Canadian Copyright Bill Likely in the Next Six Weeks

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.


  1. Cory Albrecht says:

    For those of us who lack the ability to to clearly express ourselves in writing, is there anybody out there who could write an “I’m concerned about copyright” template letter for the rest of us to forward on to our MPs and sundry ministers?

    I’ve written letters to the editor in the past an had a number of them published, but it is a task that takes me agonizing hours as I work, rework and rerework what I want to say, trying to keep it short, clear and yet explain all that I want it to explain. My brain is maid for writing computer code, not stuff for other humans to read. 🙂

  2. Template letters really don’t make any impression

  3. We will see
    Well, if this bill really does address copyrite issues the way Mr Rajotte is implying fair enough.

    If not, well, we killed a bad bill before and we can do it again. Better yet, it sounds like there is an election coming in the near future. No one wants to pass a bill allowing companies to randomly sue people right before an election.

  4. i.e
    “Rajotte assured the audience that the government is working toward a balanced approach in the forthcoming bill”

    Oh, good. So that means drastically reduced copyright lengths in the neighbourhood of 7-14 years?

    Oh wait, more balanced means more control for corporations, longer terms, intrusive measures, even more ludicrous fines for infringement, etc, etc.

    How silly of me to think of copyright in its original context, where we *granted* exclusivity for a *limited* duration in exchange for the work then being turned over to the public domain afterwards. The new deal is forever (less a day, Sonny Bono).

  5. Jonathan D. says:

    Fair Use for Teaching (TEACH act)
    What the Canada seriously needs to provisions similar to the TEACH act in the USA extending fair use/fair dealings to face-to-face teaching at all levels. Infringement does not occur IF the use of the particular work is relevant to the course.

  6. Cory Albrecht says:

    said “Template letters really don’t make any impression”.

    Are you mistaking template letters for form letters? I can see how one could shrug off form letters since the would be easy to send, but even so – if your MP got a few hundred copies of the same form letter, I think they’d take notice. “Hey, my constistiuents are concerned about $issue, I had better do something if I want to get reelected.”

    But by a template letter, not a form letter, I meant something that I could take the main points from, rather than agonize for an hour about whether I’ve presented myself clearly, and write my own intro paragraph. Writing does not come easily to me.

  7. I don’t care what they do
    People have experienced what a truely free and democratic internet can be like, and like health care, we’re not giving it up. Information is free now, forever; regardless of copywrite or written law. Piracy is just how we as people are self-correcting the obviously one-sided and corrupt methods and laws of industry.

    No one will pay for copies of anything that can stored via data, ever again. There is no reasoning with us, as there is no way to control or censor us all. I respect the work of those would try to “save or salvage” our current system, but Capitalism is dead.

  8. protest it at parliament says:

    As i said if they bring a new law i aint voting for conservatives, and if liberals support it , i would suggest a new political party needs to be formed….
    I party (I = Internet)
    time to get rid of the american fluff that has bankrupted there own country and now wishes to have us follow suit.

    SAY NO


    us poor folk will be made more poor as the CONservatives will make it happen.
    They won’t listen to anyone but hollywood , they won’t listen to anyone but republicans, they put down our election system that they tried to cheat on to win last election. They bribe other politicians.
    Ya and we trust them to do somehting.
    We need a new govt.

  10. report on PPF
    Any chance we could get a recap of the PPF Symposium? Are the sessions being posted online? Did they confirm or deny Knopf’s allegations?

  11. Public Forum
    Geez, for a “public” forum it’s been pretty damn private.

    I’m sick and tired of co-opted governments capitulating to the new corporate big brothers.

    – PM Harper tells Election Canada to piss off!
    – Condoleezza Rice Tells World’s Poorest to Eat Less.
    – “W” blames everyone but himself for the world’s growing financial, energy and food crisis.

    Remember, the Tories in Ottawa are for the most part the same dumb bastards who damn near bankrupted Ontario a few years ago! Remember that famous $300 tax rebate? Now look what’s happening to the once huge Federal surpluses! BTW – how does a government who gets their revenue from taxes end up with a surplus?

    Please I DO NOT TRUST anyone government in North America right now. Too many human and social issues are being ignored or out right laughed at by these growing hordes of robber barrons!

  12. Wait — Michael, why is time shifting and format shifting “not so bad”??? They aren’t bad AT ALL. If I have cable TV, I can record and watch it whenever *I* want to watch it. If I have my own legal MP3s, I can listen to them on the device of my choice. If I have a DVD, I can watch them on the device of my choice. That is *NOT* bad *AT ALL*.

  13. Lets bribe them says:

    So, is there any way that we can collectively counter-bribe the politicos?

    Something along the lines of a collective promise that says if you successfully vote down this bill then we will each donate $x to your party/riding association. We would get 75% back for political donations.

    So, maybe we could collectively wave a large amount of money in their faces.