2018 Copyright Symposium

Theme: The Public Domain: Now A Private Affair? 
Date: Friday November 23, 2018
Location: Ryerson University Library, 4th floor
Registration: $100 Members; $175 Non Members; $35 Students


8:30am-9:15am – Registration 
9:15am – Welcome 

9:30am – Keynote speaker –  The Theoretical Underpinnings of the Canadian Public Domain, Carys Craig, Osgoode Hall, York University
Typically, references to the public domain in Canadian copyright jurisprudence have been rare and uninspired, with the apparent assumption being that the public domain is no more than intellectual property’s leftovers — the crumbs that remain once its appetite is satisfied. In recent years, the Supreme Court of Canada has painted a more positive picture of the public domain as a vibrant space nurtured by copyright law and its limits. This talk will explore the evolving idea of the ‘positive’ or ‘affirmative’ public domain—one that is robust enough to stem the tides of IP expansionism, and fertile enough to ‘incorporate and embellish creative innovation in the long-term interests of society as a whole.

11:00am-12:00pm – The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement: What Term Extension Means for the Canadian Public Domain and How Have Libraries Responded. Mark Swartz, Queen’s University. Victoria Owen, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. 
The USMCA, when ratified, will extend the term of Copyright in Canada for 20 years, from life plus 50 to life plus 70.  This session will provide context into why this change is happening, highlight how libraries and other organizations have responded to this incursion into our common heritage and discuss what this term extension could mean for the Canadian public domain.

12:45pm-2:00pm – Public Domain Collections: A Library Panel. Caitlin Horral, Corporate Secretary of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy, Library and Archives Canada. Andrea Mills, Digitization Program Manager, Internet Archive Canada. Eric Schwab, Manager Digitization/Preservation, Toronto Public Library. 

The Public Domain is a vital tool for libraries and library related organizations. In this panel individuals from the following organizations (Toronto Public Library, Internet Archive, Library and Archives Canada) will speak about how the public domain enables them to make collections available and to fulfill their mandate. They will also showcase some of their public domain collections. Questions being asked of these speakers include;
1.    How does making use of public domain resources enhance the services provided?
2.    What work have you undertaken in collecting, managing, and archiving public domain materials?
3.    What challenges have arisen and what services and solutions have you come up with? How do you anticipate the impact of the new term extension on your Public Domain resources?


2:15pm-3:00pm – Snakes & Ladders: A Public Domain Activity
Public Domain Assessment Activity: attendees will be divided into small groups and each group will be provided with a piece of content which they will assess alongside a flowchart to determine whether or not the piece of content is within the public domain. We’ll discuss each group’s findings and how to reasonably and accurately assess the status of content as being protected by copyright or within the public domain. 

3:15pm-4:15pm – Building Fences and Breaking Down Walls:  preserving the “public” in the public domain
Ann Ludbrook, Copyright and Scholarly Engagement Librarian, Ryerson University. Heather Martin, Copyright Officer & Manager, ELearning & Reserves, University of Guelph
Public domain materials should be freely available for any member of the public to copy and use, yet we find many examples of public domain content locked behind paywalls or encumbered with digital locks that inhibit use.  The presenters look at how commercial entities are appropriating public domain works for profit, and the impact this has on public access.   At the same time, many creators are intentionally waiving their copyrights in order to contribute to and enrich the public domain for the benefit of all.   As the use of open licenses such as CC BY and CC0 increases, the body of content available for public re-use continues to grow.  This session will examine these opposing trends, and look at strategies to preserve the interests of the public in future iterations of the public domain.