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.