ARCHIVED — Format Shifting
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For people who want to make a copy of a book, newspaper, periodical, photograph or videocassette to use on another device
The purpose of this information sheet is to give general introductory information about current copyright law and to explain what would change under the proposed amendments. If you need to know how the law applies to a particular situation, please seek advice from a lawyer.
- The Copyright Act does not specifically allow you to make a copy of a book, newspaper, periodical, photograph or videocassette in order to enjoy it on another device.
What the proposed format shifting provision would allow
- What could be copied? — A book, newspaper, periodical, photograph or videocassette that you have accessed legally onto devices you own and onto media to use with these devices.
- How many copies could be made? — One copy for each device you own, such as your computer, hand-held device and cellular phone, whether the copy is made directly onto the device or onto a medium such as a DVD or removable memory card that is used with such a device.
- In which format? — Any format, such as ".jpeg" and "..pdf". In fact, you could alter the format of the file if necessary to copy it onto another device.
- Where could you enjoy your copy? — Anywhere, as long as it is for private purposes.
- Who could use the copy? — Only you can use the copies you make. Members of your family or friends could enjoy them with you, but you could not give away any of the copies. If you were to give away or sell the original material, all the copies you made from that original would have to be destroyed.
- You could not make a copy of material you have borrowed or rented.
- With respect to audiovisual material such as films, the format-shifting provision would apply only to videocassettes and would not allow you to make copies of material stored on other media, such as DVDs.
- The copies you make could not be sold, distributed, performed in public or otherwise communicated to the public. They would have to remain under the care and control of the person making the copy.
- You could not circumvent or hack a technological measure (digital lock) to make a copy.
- If you acquired the original material in digital form (e.g., a digital picture or digital book) from an online source and entered into a contract that limits the way you can copy it (such as the number of copies you can make regardless of the number of devices you own), you would have to honour the terms of that contract.
- You could not copy something that is already an infringing copy (e.g., pirated or hacked).
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