Crowdsourced Agenda for Free Expression




Copyright and related rights are a set of exclusive rights over creative works, including the right to copy a work, a performance or a sound recording.

Copyright holder


An individual or an organization that is the owner of the rights pertaining to works.

Copyright infringement


Violating copyright terms through unauthorized use of a work protected under copyright.

Digital locks


Digital locks are technological barriers placed on copyrighted digital content--such as passwords or encryption--to prevent users from accessing or copying content without permission. See also “DRM”.



Digital Millennium Copyright Act: primary piece of digital copyright legislation in the United States. Most known for two controversial aspects: “anti-circumvention” provisions, which criminalize certain ways of accessing digital copyrighted content; and “safe harbour” provisions, which grant immunity from financial liability to online service providers, under certain conditions, if their users or subscribers are found to have infringed copyright. See also “Notice-and- takedown” and “Safe harbour”.



“Digital rights management” refers to the kinds of technologies that control what a user can or cannot do with digital content and devices after they have already bought them, usually for anti-piracy purposes but sometimes beyond (such as splitting up DVD markets). This kind of technology is usually built into the content or the device itself, whether as a digital lock or part of the software or hardware. DRM technologies not only prevent copying, but they can also control accessing, viewing, printing, modifying, or executing content, even for legal or non-infringing purposes. See also “Digital locks”.

Fair Deal Coalition


A group of individuals and organizations working in Internet policy, art, information technology, and law, focused on reaching a fair deal for all countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A fair deal would open up trade opportunities without forcing copyright and other intellectual property law changes harmful to each country’s digital future.

Fair dealing


Under Canadian copyright law, fair dealing refers to uses of works that are not considered copyright infringement, or are exempt from copyright liability. This includes uses related to activities such as research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, reviews, or news reporting. Fair dealing exists in various forms in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Its counterpart in the United States is known as “fair use”.

Fair use


Fair use is a provision within copyright law in the United States whereby individuals may legally use a copyrighted work without permission, for any purpose that a court considers “fair” according to a codified test of fairness. Example purposes include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving, and scholarship.

Format shifting


Format shifting is the conversion of works from one format into another to enable access on a new platform. Examples might include converting a print book to DAISY format or ripping a song from a CD and converting it to another file type so you can listen to it on your iPod.



A French anti-piracy law by the Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des œuvres et la Protection des droits d’auteur sur Internet in France, also known as the Creation and Internet Law, introduced in 2009 by President Sarkozy. The law implemented a “three strikes” regime: after receiving three warnings, users accused of copyright infringement would have their Internet disconnected. The penalty was changed to fines rather than loss of Internet access after major controversy and a decision by the Constitutional Council of France (its highest court) declaring Internet access a basic human right.

Internet Voice Tool


An online tool that OpenMedia launched to gather citizens’ views on the kind of fair digital future you envision. OpenMedia brings comments submitted through this tool directly to those who have the power to influence and change the course of TPP negotiations. Find it at

Intermediary or ISP liability


Intermediary or ISP liability refers to the fact that an online intermediary (such as Wordpress or eBay) or ISP could be found legally responsible for copyright infringement. This is a major issue in copyright law around the world, as it is usually not the intermediaries or ISPs themselves who are infringing copyright, but their users or subscribers. However, copyright owners may sue intermediaries and ISPs (rather than individual users) due to their higher visibility and deeper pockets.



Internet Service Provider: a company that provides individuals and businesses with access to the Internet.



The “made in Canada” copyright claim system applied to user-driven websites and to. Under notice-and-notice, a copyright owner notifies the website or ISPs, telling them that a user may have uploaded copyright- infringing content. The intermediary or ISP then forwards that notice to the user, and can only release the user’s identity with a court order. This prevents non-infringing content from being automatically taken down due to invalid copyright claims.



The copyright claim system applied to online intermediaries and ISPs in the United States. Under notice-and-takedown, once an intermediary or ISP receives notice that a user may have uploaded copyright-infringing content, the service provider must “remove or disable access to” the content as soon as possible, or risk being sued themselves for copyright infringement. See also “DMCA”.

Public domain


Works considered part of the public domain are not under copyright protection, and are thus openly available for the public to share and use.



A remix is a song that someone has modified, mixed, blended, sampled, spliced, or cut up, perhaps with other songs or parts of songs, and generally recreated to produce a new version with a distinctly different sound from the original.

Safe harbour


A zone of protection surrounding ISPs and online intermediaries (user-driven websites) in the United States, in the event one of their users is caught or suspected of infringing copyright. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), if an ISP has acted immediately upon being notified to take down allegedly infringing content, then they cannot be financially liable to the copyright owner for infringement or for having anything to do with that infringement. See also “DMCA”.

Technological protection measures (TPMs)


Technological protection measures include any type of technology that prevents people from accessing or copying digital content in any way they like. For example, TPMs could block you from ripping files off a CD in order to convert them to play on your iPod. See also “DRM”.

Three-strikes rules


Also known as a “graduated response”, three- strikes rules target online file-sharers for copyright infringement, through a warning system that leads to various consequences. Generally, the user will receive two warnings that they have been accused of copyright infringement. If they receive a third, consequences around the world include: being taken to court or a special copyright tribunal, heavy fines, forced release of the user’s identity so they may be personally sued, their name put on a copyright blacklist, throttled or lost Internet connection, and account suspension.



The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a multilateral free trade agreement being negotiated between 12 countries: the United States, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei.