Liberal Party Recommends Ratification of WIPO Internet Treaties

A week after the Liberal Party came out in favour of net neutrality, David Akin notes that Liberal members of the Standing Committee on Industry recently issued a dissenting recommendation focused on copyright reform.  The recommendation was part of a report on the Canadian economy.  While the committee as a whole did not issue a recommendation on intellectual property, the Liberal members added the following:

That the Government of Canada immediately introduce legislation to amend the Copyright Act, ratify the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), amend related acts and ensure appropriate enforcement resources are allocated to combat the scourge and considerable economic and competitive damage to Canada’s manufacturing and services sectors and to Canada’s international reputation by the proliferation of counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property.

At one level, this is not particularly surprising – all major parties support some form of WIPO implementation (the issue is not whether, but rather how).  What is more problematic is the absence of recognition of the need for flexiblity in the law to spur innovation and the blind acceptance that Canada's international reputation has been damaged by copyright claims.  It also contrasts with the recent remarks from Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, who as I discuss in my technology law column this week (Toronto Star version, homepage version), recently adopted a more progressive view of digital issues.


  1. Are our memories short…
    or didn’t the Liberal Party of Canada somewhat recently (last year) add their names to Michael Geist’s copyright pledge? Funny how a change of leadership will do that.

  2. Dwight Williams says:

    Aw no…
    We’re being told yet again that things aren’t yet difficult enough for us to endure…in the eyes of others.

  3. @brent is correct, bring out the list!

    “Will you commit to a balanced approach to copyright reform that reflects the views of all Canadians by pledging:

    1. To respect the rights of creators and consumers.

    2. Not to support any copyright bill that undermines or weakens the Copyright Act’s users rights.

    3. To fully consult with Canadians before introducing any copyright reform bill and to conduct inclusive, national hearings on any tabled bill.”

    Carolyn Bennett, Liberal MP, St. Paul’s, ON
    Ujjal Dosanjh, Liberal MP, Vancouver South, BC
    Glen Pearson, Liberal MP, London North Centre, ON
    Joyce Murray, Liberal MP, Vancouver Quadra, BC
    Marlene Jennings, Liberal MP, NDG-Lachine, QC
    Bonnie Brown, Liberal MP, Oakville, ON
    Sue Barnes, Liberal MP, London West, ON
    Ken Boshcoff, Liberal MP, Thunder Bay-Rainy River, ON
    Paul Szabo. Liberal MP, Mississauga South, ON
    Gerard Kennedy, Liberal candidate, Parkdale-High Park, ON
    Gord Zeilstra, Liberal candidate, Cambridge, ON
    Calvin Johnston, Liberal candidate, Palliser, SK
    Arlene MacFarlane-VanderBeek, Liberal candidate, Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, ON
    Heather Carter, Liberal candidate, Niagara West – Glanbrook, ON
    Suzanne van Bommel, Liberal candidate, Elgin-Middlesex-London, ON
    Jamie McGarvey, Liberal candidate, Parry Sound-Muskoka, ON
    Carolyn Scott, Liberal candidate, Sackville Eastern Shore
    Sharon L. Howe, Liberal candidate, Crowfoot, AB
    Marcelle Marion, Liberal candidate, Winnipeg North, MB
    David Orchard, Liberal candidate, Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, SK
    Frank Valeriote, Liberal candidate, Guelph, ON
    Greg McClinchey, Liberal candidate, Huron-Bruce, ON
    Ted Klassen, Liberal candidate, Portage-Lisgar, MB
    Dana L. Miller, Liberal candidate, Delta-Richmond East, BC
    Richard Pesik, Liberal candidate, Nanaimo-Alberni, BC
    Patricia Zipchen, Liberal candidate, Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, SK
    Tim Jones, Liberal candidate, Newmarket-Aurora, ON
    Denis Sabourin, Liberal candidate, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, ON
    Bonnie Crombie, Liberal candidate, Mississauga Streetsville, ON
    Greg Nyholt, Liberal candidate, Battlefords-Lloydminster, SK
    Drew Adamick, Liberal candidate, Cariboo–Prince George, BC
    Dan Olson, Liberal candidate, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Mission, BC
    Nathalie Goguen, Liberal candidate, Sherbrooke, QC
    Alexandra Mendes, Liberal candidate, Brossard – La Prarie, QC
    David Remington, Liberal candidate, Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox, ON
    Robert Friesen, Liberal candidate, Charleswood – St. James – Assiniboia, MB
    Rebecca Finch, Liberal candidate, Dufferin-Caledon, ON
    Sandra Gardiner, Liberal candidate, Perth-Wellington, ON
    Sean Godfrey, Liberal candidate, Oshawa, ON
    Shawn Murphy, Liberal candidate, Charlottetown, PE
    Rick Jones, Liberal candidate, Barrie, ON
    Deb Ehmann, Liberal Candidate, Blackstrap, SK

  4. This is ridiculous…the Conservatives hint they want to do copyright reform right (for once) and the Liberals immediately state they want to do it all wrong…especially after the out cry over C-60 and C-61! With the threat of an election in the fall, I really don’t like the sound of this one bit.

  5. REPEAL Canada’s signature, do not ratify!
    Policians are lobby sell-outs. The right thing is to pull Canada out of all this, not to ratify and in the future not to sign anything that disadvantages Canada. Actually, if US is there, it is better not to sign.

  6. Write the Liberal members of the Standing Committee
    Write the three members Liberal members of the standing committee, Rota, Coady, and Garneau, with your views.

  7. Chrystal Ocean says:

    Frankly, I wasn’t won over by the remarks by Clement and Moore as quoted in The Star. It sounded no more than their usual bluster. The Conservatives have rarely been shy to wax enthusiastic for this or that issue, then to do absolutely nothing about it.