James Rajotte, the Alberta Conservative MP and Chair of the Standing Committee on Industry delivered a noteworthy address at the Public Policy Forum event on copyright this afternoon. Rajotte divided the government's IP agenda into three parts. The first involves commercialization of scientific research, which his committee is currently studying (Rajotte encouraged participants to feed into that process). The second is the need to address commercial counterfeiting concerns through greater enforcement resources and potentially legislative change.
The third is copyright reform. Rajotte indicated that the current plan is to introduce a copyright bill before the House of Commons breaks for the summer – ie. within the next six weeks. Rajotte assured the audience that the government is working toward a balanced approach in the forthcoming bill. He made particular mention of the need to distinguish between commercial infringement (bad) and non-commercial cases of infringement such as time shifting and format shifting (not so bad). He also focused on the desire for robust hearings on the bill, with the need for a committee (possibly his) to conduct hearings once the bill is introduced.