The Information Policy Blog

The (unofficial) blog of the BCLA Information Policy Committee

Monthly Archives: September 2012

A bit of perspective…

…Well, things are a bit rough with copyright in Canada, all the more so since it’s emerged that the TPP is likely to just erase all progress made under C-11 (more on this later), but it’s always good to keep things in perspective.

We could, for example, be staring down the barrel of this charming legislation from Panama, which would create a sort of extra-judicial copyright SWAT team with the discretionary power to levy fines in excess of CAD 100k whenever they feel like it…and keep all the fine money for themselves!

So, y’know, things could always be worse…


Access Copyright: “Post-Secondary Tariff Update”

What was that Žižek phrase? “First as tragedy, then as farce”? Sounds about right for describing the latest bizarre communication from Access Copyright, which bears a more-than-superficial resemblance to an adolescent cry for attention. The sentiment of the LIS community in reaction to this notice was perhaps best captured on twitter, where the hashtag #laughataccesscopyright trended for a few hours yesterday.

Referencing a recent spate of Supreme Court decisions which would seem to substantially do away with Access Copyright’s entire business model, one commentator aptly observed that “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt”.

Now it’s a matter of waiting to see how the Copyright Board – and the Model Licence non-signatories – react.

Forthcoming IPC Virtual Salon: At the Intersection of Freedom of Information Legislation and 21st Century Libraries

Recording (Collaborate format) now available at

Now live! Join us at

Update: registration is now available, at:

Mark your calendar! This free IPC Virtual Webinar will be held on Friday, September 28, at noon PST. Registration details forthcoming soon. Details about the session and presenter:

Title: At the Intersection of Freedom of Information Legislation and 21st Century Libraries

In 1965 roughly 0.4% of the world’s population had a right to access information held by their governments. By the end of 2012, almost 80% of the world’s seven billion people will have such a right.

Recently Suzanne Legault, the Information Commissioner of Canada, announced a public consultation on the modernization of the Access to Information Act. This initiative marks the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of our federal freedom of information legislation. The recently adopted Code of Ethics of the International Federation of Library Associations (August 2012) recognizes the contribution that Canadian librarians and libraries can make to this consultation.

The timing seems right for librarians to discuss “What might be at the intersection of freedom of information legislation and 21st century libraries?”

In this presentation, Mark Weiler, (PhD, Simon Fraser University; MLIS candidate at the University of Western Ontario) will highlight the essential features of freedom of information legislation, challenge popular myths about using access laws (Myth: only journalists use it; Fact: businesses are the number one users of federal FOI legislation), provide examples of how to use access laws, and present concrete suggestions about how libraries and librarians might bring the benefits of FOI legislation to their communities.