The good folks at the Lawyers Weekly have published a short commentary of mine on the imminent introduction into Canadian copyright law of a parody and satire defence: Parody defence not far far away. The opening paragraphs of the piece:
Vladimir Nabokov wrote that “satire is a lesson, parody is a game.”
When Bill C-11 (The Copyright Modernization Act) is finally passed and proclaimed in force, Canadians may want to bear that adage in mind, as our copyright law is about to enjoy an injection of comedy.
Section 29 of the Copyright Act will be modified to include both “parody” and “satire” as categories of “fair dealing.” The change will allow users, so long as their use is “fair,” to incorporate copyrighted materials into new activities and works without the need to obtain permission from or pay royalties to the owners of those materials — but only so long as the new activity or work constitutes “parody” or “satire.” Therein lies the seed for what will be many years of speculation and debate as Canadian lawyers and potential litigants struggle with the contours of humour.