If you're an artist, consumer, or teacher, copyright is likely a part of your everyday life. Yet no resource exists to explain Canadian copyright law to ordinary Canadians. In accessible language, using examples and case studies, this book parses the Copyright Act and explains issues pertinent to a range of particular groups of Canadians; it also makes a case for grassroots engagement in balanced legal reform.

Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide is not an alarmist call to stop the pirating of culture, but an articulate assertion that artists and consumers need not see each other as enemies. It should be essential reading for all Canadians concerned by how Canadian copyright law and policy affects them.

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'This book carefully balances history and tradition with advocacy for reform... The audience for this book should include all Canadians, not just communications nerds, policy wonks, and working artists. Otherwise... we'll get the culture that we deserve rather than the culture that we want.'
- Quill & Quire

'Murray and Trosow guide the reader through such murky waters with clarity, grace and good humour ... should remain valuable for years to come.'
- CAUT Bulletin

'An informative exploration of the various facets of copyright laws ... The book [is highly readable and relevant.'
- Our Times

'Will remain an important text, regardless of changes to the letter of the law... What makes the project of this book entirely laudable is that it imagines Canadian citizenship in a contemporary milieu as something that invariably involves active cultural production as well as consumption.'
- TOPIA, Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies

"Copyright law is too important to leave to the lawyers alone... Highly recommended!'
- David Bollier, author of Brand Name Bullies: The Quest to Own and Control Culture

'Laura Murray and Sam Trosow walk us through the issues that are defining Canada's place in the digital age. Find out where you stand in the battle between U.S. trade lobbyists and kids with an I-Pod.'
- Charlie Angus, MP (Timmins-James Bay), cultural spokesman for the New Democratic Party and former lead singer with the Juno-nominated Grievous Angels

'Canadian Copyright is an indispensable lay person's guide through the practical, legal and philosophical copyright maze...Canadian Copyright is a much needed book. '
- Paul Whitney, City Librarian, Vancouver Public Library, Chair of the Canadian Urban Library Council Copyright Committee

'Canadian Copyright should be in every art and design student's backpack. It elegantly clarifies the law, its nuances and applications, while opening up opportunities for discussion of copyleft, appropriation and fair use. With sections on music, film and video, visual arts, craft and design, websites and digital rights, and current case examples, it is ideal as a text for use in Professional Practice courses. It is also fascinating, well constructed, and very readable.'
- Johanna Householder, Professor, Faculty of Art, Ontario College of Art and Design

'Students in my courses often don't really know, or seem to care, about copyright - until we actually start discussing it. After that, the questions never end, as they realize the extent to which this issue permeates literally every aspect of our lives as citizens, consumers and media producers. Thanks to Murray & Trosow, we finally have a highly accessible guide to Canadian copyright that provides well-researched, and often fascinating, answers to many of these questions'
- Matt Soar, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Concordia University

"It is time to reform Canada's copyright law, and Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide reveals the path that this reform should take."
- Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada

About the Author

Laura J. Murray is an Associate Professor in the English Department of Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., and creator of the website www.faircopyright.ca

Samuel E. Trosow is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario in London; he is jointly appointed in the faculties of Law and Information and Media Studies.

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lifting the mystery from copyright Dec 30 2007
"When did copyright law become sexy?" asked the Globe and Mail's Ivor Tossel in a piece headlined How did copyright become cool?

Tossel was reporting on a stunning about face by Canada's industry minister, Jim Prentice, when he backed down from tabling new copyright legislation "that could have completely changed the relationship between Canadians and their digital media."

Most Canadians give the issue of copyright very little thought although it is an issue that touches every one of us and most of the time we are completely oblivious to how deep it reaches.

For instance, almost all of us are copyright holders. Vacation pictures, grocery lists, doodles, and that great essay you wrote in grade ten, are all covered by copyright law. It is not even incumbent upon a person to do anything but take the picture, make the list, scratch the scribble, or write the paper to have created a work covered by copyright.

We are also all users of copyright. From software, to movies, books, magazines, music, sewing patterns, library books, school handouts, and hockey games on television - we all consume information created by someone else for which there apply not just a copyright but potentially layers of copyright.

The reason most Canadians know so little about a subject that means so much to them is possibly because they perceive the issue as incomprehensibly complicated. And for anyone who has ever read a software EULA (End User License Agreement), it is a reasonable perception.
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