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Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide – Book Review

November 24, 2014

By Alan Kilpatrick


Does copyright law baffle you?  Does anyone understand what it means when they click I agree?  Do you have to be a detective to figure out who the copyright owner is?

Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide lays out the foundations of basic copyright law and discusses practical applications of copyright in a variety of contexts.  Simply put, this book is for everyone.  “Whether you are a parent, artist, business person, blogger, teacher, student, or music fan, questions about copyright have popped into your head or landed in your lap.”  The authors address the momentous changes that rocked the world of Canadian copyright in 2012, including the Copyright Modernization Act (SC 2012, c 20) and five major Supreme Court of Canada decisions.  Written in a comprehensible style, the second edition of this book was long overdue and eagerly anticipated by many.

The book is skillfully arranged into four parts:  ideas, law, practice, and contexts.  The book begins with a brief discussion of the philosophy and history of copyright law in part one and then proceeds to copyright scope, owner’s rights, and user’s rights in part two.  Civil and criminal infringements are touched upon as well.  Part three of the book “covers more specific terrain, considering the issues that copyright presents for people” who work in specific fields like music, digital media, or education.  The book concludes with a discussion of copyright counterparts and the future of copyright law in Canada.

Both authors bring a wealth of diverse knowledge and authority to this subject.  Samuel E. Trosow, a former professor of mine, is an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario, where he teaches in the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.  Laura J. Murray is an associate professor at Queen’s University, where she teaches English and Cultural Studies.

Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide is recommended without reservation.

(Reposted from Legal Sourcery)

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