Clement on the State of Canadian Copyright Law

The Hill Times runs a special section on copyright in its upcoming issue.  I've contributed a piece on the lessons we can draw from the copyright consultation that I'll post shortly, but in the meantime there is an important interview with Industry Minister Tony Clement.  Of particular note is his perspective on the current state of copyright law in Canada. Notwithstanding the persistent fear mongering, Clement gets it absolutely right:

"Canada and its international trading partners each have distinct copyright policies, laws and approaches for addressing the challenges and opportunities of the internet. Canada's current framework provides strong intellectual property protections and our copyright laws apply in the digital context, including on the internet. Moreover, Canada's regime for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights is fully consistent with its international obligations."

This statement is correct and should be repeated again and again, particularly when the U.S. ambassador to Canada and copyright lobby groups try to persuade the Canadian public otherwise.


  1. I can’t believe that Clement actually said something intelligent/non back bending in service to the Americans about Copyright policy. Perhaps this is a sign that maybe the Conservatives have finally heard that we, as the majority of Canadians want fair and balanced copyright refroms and do not want DMCA-type legislation that does not work.

  2. That is word-for-word taken from the consultation FAQ, question 4:

  3. Devin Baines says:

    The fact that Clement and especially Moore are relatively young and more importantly, engaged with digital technology personally, makes them both far and away superior to their predecessors. They get it as Ministers because they get it as people.

  4. Wow
    Dead on!

    Congrats Mr. Clement, it’s good to see a proper Canadian Government.

    *FAQ notwithstanding

  5. George Geczy says:

    I really hope it’s not presented as an “interview” since, as pointed out, it is just verbatim from the FAQ… Either he really didn’t do am interview, or he has the FAQ memorized to the exact words.

  6. So what if it’s from the FAQ?
    Who cares if it’s a repeat of the FAQ. The point is, it’s right and it’s given as an official position. Notwithstanding my opinion of the Harper cabinet in general, I will give Clement his due in thanking him for repeating this statement.

  7. Even if it is rehashing…
    At least we won’t see copyright laws changing anytime soon. Luckily, that’s a good thing.

  8. The Yank’s pressure runs really deep.
    “This statement is correct and should be repeated again and again, particularly when the U.S. ambassador to Canada and copyright lobby groups try to persuade the Canadian public otherwise.”

    You would be surprised how deep the effects of the US influence go…

    Teachers are teaching our teens in school that downloading (anything) == jail time.

    When confronted with the CPCC and other CANADIAN laws, neither the student nor teacher had a clue what I was talking about and reiterated that download and you go to jail, end of story.

    Canadian’s are really ignorant sometimes.

  9. “Canadian’s are really ignorant sometimes”

    Canadians are usually laid back people, unless they are faced with something that’s either about to take place in the very near future, or already has taken place. That’s usually the only time the general population really gets involved with stuff. Those in politics know this (especially within side the current government).

    While Clements statement are welcomed, and extremely truthful, I await a true understanding in the legislator. I don’t back any political party, but I also have major trust issues with this current Government. Harper and his officials remind most Canadians of those huge horse pills we all have to swallow when we get sick with pneumonia from the swine flu (completely preventable if we had the right stuff to begin with). Clements statement is 2 years over due. I’m not celebrating until I see those remarks within Canadian law and what comes out of the consultation.

  10. VancouverDave says:

    Nice speech, Mr. Clement.
    Don’t forget the source of these pretty words. Tony Clement is no less a lying weasel than the rest of the Ottawa racketeers, and nothing he or any of them say to appease an audience can be assumed to resemble the actions that will eventually be taken or the legislation that will eventually be passed.

  11. Sure, we’re compliant now, but before the end of the year when they sign on to ACTRA…