Social media and user-generated content

Nicolas Suzor
<[email protected]>
QUT School of Law
ARC Centre of Excellence for
Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI).
CC BY-SA 4.0

UGC - or 'amateur' work

'Tolerated use'

'Tolerated use'

'Tolerated use'

The Canadian exception (s 29.21)

  1. Create, or authorise an intermediary to distribute, a new work
  2. using published (non-infringing) source material;
  3. for non-commercial purposes;
  4. with attribution;
  5. where there is no "substantial adverse effect, financial or otherwise, on the exploitation ... of the existing work ... or on an existing or potential market for it".

What does non-commercial mean?

UGC / social media is monetised

UGC / social media is monetised

Is non-commercial the best distinction?

The line between commercial / non-commercial is porous

The line between commercial / non-commercial is porous

Harm-based vs restitutive views of copyright

Harm-based vs restitutive views of copyright

where there is no "substantial adverse effect, financial or otherwise, on the exploitation ... of the existing work ... or on an existing or potential market for it, including that the new work or other subject matter is not a substitute for the existing one".
"solely for non-commercial purposes"

A market solution?

The answer to the machine is in the machine?

Culture is interdependence, and requiring each act of deliberate dependency to render an accounting would destroy the synergy on which cultural life rests. Even if the accounting were done painlessly — by a magic computer that somehow could costlessly determine who contributed what and could prepare a continuously up-to-date, self-executing list of debits and credits — part of our self-concept as a people depends upon our having a common heritage. Parceling out that heritage to only those willing and able to pay destroys part of its value. Wendy Gordon, On Owning Information (1992)

What should copyright protect?

Isn't all content user generated?

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