Fair use provisions serve to counteract the restrictive and innovation-hampering effects of copyright, reflecting the evolving norms regarding the reasonable use of protected content. Despite the recent expansion of fair use by the Copyright Modernization Act (CMA), Canadian copyright law imposes excessive costs on users that legally interact with protected content. The authors of this Jr. Fellows brief, Cory Campbell and Scott Janz, propose creating an arbitration mechanism to resolve fair use claims quicker and in a more cost-effective manner than litigation, which will reduce social costs imposed on the Canadian public by reducing the burden on the court system and expediting the evaluation of fair use claims. Funding for the proposed dispute mechanism should be generated by the mechanism itself. They conclude that the technologically neutral stance taken in the CMA, which encourages the proliferation of technological protection measures, should be re-evaluated.

The CIGI Junior Fellows program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs provides masters level students with mentorship opportunities from senior scholars and policy makers. Working under the direction of a project leader, each junior fellow conducts research in one of CIGI’s program areas. This series presents those policy briefs that met CIGI’s publications standards.