Toronto History from Toronto, Canada, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Toronto History from Toronto, Canada, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 155: Mark Swartz on the Harm Caused by Canada’s Copyright Term Extension

Many Canadians started the new year with an unwelcome surprise as they learned that Canada had extended the term of copyright by additional 20 years with no mitigation measures or efforts to limit the harmful effects of the policy. That the extension did not get much attention was seemingly by design as the government buried it in a budget implementation bill and posted no news releases on it. Mark Swartz is a Scholarly Publishing Librarian at Queen’s University and has been an active participant in copyright reform issues for many years. He recently published an op-ed in the Toronto Star and Hill Times identifying both the harms of term extension and potential mitigation measures. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about Canada’s approach to copyright term extension, the impact on the public domain, and what could come next.

The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod.

Show Notes:

Mark Swartz, Interminable pause: Government must address harm caused by extension to copyright term

CFLA-CARL Submission on Copyright Term Extension

CARL, Addressing the Impacts of Copyright Term Extension in Canada

The Biblio File podcast, Michael Geist on the pathetic argument for extending copyright protection


CTV News, Trudeau Accuses Poilievre of Spreading Misinformation


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  2. I agree that it seems very short-sighted. Giving a company time to recoup its investment and reap the appropriate rewards is important. But others might be able to produce an item at a cheaper cost or faster, or something else. Not allowing that for an additional 20 years, means that there is an economic loss to a society.