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Canada Must Avoid U.S.-Style Copyright Laws: Expert

Publication Date: 
March 20, 2009
Vancouver Sun
Gillian Shaw

Professor Lawrence Lessig is quoted in The Vancouver Sun in an article about copyright issues addressed in the movie RiP: A Remix Manifesto that just opened in Canada:

"I thought the film was fantastic in its ability to take a very complicated subject and make it compelling and accessible," Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law at Stanford Law School, said in a telephone interview.

Lessig, who is also the founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society, added: "I think it is an issue that is only getting more timely."

Lessig, who along with remix musician Girl Talk and author/blogger Cory Doctorow is featured in the EyeSteelFilm/National Film Board documentary, is hoping Canada won't follow the U.S. example in copyright legislation.

"I think it is a bad thing for America, I think it is a bad thing for Canada," he said. "I think it is an especially bad thing for developing nations."

U.S. copyright is well-tuned, said Lessig, to a very narrow slice -- content such as Britney Spears recordings or Hollywood movies.

"But that's not the only kind of creativity that's out there," he said.


While Lessig doesn't spell out the answers, he said Canada has both the opportunity and an obligation to apply "a friendly, but skeptical eye" towards what he terms the extremist copyright laws south of the border.

"I would say Canada would do us an enormous favour if they would begin to be responsible, friendly skeptics about these issues," he said.