Creative Commons Licensing in Canada

Andy Kaplan-Myrth and Kathi Simmons from the University of Ottawa’s Law and Technology Program spoke at Podcasters Across Borders about the legal regime that podcasters and bloggers in Canada must observe.

Kaplan-Myrth outlined the fundamentals of Creative Commons licensing in Canada.

Traditional copyright seeks to reserve all rights to the author other than those that she specifically surrenders.

Creative commons has been developed to encourage sharing of information. It has several different licences that allow sharing based on a selection of different elements:

  • Attribution: Content may be used and redistributed, but the original creator must be given credit for it.
  • NonCommercial: The content may be used and redistributed only for noncommercial purposes.
  • NoDerivatives: People can use and redistribute, but not modify the work.
  • ShareAlike: Users can use, redistribute and modify your work. But if you do modify it, any work that you produce based on these changes must have the same ShareAlike condition.

In Canada, there are over 300,000 works licensed under the Canadian Creative Commons. This Canadian licences have been customized to reflect Canadian laws, so Canadian bloggers and podcasters who use a non-Canadian CC licence should switch to a Canadian licence.

Kathi Simmons unveiled the Canadian Podcasting Legal Guide. It has been prepared by the Law and Technology group at UOttawa to provide Canadians with the basic information they need to understand the law that applies to authoring and using content for social media in Canada. 

Hard copies of the guide were distributed to PAB attendees.

The Canadian Podcasting Legal Guide will be available for download form the Canadian Creative Commons site.

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Don't miss Michael Geist at Third Monday

Do you own an MP3 player? Download music or video? Are you interested in the future of copyright? Digital Rights Management (DRM)? Privacy on the Web? Are you concerned about maintaining free and open access to the Internet for all users – individuals as well as large businesses?

Michael GeistIf you answered yes to any of these questions, then you won’t want to miss the next Third Monday social media meetup. Because we’ve got Michael Geist as our guest speaker.

Dr. Geist is the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa. He is a prolific and thought provoking blogger and a columnist on technology law issues in the Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, and BBC. He is a must-read for opinion leaders, policy makers and others interested in evolving our copyright and legal regimes to promote innovation in the use of the Web.

Third MondayIn the past year, Michael was a keynote speakers at the first mesh conference in Toronto as well as delivering the Hart House Lecture.

We’re very lucky to be able to have Michael speak to Third Monday.

So, if you’re interested in an evening of great conversation with an outstanding, thought provoking speaker, register online to attend Third Monday on March 26 with Michael Geist.

Blogtipping: Michael Geist

Michael GeistA blog I like:

Michael Geist’s Blog. Michael is the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa.

Things I like:

  1. Michael writes intelligently about the need for a copyright regime that supports the creation and free movement of content.
  2. Michael pulls no punches. I don’t always agree with him, but I know that I can count on him to advance his arguments with courage and conviction. This doesn’t always (ever?) make him friends in the content-based industries, but he is undeterred by this.
  3. Michael writes from a global perspective. Yes, home base is Canada, but Michael covers major international developments in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.


Michael, you should enable TrackBacks. The conversation would be much richer if you would enable people to continue it on their own websites (which provide the context for their comments). It would also give readers a much better sense of the community that is building up around you.


Losing a valued colleague: A Peril of Blogging

David JonesDavid Jones is leaving Thornley Fallis. He has been recruited away from us by another firm that wants to upgrade their expertise in social media.

That’s a bummer for Thornley Fallis. David is a good friend and a very smart guy. We will miss him.

Dave, Terry Fallis and I have spent the past year exploring the possibilities of social media. We have learned by doing. We have learned a lot from one another. We have learned by meeting and talking to others who are on the leading edge of developing social media. 

And as we have exchanged views and learned from other practitioners of social media, our own profiles have been raised. We have come to “know” and “be known” to people we have never met in person. This really came home to me when I first approached a fellow blogger at a conference. As I was about to introduce myself, he said, “I know you. I’ve seen your picture on your blog and I read you all the time.” (Nice compliment; totally unexpected)

So, I should not be surprised that another firm has swooped in and made David an offer he could not refuse (It’s all positive; no severed horse heads involved.) In exploring and engaging in social media, David has raised his profile and engaged in conversations with respected bloggers and podcasters like Shel Holtz, Neville Hobson, Joseph Jaffe, Colin McKay and Robert French. He has acquired a positive reputation beyond our traditional geographic area of operation and, in our small world, an element of celebrity.

Our experience defines the new normal for PR practitioners who engage in social media. Every time a consulting firm like Thornley Fallis encourages its employees to share their experiences and smarts through a blog, we increase the likelihood that we will lose those people to other opportunities. David’s not the first blogger to be scooped up by a bigger firm. He follows a path that in the past six months has been well trod by other high profile bloggers like Jeremy Pepper and Steve Rubel.

So, will Thornley Fallis stop encouraging our consulting team to blog and explore social media? Heck no!

We’ll accept that this increased risk is just part of the entry fee to engage in social media. And we’ll understand that it’s better to spend a year learning and exploring with a guy like David Jones than it is to spend a decade of the safe same old, same old practise of techniques we long ago mastered.

For PR consultancies, it’s grow or die. And we must learn to grow. We will learn to deal with this aspect of blogging.

And after all, one of the great things of consulting is that we get to hire or join our friends. And Dave’s a good friend. So, you never know what the future may bring…

Dave, I and all the gang at Thornley Fallis wish you every success at your new gig!


OECD conference tackles Digital Rights Management and User-Generated Content

Michael Geist comments on the discussions at the OECD’s Future of the Digital Economy conference in Rome. In Geist’s view,

…the discussion pointed to two competing approaches for the distribution of content in the Internet era, one based on DRM and the other on user generated content. I conclude that the conference ultimately sent a mixed message about the future of the digital economy. The Internet has sparked a remarkable outpouring of new creativity and provided conventional content owners with exciting new marketplace opportunities, yet legislators may be forced to intervene to ensure that consumers are protected from onerous DRM restrictions and that ISPs are precluded from using their positions as Internet gatekeepers to harm innovation.