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Wednesday, December 8 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
The Battle for Digital Rights in Copyright: Stemming the Tide of Incursion into the Public Interest

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The societal role of libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) to provide access to information and preserve knowledge is under threat in the digital environment.  LAMs must navigate digital content effectively, and, as importantly, advocate for the public policies required to fulfill government mandated objectives to provide access, support research, innovation, and lifelong learning, and the human rights that underpin them.  Simultaneously, we must recognize the limits of copyright and the existence of parallel rights schemes that exist for Indigenous knowledge, similarly underpinned by international convention. The unique functions of LAMs are threatened by online tracking of all uses of works, expansion of rights in the digital realm, encroachment on the public domain, including the contemplation of protections for AI created works. In the copyright regime, the purpose of users’ rights, including exceptions and limitation for LAMs, is to ensure the essential ‘balance’ in the rights scheme, and protect it from subversion by private interests. LAMs are society’s safe havens, where access to information and cultural preservation are facilitated and safeguarded. The role of information professionals must be specific, and clearly articulate, promote, and represent information policies in the public interest.  In this session, we will explore some of the challenges, possibilities and limits of copyright in the digital environment.


Victoria Owen

OLA representative to the CFLA-FCAB Copyright Committee, University of Toronto

Wednesday December 8, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST