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October 4, 2004
Tackling Canada's Cultural Deficit
Michael Geist on why Canada should follow the UK, not the US, for culturally healthy copyright policy:
The United Kingdom provides an excellent model for such policies. In recent months, the British Library has unveiled an ambitious plan to digitize and freely post on the Internet thousands of historical newspapers that are now in the public domain. Similarly, the BBC has established the BBC Creative Archive, which will allow users to download clips of BBC factual programming for non-commercial use, where they can be stored, manipulated and shared.
Policy makers should also recognize that even ratification of the WIPO Internet treaties will not satisfy many rights holders, who have continually sought new rights that might increase their earnings. In the United States, the U.S. Congress has recently been considering proposed legislation called the Induce Act, which could conceivably regulate a wide range of electronic equipment including popular devices such as Apple's iPod.
Canadians can expect similar proposals to surface here as rights holders have left little doubt that the WIPO Internet treaties represent only the tip of the copyright reform iceberg.
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