Copyright reform is frequently characterized as "modernizing outdated copyright laws" (e.g. see yesterday's excellent Ottawa Citizen's masthead editorial). Leaving aside the fact that Canadian copyright law has undergone two major revisions in less than 20 years (along with several smaller changes), the reality is that the modernization is almost entirely focused on the interests' of a select few industries. Consider the issue of backup copies. Yesterday's post addressed a right of circumvention for backup copies of software, reflecting the need to preserve provisions in the Copyright Act that are nearly 20 years old. Those provisions rightly recognize that software programs are an intangible product that is susceptible to loss. Creating a backup copy right is a simple way to allow consumers to protect their investment.
If the government is serious about modernizing the Copyright Act, it could do worse than to start by modernizing the backup copy provision.