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Canadian Journal of Law & Technology

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copyright, digital rights management, copyright clearinghouses


Intellectual Property Law | International Trade Law | Internet Law | Law


The collective management of copyright in Canada was conceived as a solution to alleviate the problem of inefficiency of individual rights management. Creators could not license, collect and enforce copyright efficiently on an individual basis. Requiring users to obtain permission from individual copyright holders for the use of a work was equally inefficient. Collectives, therefore, emerged to facilitate the clearance of rights between creators and users. Even with the facilitation of collectives in the process, clearing rights remains an inherently difficult and convoluted process. This is especially so in the age of the Internet where clearing rights for multimedia products presents new unprecedented challenges. As a result of an infelicitous legal evolution and the multiplication of collectives, fragmentation of copyright, and the way in which it is usedc and enforced, has occurred. This paper addresses the problems associated with fragmentation and offers solutions to "defrag" the collective management of copyright in Canada.



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