Copyright / Fair Dealing

February 22, 2012

DOC submits its proposal for a documentary exemption to the Legislative Committee studying Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act. The purpose is to exempt documentary filmmakers from being unduly restricted by TPMs (technical protection measures, or digital locks). DOC is delighted to have received the support of the International Documentary Association (IDA) on this front. IDA has had to contend with similar measures within the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and has successfully negotiated a documentary exemption in the U.S.

To read DOC's submission, click here.
To read IDA's letter of support, click here.


October 19, 2011

DOC publishes The Search for Fair Dealing: Report on the DOC Road Show. The report details the results from the 2010/2011 Road Show and analyzes the impact of DOC's Fair Dealing Guidelines.

To download the report, click here.


February 17, 2011

DOC finalizes its position on Bill C-32 and presents a brief to the Legislative Committee. Read the brief here.


February 7, 2011

DOC's National Fair Dealing Roadshow announces upcoming Halifax and Ottawa panels

DOC is pleased to announce upcoming Fair Dealing panels in Halifax on February 12th and in Ottawa on February 16th. For full panel details and information about the events:

click here for Halifax.

click here for Ottawa.


January 24, 2011

DOC's Fair Dealing Roadshow announces its Toronto panel

On Thursday January 27th DOC National's Fair Dealing Roadshow will make its Toronto stop at Ryerson University with panelists Barry Avrich, Robin Smith, Debbie Schween, and Bob Tarantino.For full event details and panelist biographies click here.


January 20, 2011

Fair Dealing Hits the Road!

DOC is pleased to announce the Fair Dealing Roadshow's upcoming scheduled stops! Fast-approaching is Toronto on Thursday, January 27th at Ryerson University. Below are the event and panel details:

Date: Thursday, January 27th 2011
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Location: Ryerson University - Eaton Theatre - 80 Gould Street, Rogers Communication Centre, Room 204

The panel discussion moderated by DOC's Executive Director Lisa Fitzgibbons will include Debbie Schween, APTN, Legal Affairs; Robin Smith, KinoSmith, CEO; and Bob Tarantino, Heenan Blaikie, Lawyer.

To read the press release (including following Roadshow locations) click here.


June 2, 2010

DOC issues a press release in response to the proposed amendments to Canada's Copyright Act. To read the press release, please click here.


May 14, 2010

DOC issues a press release for its guidelines to Fair Dealing and Copyright. To read the press release, please click here.


May 7, 2010

DOC publishes the long-awaited Fair Dealing and Copyright: Guidelines for Documentary Filmmakers which is distributed at the Doc Summit as part of Hot Docs. As part of the Summit, CIPPIC’s Executive Director, David Fewer, and Brett Gaylor, director of RIP: A Remix Manifesto give a presentation on How Far is Fair? The release is timely as a copyright bill is expected in the next few weeks. Click here for the guidelines.


March 25, 2010

DOC signs on to the Fair is Fair campaign and all members are encouraged to write to their MP on this matter. Click here for more information.


March 24, 2010

Last week, NDP MP Charlie Angus introduced two proposals touching on Copyright and Fair Dealing. For more information, click here.


December 21, 2009

DOC reacts to trade negotiations that would impact copyright legislation and adversely affect documentary filmmakers. More here.


December 10, 2009

The International Copyright Balance and Documentary Film Project of American University, is releasing a groundbreaking report and film on the experiences of South African documentary filmmakers with copyright clearance obligations. The report and film, sponsored by the Ford Foundation, will be simultaneously released at a film screening and workshops with filmmakers December 10-12, 2009, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and on the web at


September 11, 2009

DOC files its submission regarding copyright consultations taking place nationwide.  To read DOC's submission, please click here.


2009 Copyright Reform Consultations

Click here to read a transcript of Merit Jensen-Carr's discussion at the copyright roundtable and public hearing in Winnipeg

Tracking the Copyright Consultation Roundtables: Fair Dealing Emerges As Top Issue.  Please Click Here.

Dear DOC Members,

Heritage Canada and Industry Canada are holding public consultations across Canada about how to change copyright for the benefit of all Canadians. Documentary filmmakers are in an unique position for these consultations: we are both copyright owners for our own work and copyright users in that we need to access visual and audio media owned by others to tell our stories.

One of the ways that documentary filmmakers can use copyrighted work is through “Fair Dealing.” The problem with Fair Dealing is that very few cases have ever gone to court and without a body of jurisprudence to define how Fair Dealing should be applied to documentary films, the legal teams for E&O insurers, broadcasters and lawyers representing our members often err on the side of caution, and a “culture of clearance” has developed.

In the last few years, DOC has been working with the lawyers from University of Ottawa to create a legal framework for the use of Fair Dealing as it relates to documentary films.

We encourage all members to support our position by answering the 5 questions on the copyright consultation website as they apply to the documentaries you are creating or by attending the last townhall being scheduled in Toronto on August 27th. (A Montreal town was held in July, to view it, please go here.)

Speaking points about Fair Dealing as it applies to documentaries have been drafted for you to use in your replies which you will find enclosed.

DOC was recently invited to participate at a roundtable consultation in Winnipeg and we thank board member Merit Jensen-Carr for presenting our position on our behalf. Finally, DOC will be submitting a written position before the end of the consultations, on September 13.

Heritage Canada and Industry Canada are actively listening on this issue, and this is our opportunity to have our voices heard as new copyright legislation is being drafted.

Please take a moment to present your views on Fair Dealing.

Thank you.

Tina Hahn
National Co-Chair
Chair, Copyright Committee


Please click here to read more about the consultations, and access the talking points.


Madame, Monsieur,

Patrimoine canadien et Industrie Canada mènent des consultations à l'échelle nationale sur la manière de moderniser le droit d'auteur à l'avantage de tous les Canadiens. Les documentaristes occupent une situation privilégiée pour cette consultation : nous sommes à la fois les titulaires des droits d'auteur de nos propres œuvres et des utilisateurs de droits d'auteur en ce que nous devons avoir accès aux médias visuels et audio détenus par d'autres afin de pouvoir présenter nos récits.

L’« utilisation équitable » constitue l’une des façons dont les documentaristes peuvent utiliser les œuvres protégées par le droit d'auteur. La difficulté que soulève l'utilisation équitable est que très peu d'affaires ont été instruites par les tribunaux en l'absence de jurisprudence pour définir la manière d'appliquer l'utilisation équitable aux documentaires. Les avocats des sociétés d'assurance erreurs et omission, les radiodiffuseurs et les avocats qui représentent nos membres pèchent souvent par excès de prudence et une « culture d'obtention des droits » a vu le jour.

Au cours des dernières années, DOC a collaboré avec les avocats de l'Université d'Ottawa pour élaborer un cadre juridique pour l'utilisation équitable en lien avec les documentaires.

Nous incitons tous les membres à appuyer notre position en répondant aux cinq questions sur le site Web des consultations sur le droit d'auteur en ce qu'elles s'appliquent aux documentaires que vous créez ou en participant à la dernière assemblée publique prévue pour le 27 août prochain à Toronto. (Une assemblée publique a eu lieu à Montréal; pour la visionner, veuillez cliquer ici.)

Nous avons élaboré pour vous des points à faire valoir à propos de l'utilisation équitable en relation avec les documentaires. Vous êtes invités à les utiliser dans vos réponses.

DOC a récemment été invitée à participer à une consultation sous forme de table ronde à Winnipeg et nous remercions Merit Jensen-Carr, membre du conseil d’administration, pour avoir présenté notre position. Enfin, DOC présentera une position écrite avant la fin des consultations, le 13 septembre 2009.

Patrimoine canadien et Industrie Canada font preuve d'une écoute active sur le sujet et voilà pour nous l'occasion de faire entendre notre voix dans le cadre de la rédaction d'une nouvelle loi sur le droit d'auteur.

Veuillez prendre le temps de présenter votre point de vue sur l'utilisation équitable.

Je vous remercie de votre collaboration.

Tina Hahn
Coprésidente nationale
et présidente, Comité sur le droit d'auteur

Cliquant ici

White Paper

A White Paper on Behalf of the Documentary Organization of Canada by Howard Knopf. Read more here.


Censorship Survey

Kirwan Cox presents findings on Copyright Survey. Click here.

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