This article examines user-generated content (“UGC”) and the significance of re-inventions in the context of an increasingly user-centric internet environment and an information sharing society. It will explain the need to provide a statutory limitation in the form of an exception or exemption for socially beneficial UGC on the exclusive rights under copyright law. This will also have the effect of protecting the internet intermediary that hosts and shares UGC. Nascent but abortive attempts have been made by Canada to introduce just such a provision into her copyright legislation, while some principles and rules have also emerged from various interest groups and stakeholders in the attempt of providing a balanced approach towards UGC under the larger scheme of copyright objectives. Customary internet usages and norms relating to UGC will also be examined. These will be evaluated with a view to extracting useful guidelines to construct the parameters of a fair statutory limitation proposed for the legal reform of copyright law.
Warren B. Chik, Paying it Forward: The Case for a Specific Statutory Limitation on Exclusive Rights for User-Generated Content Under Copyright Law, 11 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 240 (2011)