Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore tabled the WIPO Internet Treaties (the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty) earlier this week in the House of Commons, starting the process of Canadian ratification of the treaties. The move does not come as a surprise since Bill C-11, which received royal assent just over one year ago, was designed to bring ensure Canadian law conformed to the treaty requirements.
While there were some suggestions that the next step is formal notification with WIPO in Geneva, there are actually several steps required in Canada that will likely mean the treaties won’t be in force in Canada until early 2014 (I wrote about the treaty ratification process in 2008). First, the treaties are subject to a waiting period of 21 sitting days. During that period, MPs may debate the treaties in the House, raise questions, or bring motions related to the treaty. The 21 sitting day period started on June 12th. Since the House is scheduled to break for the summer next week, the period will not be completed until the first week of October. Once this process is completed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs may then seek legal authority, through an Order in Council, for Canada to prepare instruments of ratification of the two treaties. Once the instruments of ratification are deposited with WIPO, there is a further three month delay from the date of deposit.