Friday, February 7, 2014

The Star's Joe Fiorito on the copyright dispute between Uof T and the writers' union

Excerpts from Fiorito's column:
 "The fuss has to do with the new copyright act. If I may boil it down hard, several institutions of higher learning — the U of T chief among them — have concluded that it is permissible to photocopy as much as ten per cent of a book for free.
"The union is arguing that it is OK to pull a quote, or even a paragraph or two, from a book; beyond that, you’d better pony up.
"The principle of payment for copying published work, I remind you, is not unlike the payments made by radio stations when songs are played on air. . .
" . . most writers in Canada live below the poverty line, and the payments are a boon to many. The money arrives in the mail, unannounced, once a year, an important reminder that writing is a profession.
"And that is why half a dozen union members, bundled up against the cold, were handing out information pamphlets and also free university degrees to any student who would stop on a cold day and put out a mittened hand.
The whole column

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