While the United States has groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation to fight against unfair copyright law and government encroachment on internet freedoms, Canada has the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC for short). CIPPIC will be making oral arguments in what it calls the "Copyright Pentology" – five copyright cases that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear from December 6-7. The group says that these cases "are likely to have a major impact on the scope of your fair dealing rights, as well as on how much you will pay in the future for online music, videos, and video games."
The five cases are SOCAN v. Bell Factum (No. 33800), Alberta v. Access Copyright Factum (No. 33888), ESA v. SOCAN (No. 33921) & Rogers v. SOCAN (No. 33922), and Re:Sound v. MPTAC (No. 34210).
In SOCAN v. Bell Factum CIPPIC argues that consumer research through the use of music previews constitutes fair dealing; In Alberta v. Access Copyright Factum CIPPIC argues that teachers copying fair amounts of works to instruct their students should be allowed; in ESA v. SOCAN and Rogers v. SOCAN CIPPIC explains the consequences of the Federal Court of Appeal and Copyright Board's decision to treat online music sales differently from in-store CD sales. They interpreted a download of music as a "communication to the public by telecommunication", which in turn introduced an "inefficient double-compensation scheme"; and in Re:Sound v. MPTAC CIPPIC argues that multiple layers of royalties creates inefficiencies that will "raise consumer prices and stifle innovation."
Gamers in Canada should take particular note of ESA v. SOCAN because it's about consumers having to pay an extra fee for the music that comes in games you buy online. For an illustration of this, check out this video.
Those interested in watching CIPPIC argue before Canada's highest court can do so via the Supreme Court of Canada's live webcast