Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, August 02, 2007

No public funds for copyright exaggerators

Michael Geist has a good suggestion on the CCIA complaint about deceptive copyright notices.  He describes it for Canadian publishers, but the idea would work just as well for publishers from most other countries:

…I raised the same issue last year with regard to Canadian publishers and their use of copyright notices that are exceptionally misleading and that perpetuate the incorrect view that nothing may be copied without prior permission.  While a complaint to the Fair Business Practices Branch of the Canadian Competition Bureau is worth considering (as is statutory reform to address copyright misuse), I argued that there may be another alternative. Book publishing and most other Canadian cultural industries rely on government funding programs - taxpayer dollars - for a portion of their costs.  Indeed, tens of millions are distributed each year to Canadian book publishers, while television programming is among the most heavily subsidized industries in the country.  One way to stop misleading copyright notices would be to require fair copyright notices as a condition of funding.  Publishers and broadcasters that fail to properly balance their notifications by alerting consumers to their fair dealing rights would run the risk of losing access to taxpayer dollars that help fund their business….