Legal Boundaries in a Digital World
Canadians are avid creators of stories, poems, photographs, drawings, recipes and songs. The Internet and digital technologies now make it possible for people to publish and disseminate these works to a global audience. The new information environment also allows people to use and transform the works of others, which can be easily copied, modified, revised and communicated with little cost or effort. Cultural industries, the media and all other creators must reassess their roles and the rules that govern them in a digital world with increased peer-to-peer communication, crowd-sourced information and both unmediated and mediated knowledge dissemination. Dr. Teresa Scassa, Canada Research Chair in Information Law, is studying legal issues within this dramatically changing information environment. She is examining the rights of individuals to make use of the trademarks of others for the purposes of critical, artistic or other forms of expression. Scassa is also looking at legal issues that are raised when ordinary citizens participate in the creation of information maps. These digital projects place different types of information in geographical contexts, and raise challenging intellectual property, privacy and ethical issues. Scassa’s research will provide insights into how our modern information society can move forward ethically and responsibly in order to foster human communication and knowledge dissemination.