The House of Commons has been debating Bill C-4, the implementation bill for the US-Canada-Mexico (USMCA) Trade Agreement. The copyright term extension has begun to attract attention. Green MP Paul Manly called it an “unnecessary change” and Conservative MP Dan Albas, who participated in the copyright review, used his time to make a strong case against extension. Albas’ comments are a must-read as he warns of the danger of term extension, welcomes the chance to mitigate the harm, and encourages the government to use the copyright review as its road map for the issue:
Post Tagged with: "copyright"
Conservative MP Dan Albas on Copyright Term Extension in USMCA: Government Needs to Mitigate Damage to Copyright Law
As the decade nears an end, there have been no shortage of decade in review pieces. This post adds to the list with my take on the most notable Canadian digital cases, legislative initiatives, and policies of the past ten years.
1. The 2012 Copyright Modernization Act
The enactment of the 2012 Copyright Modernization Act in June 2012 brought more than a decade of copyright reform battles to a close and immediately ushered in a new round of debate and lobbying that continues until this day. The reform package was the largest copyright overhaul in years, featuring everything from an expansion of fair dealing (including education as a fair dealing purpose) to protection for non-commercial user generated content to the codification of the notice-and-notice system to legal protection for digital locks. The reforms also legalized longstanding practices such as time shifting, set a cap on liability for non-commercial infringement, and established a new provision to target websites that enable infringement.
The past year has been an incredibly active one for Canadian digital law and policy with important Supreme Court cases, legislative proposals, committee reports, expert panels, and political promises to reform existing laws and regulation. For this final Lawbytes podcast of 2019, I go solo without a guest to talk about the most significant trends and developments in Canadian digital policy from the past year and think a bit about what may lie ahead next year. I focus on five issues: the “euro-fication” of Canadian digital policy, the debate over the competitiveness of the Canadian wireless market, the many calls for privacy law reform, the future of Canadian copyright reform, and the review of Canadian broadcast and telecom law.
Making the Best of a Bad Provision: Why Canada Should Work Toward a Copyright Term Extension Registration Requirement
The agreement on a revised Canada-US-Mexico Trade Agreement this week featured both good news and bad news. Among the positive changes in the revised agreement is the significant changes to the patent provisions, including the elimination of the ten years of protection for biologics. That provision would have required changes to Canadian law and added significant new costs to pharmaceuticals. Moreover, the retention of the Internet safe harbour provision is a win for freedom of expression in Canada as it will help ensure that free speech is not lost in the current rush to regulate Internet platforms.
On the downside, many of the problematic digital trade provisions remain unchanged (they can also be found in the CPTPP so their inclusion does not change much) as does the requirement for a copyright term extension to life of the author plus 70 years. The additional 20 years of protection beyond the international standard found in the Berne Convention will be costly for Canadians with little discernible benefit.