Microsoft Misleads on Copyright Reform
Posted by Michael Geist

The Hill Times this week includes an astonishingly misleading and factually incorrect article on Canadian copyright written by Microsoft. The most egregious error comes in the following paragraph which attempts to demonstrate why Microsoft thinks reform is needed: "Imagine you're an aspiring author who decides to self-publish on the internet in hopes of supporting yourself and catching the eye of a publishing house. Now imagine someone hacks into your website and accesses your work and begins using the ideas expressed in your work for their own commercial benefit. You should be protected, right? In Canada, you are not." Actually, you are protected. Copyright law would clearly protect an author whose work was used without permission for commecial benefit. In fact, the infringer would face the prospect of significant statutory damages. But don't take my word for it. One year ago (almost to the day), Microsoft issued a press release trumpeting a win at the Federal Court that led to one of the highest statutory damages awards in Canadian copyright history - $500,000 in statutory damages and an additional $200,000 in punitive damages. Funnily enough, the company didn't argue that it wasn't protected in that case. Click here to read more of Michael's blog.

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