Industry Canada

Industry Canada
Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 20, 2005 16:00 ET

Government of Canada Introduces Bill to Amend the Copyright Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 20, 2005) - Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla and Minister of Industry David L. Emerson today announced that the Government of Canada has introduced a bill to amend the Copyright Act. The bill, which enacts the amendments identified in the Government Statement on Proposals for Copyright Reform, originally tabled on March 24, 2005, fulfills the Government's commitment to address short-term copyright reform issues and to update the Copyright Act to meet the challenges and opportunities of the Internet.

"Canada's ability to foster an innovative economy depends on the creation, dissemination and commercialization of ideas. Innovators are rewarded, research is facilitated, and the use of technology is enhanced," said Minister Emerson. "I believe this bill will provide creators, intermediaries, and users of copyright material with the certainty and clarity that will allow them to take full advantage of the opportunities of the Internet."

"We are very pleased to fulfill our commitment to table this legislation, which builds on the current copyright framework for the 21st century," said Minister Frulla. "These amendments strengthen our creators and cultural industries against the unauthorized use of their works on the Internet. This legislation strikes a balance to serve both our artists and users."

The legislation is intended to implement the provisions of the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaties, clarify liability for Internet service providers, facilitate the use of new technologies for educational and research purposes, and harmonize the treatment of photographers with that of other creators.

Additional issues of concern in copyright law do remain, including the educational use of publicly available Internet material and private copying. The Government remains committed to opening consultations on these issues for additional public input and consideration as soon as possible.

A backgrounder with highlights of the proposed legislation is attached. A series of frequently asked questions is available on the Internet at the following addresses: www.canadianheritage.gc.ca;

http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/incrp-prda.nsf/en/h_rp01132e.html; and

http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/inippd-dppi.nsf/en/h_ip00002e.html


Backgrounder

The Copyright Act is an important marketplace framework law and cultural policy instrument that supports creativity and innovation. It strives to maintain an appropriate balance among copyright owners, intermediaries and users. Since the last major amendments to the Copyright Act in 1997, Canadians' use of the Internet has increased dramatically. The Government of Canada is updating the Copyright Act to ensure Canada has a copyright framework that enables copyright stakeholders to address the challenges and opportunities of the Internet.

As part of the 1997 amendments to the Copyright Act, section 92 called for a comprehensive review of the Act within five years. Accordingly, in October 2002, a report entitled Supporting Culture and Innovation: Report on the Provisions and Operation of the Copyright Act (the Section 92 report) was tabled in Parliament. Extensive public consultations were then undertaken by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. On May 12, 2004, the Committee issued its Interim Report on Copyright Reform and re-adopted it on November 4, 2004. On March 24, 2005, the Ministers of Industry and Canadian Heritage tabled the Government's response to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, including the Government Statement on Proposals for Copyright Reform. The Statement signalled the Government's intention to introduce this Bill later on in the spring. Highlights of the Bill include:

WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO) TREATIES ISSUES

Bill C- 60 amends the Copyright Act to implement the copyright protections required by two World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties: the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). Amendments in this regard are as follows:



- the existing exclusive communication right of authors are
clarified to include control over the making available of their
material on the Internet;

- sound recording makers and performers are provided the
right to control the making available of their sound
recordings and performances on the Internet;
- the circumvention for infringing purposes of technological
measures (TMs) applied to copyright material constitutes an
infringement of copyright;

- the alteration or removal of rights management information (RMI)
embedded in copyright material, when done to further or conceal
infringement, constitutes an infringement of copyright;

- rights holders are provided with the ability to control the first
distribution of their material in tangible form;

- the term of protection in photographs will always be the life
of the photographer plus 50 years;

- a full reproduction right for performers in sound recordings is
introduced;

- the term of protection provided to sound recording makers in
respect of their sound recordings is modified so as to extend
to 50 years from the publication of the sound recording (the term
of protection provided to performers in respect of their recorded
performances is modified in consequence); and

- performers are provided with moral rights in their fixed and
live performances.

INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP) LIABILITY

- ISPs are exempt from copyright liability in relation to their
activities when they are acting merely as intermediaries.

- A "notice and notice" regime in relation to the hosting and
file-sharing activities of an ISP's subscribers is provided.
When an ISP receives notice from a rights holder that one of
its subscribers is allegedly hosting or sharing infringing
material, the ISP is required to forward the notice to the
subscriber, and to keep a record of relevant information for a
specified time.

EDUCATIONAL AND RESEARCH ACCESS ISSUES

- The current exception that permits the performance or display
of copyright material for educational purposes within the
classroom is modified to enable students in remote locations to
view a lecture using network technology, either live or at a more
convenient time.

- Material that may be photocopied and provided to students pursuant
to an educational institution's blanket licence with a collective
society is permitted to be delivered to the students electronically
without additional copyright liability. Provisions in this regard
apply until such time as the collective societies' blanket
licenses authorize such electronic delivery.

- In the above instances, educational institutions are required to
adopt safeguards to prevent misuse of the copyright material.

- The electronic interlibrary desktop delivery of certain copyright
material, notably academic articles, directly to library patrons
is permitted, provided effective safeguards are in place to prevent
misuse of the material.

PHOTOGRAPHY ISSUES

- Treatment of photographers is harmonized with other creators with
respect to authorship and copyright ownership. At the same time,
the interests of consumers in the use of photographs commissioned
for domestic purposes is protected.

EDUCATIONAL USE OF INTERNET MATERIAL

- The Government will initiate a public consultation process on
the issue of the educational use of publicly available Internet
material as soon as possible.

PRIVATE COPYING AND OTHER MEDIUM-TERM ISSUES

- The Government will continue to work on other copyright matters
as part of its ongoing process of updating the Copyright Act,
and work on other medium-term issues, including the matter of
reproductions made by broadcasters, will also intensify.


Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and
    Minister responsible for Status of Women
    Jean-Francois Del Torchio, Press Secretary
    (819) 997-7788
    or
    Office of the Honourable David L. Emerson,
    Minister of Industry
    Christiane Fox
    (613) 995-9001
    or
    Department of Canadian Heritage
    Myriam Brochu
    Chief, Media Relations
    (819) 997-9314
    or
    Industry Canada
    Annie Cuerrier
    Manager, Media Relations
    (613) 943-2502