[Cc-ca] Concerns: Copyright Act s. 57 and s. 14

Howard Knopf Howard.Knopf at macerajarzyna.com
Tue Jul 20 17:03:36 EDT 2004

In my chapter, I discuss a point raised by Richard Gold that deals with
s. 57 and issues involving the rights of licensees against subsequent
third party purchasers of copyright.  This is admittedly in the context
of security interests and bankruptcy but it may be that Andy has raised
a valid issue here....
In the chapter, I said the following and I've attached a PDF of  a
couple of pages for everyone's convenience  - which cites Richard's
He seems to suggest in a footnote that if s.  57 of the Copyright Act
protected licensees against assignees of copyright title there would be
a "clear conflict" between federal and provincial legislation.   Clearly
, this is a potentially important point that merits further discussion. 
Gold notes that the 1988 U.K. legislation specifically addresses the
issue of protection of the equitable interests of licensees in s.  90(4)
which provides: 
  (4) A licence granted by a copyright owner is binding on every
successor in title to his interest in the copyright, except a purchaser
in good faith for valuable consideration and without notice (actual or
constructive) of the licence or a person deriving title from such a
purchaser; and references in this Part to doing anything with, or
without, the licence of the copyright owner shall be construed

Sorry I don't have more time now to consider this, but hopefully these
references will save others' time......
Howard P. Knopf
Professor of Law,
John Marhsall Law School,
Chicago, Illinois
Of Counsel, 
Macera & Jarzyna/Moffat & Co.
Suite 1200
427 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Canada
K1R 7Y2
Phone: 613-238-8173
Fax: 613-235-2508
E-mail: howard.knopf at macerajarzyna.com 
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>>> Carys Craig/osgoode <CCraig at osgoode.yorku.ca> 19-Jul-04 5:40:28 pm

Hello all,

These are both good points and worth considering, but I'm not
that they present problems for the CC license. Both section 14(1) and
section 57(3) apply only to assignments of copyright and 'grants of
interest' in the copyright. While an exclusive license would constitute
"grant of an interest in a copyright" as per s. 13(7), I believe it's
generally agreed that non-exclusive licenses, and arguably even sole
licenses, do not amount to the grant of an interest in the copyright
se, but merely authorization or consent allowing the licensee to do
otherwise infringing acts in relation to the work. The CC license is
described as non-exclusive, and the licensor apparently retains the
to license the work to other parties; as I understand it, this does
amount to "a license granting an interest".  As such, I don't think
these provisions threaten to restrict or undermine the terms of the


ps. Apologies, Howard, if there's something from your chapter that I'm
missing -- 57(3) has always bothered me, so I'll be checking your book
the library tomorrow!

Carys Craig
Assistant Professor
Osgoode Hall Law School
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3
416 736 5189
ccraig at osgoode.yorku.ca 

                      "Kaplan-Myrth, Andy"                             
                      <akaplanmyrth at ogilvyr        To:      
<cc-ca at lists.ibiblio.org>                                            
                      enault.com>                  cc:                 
                      Sent by:                     Subject:  [Cc-ca]
Concerns: Copyright Act s. 57 and s. 14                               
                      cc-ca-bounces at lists.i                            
                      19/07/2004 09:41 AM                              

Hi all,

There are two concerns with the draft licence that I'd like to raise.

s. 14(1) of the Act provides that any assignments or grants of
in a copyrighted work is inoperative beyond 25 years after the death
the author. This must include a CC licence. You can't get around this
including some sort of waiver in the licence, because the Act provides
that, "notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary", interests
to the estate of the author. This is only true where the author is the
first copyright owner, but that will almost always be the case for CC
works. Maybe this isn't a fundamental concern, but it might be worth
pointing out somewhere (since people don't generally know about this
provision) that the licence will not be in effect for the duration of
the applicable copyright (as you state in CCC s. 3), but rather for 25
years past the death of the author-owner.

s. 57(3) provides that "any licence granting an interest in a
... shall be adjudged void against any subsequent ... licensee for
valuable consideration without actual notice, unless the prior ...
licence is registered ... before the registering of the instrument
which the subsequent ... licensee claims". By my reading (please
me if I'm wrong!), this means that a CC licensor can revoke the CC
licence by simply granting another licence. The fact that the prior
licence said it was perpetual may not stand up against the operation
s. 57 given the presence of a subsequent licence. There may be caselaw
on that point -- unregistered prior assignment versus subsequent
assignment granting rights before expiration of the prior assignment.

Are there any other provisions lurking in the Copyright Act that might
cause a CC licence to terminate early?

Andy Kaplan-Myrth
Student at Law, Ogilvy Renault
Law Student, University of Ottawa
akaplanmyrth at ogilvyrenault.com 


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