Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore has gone on record confirming that Bill C-32 would allow for ratification of the WIPO Internet treaties, telling the Bill C-32 Legislative Committee that â€œwhat is in this legislation – the ratification of WIPO, the fair-dealing policy, the digital protection measures – is a huge victory for all Canadians.â€
Yet what Moore did not say is that ratification of the WIPO Internet treaties requires Canada to provide “national treatment” to all artists (in other words, treat Canadian and foreign performers equally). Since the current private copying levy system does not provide national treatment, this would likely lead to a substantial increase in payments from Canadian consumers to foreign performers and makers and minimal increase in payments from foreign consumers to Canadian makers and performers.
Raising questions about the parties’ position on copyright and the private copying system is certainly fair game. But if the Liberals are asked to respond to iPod Tax claims, perhaps the Conservatives should explain why they left the prospect of millions more in consumer copyright fees or millions in lost revenue for creators under the existing system untouched in their copyright bill.