I was pleased to get a note yesterday from Martha Rans, who I met last summer when we collaborated on an event on copyright and the arts for last summer’s Open Education Conference. She let me know about the launch of artistslegaloutreach.ca, a new web service affiliated with the Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture.
The service will be offering online resources as well as face-to-face workshops, clinics and the chance to meet confidentially with experienced lawyers on a donation basis.
The world of copyright law is all too often defined by obfuscation, the perpetuation of vested interests, and outright bullying of those who don’t have the resources or expertise to defend their interests. Martha describes herself as “a lawyer committed to demystifying and deconstructing copyright for the benefit of creation”, and she does so via a wide range of activities attempting to foster a more constructive national conversation on the relevant law. I often despair when considering this subject in a Canadian context (and that sense will deepen when copyright changes are unveiled in the Throne Speech next month), but take comfort knowing that skilled and committed people like Martha and her peers at Artists’ Legal Outreach are willing to promote broader social interests.