Bill C-11 includes a provision on copyright term for sound recordings that sets the term at 50 years from publication (the rules are complicated by questions of whether and when the performance is “fixed”, but the term for most sound recordings will be 50 years). According to the leaked draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, the term of protection would be massively increased over the Bill C-11 approach, with a 95 year copyright term the typical standard. For most sound recordings, this would result in nearly doubling the term of protection. Sound recordings from the 1960s that are scheduled to come into the public domain over the next few years would remain subject to copyright protection until 2055 and beyond. The extension would result in a huge wealth transfer from Canadians and mean that millions would never see the sound recordings from the 1960 and 1970s enter the public domain in their lifetimes.
Once again, now is the opportunity to help preserve the public domain in Canada by speaking out against TPP copyright provisions that would extend the term of copyright for both written works and sound recordings. The consultation is open until February 14, 2012. All it takes a single email with your name, address, and comments on the issue. The email can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, submissions can be sent by fax (613-944-3489) or mail (Trade Negotiations Consultations (TPP), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Trade Policy and Negotiations Division II (TPW), Lester B. Pearson Building, 125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2).