Could Googling Become Illegal In Canada?

There was an interesting article by Jack Kapica of the Globe & Mail yesterday which discusses the possibility of Internet search and archiving being an illegal activity which infringes against an ammendment to the Canadian Copyright Act (Bill C-60).

Section 40.3 (1) of the bill states that “the owner of copyright in a work or other subject-matter is not entitled to any remedy other than an injunction against a provider of information location tools who infringes that copyright by making or caching a reproduction of the work or other subject matter.”

That section, he says, implies that “information location tools” would infringe copyright if they archive any material that is copyright, not just material that is itself infringing.

The bill defines information location tools as “any instrument through which one can locate information that is available by means of the Internet or any other digital network.”

So in other words, Google or other search engines or archive services (e.g., the Internet Archive Wayback Machine) may be in infringement of copyright law due to the way they cache and archive copyrighted material. However, the author also notes that as Bill C60 is at the first stage of reading in parliament there is time to “fix” or remove the provision.

However, in today’s related news, it looks like the WayBack Machine, a service of the non-profit Internet Archive is being sued under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

It’s an amazing time to be alive as we are really experiencing a unique time in history as we have been given a wonderful, liberating tool for sharing information across cultures and geographic boundaries, but at the same time, witnessing the immense greed of certain corporate entities as they influence our legislative bodies.