The government is slated to bring Bill C-11, the copyright reform bill, into effect next week without the “notice-and-notice” rules for Internet providers. The revelations come in a Privy Council document that provides notification on when the bill will come into force. It is expected that the order bringing the bill into effect will be published on November 7, 2012. The majority of the bill will take effect on that date, including fair dealing reform, new consumer exceptions, caps on statutory damages for non-commercial infringement, the user generated content provision, and the digital lock rules. There are two notable exceptions, however.
First, the Internet service provider “notice-and-notice” rules will not take effect. The implementation has been apparently been the subject of fierce behind-the-scenes lobbying over issues such as the fees for processing notices and the retention of subscriber information. The public has not been included in these discussions and more open policy process is needed in developing the notice-and-notice regulations.
Second, several sections related to the WIPO Internet Treaties will also be delayed until those treaties come into force for Canada. There are lingering questions over whether Canadian law is fully compliant with the WIPO Internet treaties, particularly with respect to the private copying levy. Moreover, Canadian policy now requires the government to provide the House of Commons with at least 21-sitting days for review of a treaty before taking legal steps to bring it into force. The tabling of the treaty must include an explanatory memorandum. This suggests that these provisions may be delayed and that the House of Commons may have some further debate on the WIPO Internet treaties – perhaps including why the government went far beyond treaty requirements – whenever the government does pursue bringing the treaties into force.