Clement’s Office Says Copyright Consultations Coming This Summer

Among the myriad of reports on the USTR's legally dubious decision to place Canada on the Priority Watch List, one from Reuters is particularly noteworthy as it includes a reaction from Industry Minister Tony Clement's spokesperson.  Darren Cunningham is quoted as saying "we are looking forward to doing consultations on copyright this summer."  This is very important for several reasons.  First, it confirms the timeline for the next copyright bill as being the fall at the earliest.  Second, it suggests that the Government will not simply cave to U.S. pressure and quickly reintroduce a duplicate of the much-criticized Bill C-61.  Third – and most importantly – it opens the door to actual copyright consultations before coming forward with a bill.  Given that the last time a Canadian government consulted on copyright was 2001, a consultation is long overdue.


  1. Hopefully..
    we can except something that is fair to everyone, not just lining the pockets. It would be stupid if we could not make copies of our dvds, or sync to ipods and laptops. Maybe if they made music and videos more available (like mp3fiesta)it wouldn’t be a problem. I read a report that read the people who buy the most music/movies actually download first.

  2. We should ask them why the let corporate abusers rape the public domain
    The copyright term extensions are abusive because they prevent the works from falling into public domain.

  3. I too am optimistic that perhaps something reasonable might come out of this.
    As always, great work on keeping everyone informed on this important issue. Hopefully our government will realize this bill is about protecting all of our rights and not a means for corporations to prevent piracy. Lets face it, as long as you can see, read or hear media, there will always be a way to copy it, and as long as there is an internet, there will be a cheap way to distribute it to the world. The people that the draconian versions of these bills are trying to target are generally already breaking the law and clearly will continue regardless. So why not craft something that actually makes sense for the rest of us who respect copyright.

    The corporations pushing for these laws need to be careful. If someone took away my PVR and the convenience of time shifting television — I’m pretty sure I’d stop watching. If they start locking down my media so it only works on a few devices, I’ll probably stop buying it. If they irritate me with stupid laws that make reasonable behavior illegal, I’ll stop buying their crap on principle.

  4. There are three new things that, as both a consumer and a copyright holder, I would sincerely like to see come out of any new copyright legislation. The first thing I would like to see is some assurance that future legislation will not result in the effective elimination of a consumer’s right to a fair dealing defense of copyright infringement because of the addition of laws that make their actions illegal even without having otherwise committed copyright infringement. The second thing I’d like to see is for the notion of the personal and private use copying exemption, which currently exists in the Copyright Act covering audio works only, to be extended to cover all forms of copyrighted works. The final thing I’d like to see is the notion that nobody should be able to legally claim any private use or backup exemption or fair dealing defense against copyright infringement if the material that they were copying from was already infringing, whether or not charges of copyright infringement have already been laid against the provider of the source material.

  5. Binary informations – Data – Knowledge – Computer Users Right – Fair use of Computer technologies
    Any computer related area of technologies should not be blocked by draconians law to profit corporations by any means.

    I pay for my computer, I pay for my Internet Access, I pay my electricity bills. I use technology that I pay for. Those technologies, like VCR or Tape Recording had always been legal. We can buy those products and use them has we want. It should be the same for any computer field, unless it is used against Human Rights.

    Copyright isn’t a human right. It is a corporation law that shouldn’t be made in the first place. Has long I used informations, data, knowledge and copy for my own personnal used, I think copyright law are not need. If people try to do money on someone else work, fine copyright law applies. But has long the population used that data for their own sake, share it or listen to it, copyright law should be null and void.

    More than half the Canadians population has grown up with VCR and Tape Recording. Those technologies give new possibilities to the humanity and they grown up in our “Cultural Life”.

    More of it, a MP3 isn’t a WAVE file. It is not the same representation of the original work. It had been changed, it had been transform into something else. And has far has I know, everyone can sing a copyright song without prejudice has long he didn’t do money with it.

    It is the same thing… unless we don’t sign the song, we transform it to used it on another technology field. Nobody can choose the restrict my freedom of using technology, has long I used it without prejudice to anybody.

    It is even prooven that peer-2-peer help to boost sales of cultural content. People buy more with the new technology fields, because people are more interest in the cultural content, because they are more exposed to it.

    Cut those free cultural marketing tools and you will be sure to loose sales, not boost them.

    Trying to criminalize or trying to penalized users of their right to used technology, is like trying to criminalize people to drive cars, because some of them kill with their uses of cars.

    I got a technology that transform songs into 10101010101011 binary format. The binary format belong to the computer technologies. No one can restrict my use of binary format, because they belong to my right of private property. I own a computer and I use it has much has possible.


  6. Maebnoom says:

    I really hope they take a good long look at this: [url][/url]

  7. Chris Brand says:

    Sources of private copies
    To Mark, “The final thing I’d like to see is the notion that nobody should be able to legally claim any private use or backup exemption or fair dealing defense against copyright infringement if the material that they were copying from was already infringing, whether or not charges of copyright infringement have already been laid against the provider of the source material.”

    I understand (and agree with) the rationale behind this, but how would anyone know whether a particular source is infringing if no charges have been laid ?

  8. fair_n_hite_451 says:

    Chris beat me to the punch with the question to Mark

    Let me ask it this way. If I buy a CD at a live performance from someone affiliated with the band, how could I possibly know who holds the copyright to all the material? Are you saying that I should be able to charged later if I’ve made a back up copy of that CD, but not for one which I bought at WalMart from a major label distributor?

  9. To answer both of the above questions, I would recommend that if it was not unreasonable for one to have made the assumption from the circumstances that the source material should not have been infringing (ie, it was obtained from what by all appearances to a normally educated individual was an authorized source for that material), and one does make a private use copy, then the penalty for the infringement should be correspondingly milder than it is for willful infringement. In most real-world cases, an unauthorized copy of a work is blatantly obvious to anyone who might want to copy it, but in the odd circumstance where it may not be (eg, the provider of the material deliberately commits fraud to represent themselves as an authorized distributer of the material) and a person has made themselves a private use copy, then although the person may still technically be guilty of copyright infringement, the penalty in such cases should be little more than the requirement that they destroy the infringing copies and take at least some corrective action on their part to avoid such inadvertent infringement in the future, and should not carry with it any otherwise normally criminal penalty. I might even suggest that they may further have an obligation to law enforcement to aid them in prosecuting the provider of that material. An analogy might be comparable to the penalty for purchasing stolen merchandise when one had not known the merchandise was stolen… they simply lose all claims of ownership of that merchandise at their own expense. If they _had_ known it was stolen, or if it should have been obvious to most people that the material was stolen, then of course, they could be found guilty of knowingly purchasing stolen goods, which carries a much stiffer penalty. To bring the subject back to copyright, as I said before, in most real-world cases an infringing copy is going to be so obvious to any normally educated person that it’s simply a non-issue… and I would suggest that one simply not worry about the fringe cases except as they come up, where they can probably be individually examined. The fact that it is relative easy to conceive of such hypothetical cases is not reflective of their likelihood of actual occurrence.

  10. NotOnMyWatch says:

    not a lawyer but know enough to care.

    That was an excellent rebuttal to the above comments but I will digress to some other facts after reading all the above comments. 1. Not many people even know what fair dealing is let alone what constitutes fair dealing or the private copying exemption. 2. Consumers shouldn’t have to decide whether or not a product is provided from a legitimate source. I’ll also add nothing can force the consumer to know who holds copyrights for what and whether or not the retailer has the right to sell said product. I think any copyright holder who believes their works should be “obviously known” is dreaming; were not talking fringe cases, its a big world. You cannot simply assume every consumer has google in their pocket and can quickly determine if said works are licensed to be distributed by said retailer. It cant happen and it wont.

    Heres a link to the copyright act: I barely made it all the way through reading it. How many Canadians do you think have read this? My estimate: not many. I also wasn’t aware it was mandatory to know every part of the copyright act in order to be a consumer in canada. I welcome your response Mark.

  11. You don’t need to have google in your pocket to know that a movie that hasn’t even come out in theatres yet but is available on P2P networks is infringing on copyright. You don’t have to have an advanced education in all of the intricacies of Copyright Law to realize that commercially available works that are apparently being exchanged quite freely on the internet aren’t actually doing so in accordance with the law… at least not on this continent. The world is a big place, as you said… and some countries’ copyright laws are more lax than others. Further, some people feel that the likelihood of them getting caught is small enough that they aren’t particularly concerned even if they _are_ breaking the law where they live. The remainder, I would have to confess, may very well be genuinely ignorant of copyright, but I must maintain that ignorance of a law does not provide any excuse to break it… even at most, a fair but just court could probably offer leniency to such a person, the first time only.

    Of course, the bottom line is that I don’t think a person who inadvertently commits infringement by copying a work that he didn’t realize was counterfeit should pay any serious penalty for the infringement, but I don’t see anything wrong with them having to surrender to infringing material… if they are out of pocket as a result, they could try to sue the person they got it from, just as a person who was sold stolen merchandise without their knowledge would have to do if the stuff ended up getting reclaimed by the rightful owner. The obligation to decide whether or not a product is provided from a legitimate source, whether it is physical merchandise or copyrighted material, is an obligation the consumer owes to himself.

  12. NotOnMyWatch says:

    Same question. New answer please.
    “The obligation to decide whether or not a product is provided from a legitimate source, whether it is physical merchandise or copyrighted material, is an obligation the consumer owes to himself.”

    — Citation needed. Retailers should be obligated, not the consumer. Please explain how you believe this to be true and legally binding for consumers in the analogy of a consumer purchasing copyrighted works. (to a laymen) Should I be asking retailers if their products are authentic? Why should I not assume they are? I mean if the business is legit why shouldn’t the products be? Where can I find a list of copyrighted works that are not legally available to certain retailers? Where can I find a list of retailers that have been known to carry counterfeit goods? Ignorance carries more weight then you would be willing to give it.

  13. Perhaps you misunderstood what I was saying… I’m saying that the obligation is upon the consumer to decide whether or not he wants to trust the retailer to offer a legitimate service. But that obligation is not a legal requirement, it’s simply to protect his own interests in the matter. If a retailer is in the wrong and is selling hot goods, that’s not really going to help the consumer very much when it gets reclaimed by the rightful owner. All the consumer can claim, perfectly rightfully, is that they did not know that the material was stolen… but that’s not going to let them keep what they bought.

  14. Hmmm… I just realized that I hadn’t really finished finish my thought… Anyways, how this is analaguous to purchasing copyrighted works is that if a person has made a private use copy of a work when the original wasn’t actually legit in the first place, then I don’t see how it’s unreasonable that the person be required to surrender or destroy such copies once the infringement is actually discovered. They are out of pocket for any expense they may have incurred, just as a person who innocently bought stolen goods would be, unless they can successfully sue the person they obtained the infringing material from in the first place (which they may even have a good case for, although the complications of entering into such legal proceedings may not be worth the hassle, depending on the circumstances). If they want to avoid that hassle, then a consumer can’t just blindly trust anybody who apparently has something to offer without some sort of assurance that the exchange will not cause future complications for them.

    I do not think that “I found it on the internet for free, so I downloaded it”, which is *BY FAR* the most popular reason that people download copyrighted works from sources that were not authorized to have created copies for public distribution, should qualify as being ignorant of the infringing nature of the material they are accessing. If the consumer has doubts, just as a person who may be thinking of buying merchandise he suspects may be stolen, he owes it to himself to check his facts before committing himself to an action.