The Impact of the Canadian Copyright Act on the Voices of Marginalized Groups
AbstractFor as long as stories have been written, they have been rewritten. Authors rewrite texts for a variety of reasons. This article will focus on one particular type of rewriting – namely, the rewriting of culturally significant texts from the perspective of marginalized groups that are either missing from or oppressed in the original text. These rewrites serve important social purposes. However, it is likely that many of these rewrites infringe Canadian copyright laws and laws with respect to moral rights. This article argues that works that rewrite culturally significant texts from the perspective of marginalized groups ought not to infringe copyright and violate moral rights in Canada. To this end, it suggests five amendments to Canada’s Copyright Act that would help ensure that the attempts by marginalized groups to express themselves through the rewriting of culturally significant texts cannot be enjoined by copyright owners and authors. Some of these proposed amendments have been incorporated into Bill C-32 (An Act to Amend the Copyright Act), the Government of Canada’s latest attempt at copyright reform.
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