Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tom Barrett, "Canwest Suit May Test Limits of Free Speech," The Tyee, December 11, 2008.

[This case addresses an aspect of "fair dealing" known as "the parody exemption." In the past, the parody exception has been seen as a form of criticism which is allowed under the fair use provisions of Canada's Copyright Act. If CanWest wins this case, will the Corporate US flag be illegal too?

For additional comment and links on this case, see also here =>. Lawyer Blogger Howard Knopf at Excess Copyright argues that test case litigation is not the answer in this situation. -jlt]

A lawsuit involving a newspaper that mocked Canwest's Middle East coverage may test the limits of free expression in Canada.

The defendants claim the case is about satire, parody and free-speech rights. Canwest Mediaworks Publications says free speech has nothing to do with it -- the four-page paper hurt its business and violated its copyright and trademarks.

The defendants' free-speech defence suffered a setback late last month, when Alan Donaldson, a master of the B.C. Supreme Court, ruled that "parody is not a defence to a copyright claim."

Read the rest here =>

See also Frank Magazine challenge cited in Georgia Straight, May 8, 2008.

Frank editor Michael Bate wants CanWest to sue him, too.

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Geekwad said...

See, the problem is, the average person really can't tell the difference between a Canwest publication, and a parody of a newspaper. Clearly there's infringement happening here.

Jim Terral said...

Or the CanWest lawyers got the Palestinian satire mixed up with their own dreams of journalistic balance.