Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Canadian Copyright Code, in Verse

U.S. Copyright Code | U.S. Patent Code | U.S. Trademark Code | U.S. Armed Forces Code

These verses contain
The copyright code
Of Canada written
Down as an ode

If you think you'll learn
Any useful advice
From reading these verses,
You ought to think twice

As some of you know
I've done this before
For the U. S. of A.
If you're keeping score

So what is the difference
Between these two codes?
You might think not much
But actually, loads

Canada's Board
Posts every rule
In the "Canada Gazette"
Which I think is cool

That way you know when
A law has been altered,
A process about which
The U.S. has faltered

Infringement in Canada
Depends on the context
Whether for profit
And what was the pretext

And whether made only
For personal use,
Which leads to less legal
And criminal abuse

It also writes here
In language courageous
That judges can improvise
When fines are outrageous

"Fair Dealing" in Canada's
A bit more constrained
Than U. S. "Fair Use"
As will be explained

In ranking the two
As to which I like more
I think that Canadian
Code gets top score

1

This section reports,
As a matter of fact,
That you can call this
"The Copyright Act"

2

It starts with a glossary
Of some terms within
Sensibly put where
Discussion begins

2.1

A work compilation
Of two or more kinds
Is considered the type
Most prominently defined

2.11

This little section
Clarifies the word
"Maker" in all of
The places it's heard

2.2

"Publication"'s printing
Or copying, not display
Or performance, which doesn't
Mean so doing's ok

Also note: works
Performed unauthorized,
Aren't "performed"
As far as the law applies

2.3

An author who reads from
A book on the radio
Isn't "performing"
Or letting others do so

2.4

Even more specs about
What means "perform"
And whether you're liable
For providing platform

2.5

"Renting" out media
Is only when gain
Of doing so outweighs
All of the pain

2.6

"Exclusive distributor"
Isn't defined
Possible definitions
Are still kept in mind

2.7

If you've got exclusive
License, then smirk -
Even the creator
Can't use his own work

Part I

3

Here it's decided
What copying means:
Producing or copying
By any machine,

Publishing, converting
From audio to text,
Or text into audio,
As well as what's next:

Deriving from one thing
And making another,
Filming, broadcasting,
Exhibiting (other

Than maps, or for selling),
Renting out audio,
Copying software,
Except when designed so

5

Gloriously obscure
Paragraphs detail
When copyright will
Succeed or will fail

Citizens or companies
Joined by the Berne
Convention, gain all
Protection they've earned

Or, failing that,
If published in quantity
So as, for the public,
Their interest to satisfy

Or whenever a relevant
Minister notes
In the "Canada Gazette"
(And please heed the quotes)

That a certain country
Respects Canada's
Copyrights, then Big C
Will do as those guys does

6

Copyright lasts
Until you have died,
And then fifty years
After that, beside

6.1

For unknown authors
It's still fifty years,
Thought why even one is
Something quite queer

6.2

For multiple authors,
It works as expected -
All of their rights
Aren't neglected

7

Something about
Works that were published
I think that this section
Could be better Englished

9

This just repeats
What verse 6.2 wrote
Also, section 8 was
Repealed, do take note

10

This section covers
Companies and pics
In terms of how shareholders
Enter the mix

11.1

Apparently, some kinds
Of movies are not so
Dramatic, and this verse
Takes pains to say so

12

Government works, or
Works by the "Crown",
Are also protected
Which might make you frown

13

Unless paid for work
In dollars or yen,
The copyright owner's
The one with the pen

14

Sec six said fifty years,
This sec says half,
I'm now so confused that
I just have to laugh

14.1

Regardless of who owns
A work's copyright,
The author retains
A few moral rights

Including integrity
And work attribution
To protect the author's
Name and reputation

Though no one can license
Moral rights to art
They still can be waived
In whole or in part

14.2

Moral rights exist for
As long as copyright -
Long after the author's gone
"Unto that good night"

Part II

15

Performers own rights
To all of their sounds
Even if illegal
Copies abound

16

But they still can enter
Licensing deals
To broadcast their music
Whenever they feels

17

So if they do license
Their work to a movie
They give up these rights;
Isn't that groovy?

18

Record-maker's rights
Always include free:
To publish, rent, or repro-
Duce (but not lewdly)

19

This little section
Says moneys collected
For broadcasts are split
After they are inspected

Half to the publisher and
Half to the artist
It doesn't matter which of
The two is the smartest

20

Remember that all rights
Written herein
Only apply to a
Canadian

21

Broadcasters only
Own their own signal
Regardless of whether it's
Analog or dig'tal

22

If a country respects
The rights of Canadians,
Canada will reciprocate
For that country's citizens

23

Protection for broadcast
And also performance
Is fifty years after
Fixing in permanence

24

Performers own concerts,
Makers own records,
Broadcasters claim what
They air as their rewards

25

All of it's subject
To licensing rules -
This section's repeated
From earlier, fools

26

How can performers
Own a "performance"
If it's not given
Some kind of permanence?

Strangely enough
Performers do own them,
Whether recorded
On vinyl or platinum

Part III

27

Don't go infringing
On these copyrights
Doing so won't be
Considered polite

Sometimes you may get
Away with intention
Sometimes you won't,
So please pay attention

Even possessing
A copying doodad
May cause you trouble
Which would be too bad

27.1

Copyright law now
Tackles exclusive
Distribution. Why?
The answer's elusive

Why would "copyrights"
Deal with the import
Of legally made copies
Regardless of what sort,

Just to enforce some
Licensing deal?
Something about this
Is not right, I feel

Anyhow, only books,
(I guess I should mention)
Are covered by laws written
Here in this section

28.1

*Scritch* *scratch* and *hmmm*
This section explains
That moral rights are moral
Rights, as they're named

28.2

"Integrity" of works
Is only violated
If linked to a product,
Changed, or mutilated

Changing it's venue or
Hanging it elsewhere,
Is not problematic if
Handled with good care

29

Just when you thought
All copying's wrong
Sections that detail
Exemptions come along

Copying for research
Or private study
Is not called infringement
So cool it there, buddy

29.1

Copying for criticism's
Also fair game
When mentioning the source
And the artist's name

29.2

Same goes for journalism
It's within the line
Making fun of a product
On CBC is fine

29.3

Actions that follow
In sections remaining
Are ok if not done
For monetary gaining

29.4

Teachers can copy
For testing or training,
If copies from Loblaw's
Are no longer remaining

29.5

Student productions
Of music or plays
Are also permitted
And nobody pays

29.6

Teachers can also
Record all the news
And for up to one year
In class may reuse

After the year's up
They must destroy it
Or pay a royalty
To still enjoy it

29.7

Teachers can record for
Up to thirty days
While deciding whether
Performing it pays

28.8

All these activities
Are only permitted
When copied from sources
Lawfully transmitted

29.9

Schools that make copies
Must keep proper count
Of copies they make
To make an account

30

This section describes
The school newsletter
(From what I could gather,
Maybe you could do better)

Limiting quoting from
Authors, it appears,
To two passages only
Every five years

It doesn't define what
Is meant by a "passage" -
A paragraph or two
Seems like the message

But also, why bother?
Is not really clear
When terms of "fair dealing"
Should also work here

30.1

Libraries copy
For various reasons
If originals needed
Are no longer in season

30.2

Libraries also
Can copy, as service,
For those that may do so -
They need not be nervous

30.21

"Archives" may also
Backup their stuff
Unless the rights holder
Thinks one is enough

30.3

Warnings hung next to
Copy machines,
Exempt from infringement
Public places, it seems

30.4

The National Archives
Can copy recordings
After broadcasting
For saving and sorting

30.6

You not only can copy
For backups your software
But also adapt it
To use on your hardware

30.7

If you capture something
While filming a movie
When not done deliberately
You don't have to worry

30.8

You can copy ephemerally
When broadcasting live,
And newsworthy works
May sometimes survive

30.9

Ephemeral copies
May also be made
When broadcasting works
For which you have paid

31

Similarly, signals
Can be retransmitted
By those who are licensed
And when it's permitted

32

If someone complains
Pay them no mind
When copying for
The deaf or the blind

32.1

Governments pass
Many strange Acts
'Bout fishes and freeways
Tarmacs and tax

Canadian ones
Aren't immune
They pass 'em all year round
July until June

For some of these Acts
Listed herein
Copying objects
Isn't a sin

32.2

This section is full
Of laws miscellaneous
About situations
Sometimes spontaneous

An author can reuse
His studies and molds
Even if copyright
He no longer holds

Anyone can draw
Or take photographs
Of buildings or permanent
Statues, for laughs

You can also report
About lectures given,
Read aloud books
In order to enliven

Report on the nature
Of political speeches
Regardless of whether
In town halls or beaches

Performers at any
Agricultural events
Can sing any song
Present or past tense

And churches and charities
And most organizations
Are pretty much protected
From most litigation

32.3

All of these acts
Considered fair dealing
Are free for the doer
And in no way stealing

32.4

There's too many "later of"s
And "notwithstandings"
Written in this section
For my understanding

32.5

Also in this one,
Too bad, I should tell
That up until now
They were doing quite well

33

All of these last three
Sections are lawses
'Bout countries with treaties
And grandfather clauses

Part IV

34

In any real cases
Of copyright fooling
The owner can take you
To court for a ruling

34.1

Copyright ownership,
When in confusion,
Is whoever's name
Appears in profusion

35

The fine for infringement
Is only the damage
And any more profits
Defendant has managed (but see 42)

36

The copyright owner
Must do all the suing
When bothered by something
Some yokel is doing

37

Any court, whether
Provincial or federal,
Has jurisdiction
For all cases, general

38

Equipment that's used for
Copy infringing
May soon be relieved
Or may get a singeing

38.1

Instead of determining
How much was lost
The owner can ask for
Statutory cost

For willful infringing,
Up to 20k
And no less than five hundred
Dollars to pay

If not done deliberately
Penalty may be
Only two hundred
Dollars in fee

In all the above
If these sums are silly
The court can determine
A fine willy-nilly

38.2

Those who may archive,
But not in this case,
Only pay royalties
Just to save face

39

You cannot collect
Any remedy
Unless you have registered
Your copyright, you see

39.1

Otherwise, injunction
Is all the respect
A courtroom will grant you
Is what I expect

40

For infringing buildings,
Even in construction,
You only get damages
And can't seek destruction

41

You've only got three years
To file your suit
After which, complaining
Is basically moot

42

Criminal damages
Are more of a downer
Than what you will pay to
The copyright owner

For summary offenses
You may have to pay
A harsh fine of up to
Twenty-five k

But if you're indicted
(Thou it doesn't say how)
The fine is a million
Which is just ... wow!

By the way, to be charged
There's limited time
It must be within
Two years of the crime

And also I might just
Remember to mention
Along with the fine
Is six months in prison

43

Performing for profit
Without permission
Nets you a small fine
And possibly prison

And changing the content
Or name of a play
Is twice as expensive
So could ruin your day

44

Don't bring to Canada
Infringing stuff
What they have now is
More than enough

44.1

Customs are able to
Check at the border
If they have a reason
Or given an order

44.2

Again with the books?
Dear readers, I must
Tell you I don't think
These sections are just

Giving protection
For distribution
Which violates no copyright
Is not contribution

To benefit the public,
So why have these laws?
The government's throat is
In business' jaws

44.3

I'm not sure I got this
But as it appears
Two exclusive distributors
Shouldn't have fears

Of suing each other,
Though how this could be
Doesn't make very much
Sense unto me

44.4

This section continues,
As if it were wise,
And says: to recordings
All this applies

45

Oh whew, thank goodness
For personal use
And other exceptions
They drop this abuse

Part V

46

Copyright workers
Have to find space
To sit in the Patent
Office's place

47

"The Commissioner or Patents"
Sounds very officious
And shouldn't be filled by
Someone suspicious

The Commissioner of Patents
Does a few things
Like taking this Act
Under his wings

48

A Copyright Registrar
Also exists
Or so this here section
Plainly insists

49

Either the Registrar,
Commissioner, or Office
Signs the certificates
As soon as they notice

50

The Copyright Registrar
Also must do
Whatever the Commissioner
Orders them to

52

The CoP also
Generally directs
The Copyright Office
In all its aspects

53

Registering copyrights
Will serve you quite well,
Certificates are evidence
As any court would tell

54

The copyright office
Keeps all the records
Of copyrights registered
On papers and postcards

55

The owner can register
Copyright there,
As can anyone
Who pretends to care

56

Not only works, but
Things insubstantial,
Like a performance
For profit financial

56.1

Fake registration is
Not a good move
You'll have to pay up
When damage is proved

57

Registering's finished
When all fees are paid
But even then sometimes
Corrections are made

58

All registrations
Are now international,
That's not an accident
It's quite intentional

59

The Governor Council
Can charge extra dimes
Or change the fee schedule
To after tea-times

Part VI

60

Eighty years ago
People had rights;
Read this if this fact
Keeps you up nights

61

Errors are made -
So the world goes,
They can be corrected
As everyone knows

62

The Governor Council
Makes regulations
Whenever he's suffering
Intoxication

64

Items with designs
Integral to function
Are generally copyable
Without compunction

64.1

You can draw these designs,
Or add to these items
Levers, or zippers,
Or handles to right 'em

64.2

You probably should know
The last two sections
Don't apply to circuits
On further inspection

Part VII

66

A Copyright Board
Is used to apply
To behinds of those
Who infringe and then lie

Just kidding, it's called that
'Cause all of its members
Must sit still for so long
Like pieces of lumber

66.1

The board has a chairman
And vice-chairman, too
Who do all those things
That chairmen must do

66.2

For time that they spend
They will get paid a lot -
Assuming "a lot" means
Something it's not

66.3

For conflicts of interest
They don't turn their cheeks:
The conflict is limited
To seventeen weeks

66.4

The Board gives a welcome
That's open and broad
For workers and specialists
To come on aboard

66.5

Board members finish
All jobs they were tasked,
Majority vote decides
All questions asked

66.51

Where difficult answers
Might need a revision
The members may reach an
Interim decision

66.52

Royalty decisions
Might sometimes be changed
If situation warrants
And someone gets blamed

66.6

After the Board makes
Any decision
They head to a bar with
Unfailing precision

66.7

Stuff they decide
Has force of the courts
For matters related to
Copyrights, all sorts

66.71

The Board can print up
Decisions it's written
And stick them on houses,
Billboards, and kittens

66.8

The members make studies
Whenever they're told -
They have to put all of
Their Quake games on hold

66.9

They do all these things
And write them all down
To give to the Minister
When summer comes round

66.91

The Governor Council
Can chastise the Board -
Five years of hard work
And that's the reward?

67

Whoever keeps track of
Performance rights
Must answer all questions
Without any fights

67.1

This body reports on
Tariffs and such,
And when they are missing
Decides on how much

68

The Copyright Board is
Where tariffs are set
And published forthrightly
In the Canada Gazette

68.1

From what I can tell
This section's advising
On tariffs on income
From advertising

68.2

Tariffs and royalties ...
I'm starting to twitch
It seems I've forgotten now
Which one is which

69

When people perform
Concerts outside
People with radios
Don't have to hide

Only broadcasters
Pay for transmission
And must ensure they have
Proper permission

70.1

These sections apply
To license collectives
Who own all the media,
From public perspective

70.11

Collectives must answer
All licensing questions
But don't need to take any
Public suggestions

70.12

Collectives will sometimes
Discuss with the Board
Or public about all
The works that they hoard

70.13

Collectives must file
Before it is Spring
Licenses they charge
For everything

70.14

There's nothing to see
Inside of this section
Just references and numbers
In one small collection

70.15

The Board can make changes
And then certify
The tariffs as valid,
And then they apply

70.16

The Board then makes public
All of these fees
While those who must pay them
Collectively wheeze

70.17

For anyone willing
To pay the set fee,
From any form of
Litigation is free

70.18

You must pay the fees
Even if they're proposed
So long as the fee infor-
Mation's disclosed

70.19

Private agreements
Trump any tariff
And keep far away
The copyright sheriff

70.191

In this sort of case
The tariff is mute
And you'll have no fear of
A copyright suit

70.2

If you are stuck haggling
The licensing feeses
The Board may decide for
Whomever it pleases

70.3

But if, while they're thinking,
Agreement is reached,
The Board will pretend
It was never beseeched

70.4

Any agreement is
Enacted both ways:
Who can use what rights
And which party pays

70.5

Agreements are filed
And after submission
Reviewed by Commissioner
Of Competition

If not satisfied,
He gives it back to
The Board, and asks them
To make a review

70.6

The Board then reviews
And might change some clauses
Telling the parties the
Whys and Becauses

71

I don't understand -
I'm not trying to be mean -
But this section repeats
Seventy-thirteen

72

The Board takes objections
To its proposed fees
So file a complaint
If you are displeased

73

After the fees
Have all been approved,
Chance for objection
Has been removed

74

Small retransmission
Systems get preference
On all of the fees
Previously referenced

75

In case it's not obvious
Collectives may go
Out to collect all the
Fees that you owe

76

If you are an artist
You don't have to ask;
Your friendly collective
Will take up the task

77

If you tried to locate
A copyright owner
And couldn't find him,
It's not such a downer

Whichever collective
To whom he'd belong
Can give you a license
For movie or song

78

The Board may decide,
When all's in dispute,
A sum, unless someone
In court filed suit

Until it's decided,
The Board may prevent
Use of the items
In any event

Part VIII

79

The next sections here,
Numbering nine,
Levies for private
Copying define

Which means that they'd rather
Tax blank CDs,
And blank tapes indis-
Criminately

Rather than chase every
Tom, Dick, and Harry
Personally copying on
Stereos they carry

80

Copying for personal
Use in permitted
And no form of payment
Need be remitted

81

Instead they get taxes
On every blank media
A practice which some folks
Consider much seedier

(Little of it gets to
The artist themselves
Most of it sits on the
Collective's shelves)

82

Makers of audio
Recording devices
Must pay collectives
A fixed set of prices

83

Collectives make claims for
What artists should get
According to sums
In the Canada Gazette

84

Whoever collects all
The fees then gives out
The sums to collectives
Without any doubt

(But note that the gravy train
Ends over here;
How money gets to the
Artists ain't clear)

85

The Minister also
Sometimes agrees
To pass on to foreigners
Similar fees

86

Retailers selling
Recording devices
To deaf or to blind people
Don't pay these prices

87

The Governor Council
Fixes these laws
Ensuring that everyone
Follows each clause

88

Those device makers
Who fail to pay fees
Could get in trouble
Up to their knees

Part IX

89

No one can make
A copyright claim
Except as the laws in
This document frame

90

Nothing herein
Has set any fees
Or specified values
For any royalties

91

The Governor Council
Works to ensure
That all international
Laws are secure

92

They re-checked this Act
For any type of flaw
After they passed it
And it became law


That's all she wrote
Now I can rest
And yes, this material
Will be on the test

Yehuda

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
Attribution should include a live link to this blog post, whenever possible; text link otherwise. License for commercial usage also available from the owner.

2 comments:

david said...

Great use of iambic pentameter. Exposition and phrasing are excellent. Not that I know what any of that means (but its all I remember from high school poetry). That being said, I do like it.

Now, the trick is geting it cited in a case!

Yehuda said...

david: heh. Not iambic pentameter, but thanks!

Yehuda