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As a member of Canada's artistic community, I am pleased that the government is currently revising the existing Copyright Act.
I would like to suggest two additions to the definition of an "artistic work,"as defined by the Copyright Act. Currently, the definition is as follows: "'artistic work' includes paintings, drawings, maps, charts, plans, photographs, engravings, sculptures, works of artistic craftsmanship, architectural works, and compilations of artistic works."
While it is not possible for a definition to encompass all forms of artistic expression, I would like to suggest that the definition is broadened to specifically include both installations and works of art created digitally.
"Installation" is an industry-wide term that generally refers to a mixed media work created in reference to a space. It can incorporate sound, light, video, sculpture or any number of other media. While similar to a "compilation of artistic works," this important medium should be recognized in and of itself.
Works of art created digitally sometimes referred to as "born digital"also deserve recognition and the protection of the Copyright Act. Created electronically, these works may exist only on the Internet, or may have some form of physical expression, such as a projection onto a screen.
Finally, given that the government wishes to ensure that the Copyright Act stands the test of time, it may also be prudent to include some kind of a statement to cover artistic works expressed in forms or media not yet invented. While "works of artistic craftsmanship" is an encompassing term, perhaps the definition could be broadened to include "other forms of expression deemed "artistic works" as decided by a peer jury, or commonly accepted as artistic works," or something to that effect.
By their very nature, art and artistic works are difficult to define. While the current definition includes most major forms of artistic expression, there is room for improvement.
Circumvention of a technology in itself (re. DRM) should be allowed or left out completly. As technologies change, being allowed to tranfer data/media to another format in order to continue to use the product, in my view is still within the intent and spirit of the original license. When speaking of transfer from one party to another, which would be a breach if not done within the confines of a fair use clause, language that refers to a conveyance can not be specific as to the type of conveyance. Technology and formats keep changing. To be specific about a type of conveyance limits the language to only existing technology. I suggest "any type of conveyance, real or imagined"