While they have received little attention, Bill C-61 contains several provisions long demanded by professional photographers. Under current copyright law, where a photograph is commissioned (ie. school photos, weddings, etc.), the copyright in the photo rests with the person who commissioned it (ie. the consumer). Photographers have long thought this unfair and sought to obtain exclusive copyright in the photos. Absent a legislative change, most photographers use contract to obtain the rights they require.
Bill C-61 would change the current default by deleting the provision that grants copyright to the commissioner of the photograph. In an attempt to alleviate consumer concerns, the bill also includes a provision that states that it is not an act of copyright infringement:
for an individual to use for private or non-commercial purposes a photograph or portrait that was commissioned by the individual for personal purposes and made for valuable consideration, unless the individual and the owner of the copyright in the photograph or portrait have agreed otherwise.
This consumer-focused provision address some, though not all, of the consumer-related concerns with the photography reforms since an exception is a far cry from being the actual copyright owner.