Fair Dealing by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dRkXwP

Fair Dealing by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dRkXwP

Copyright

Gabrielle Roy by Ronny Jacques. Ronny Jaques Fonds. Library and Archives Canada, e010957756 (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2gRtqwf

The Harm from Budget 2022’s Hidden Copyright Term Extension, Part One: Entry to Public Domain of Canadian Authors Lost for a Generation

Copyright term extension was rightly resisted by successive Canadian governments for decades because it offers few benefits and raises significant costs. The decision to agree to an extension in the USMCA is harmful policy, made worse by the decision to bury plans for implementation in Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s Budget 2022. As a result, there will be a two decade moratorium on new works entering the public domain, creating an enormous impact on access to Canadian culture and history for a generation. The plan has been described as a tax on consumers given that the new costs for Canadian education could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Further, the policy will create barriers to digitization initiatives that would otherwise increase access to works for all Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

While there is overwhelming independent academic and economic study on the harms, it is the real world stories that bring the harm arising from the policy to life. Today’s post is the first in a series that highlights just some of the works that were scheduled to enter the public domain in the coming years that will be locked out for a generation. As discussed in this post, the best approach for the government to mitigate against these harms is the implementation of a registration requirement. Registration would allow rights holders that want the extension to get it, while ensuring that many other works enter the public domain at the international standard of life plus 50 years. By providing for life plus 50 and the option for an additional 20 years, Canadian law would be consistent with Berne Convention formalities requirements and with its trade treaty obligations.

Read more ›

April 12, 2022 7 comments News
Fortune Global Forum 2018 #27 by John Lehmann/Fortune  FORTUNE Global Forum (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2c3SF2A

Chrystia Freeland’s Hidden Tax: How Canada Should Implement the Copyright Term Extension Buried in Budget 2022

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled Budget 2022 yesterday. While much of the focus was on housing and the environment, buried in Annex 3 at page 274 was a promise to extend the term of copyright from the international standard of life of the author plus 50 years to life plus 70 years. The extension fulfills a commitment in the Canada-US-Mexico Trade Agreement with the specific implementation details presumably to come in several weeks in the Budget Implementation Act. This is both a terrible policy making approach (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected in 2015 in part on a pledge not to use the budget to sneak through legislation this way) and terrible policy that experts have termed a “tax on consumers”. Indeed, term extension was long opposed by successive Canadian governments both Liberal and Conservative for good reason: it creates significant costs with limited to no benefits.

Read more ›

April 8, 2022 7 comments News
Coteau tweet, https://twitter.com/coteau/status/1508910388045361152

Why Has the Government’s Defence of Bill C-11 Been So Cartoonishly Misleading?

Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act that serves as the government’s follow-up to Bill C-10, was the subject of debate in the House of Commons yesterday as the legislation slowly makes it way through the legislative process. There are still committee hearings to come, but it is readily apparent that many of the concerns that hamstrung Bill C-10 have returned: virtually limitless jurisdictional, overbroad scope, and harmful discoverability provisions. Further, this bill has attracted mounting criticism from Canadian digital-first creators, who note that one of Canada’s biggest cultural exports could be hurt by the bill leading to millions in lost revenues.

While none of these concerns should come as a surprise, what is surprising is how ill-prepared the government appears to be address the criticisms. Indeed, the communications strategy seems based primarily on presuming that Canadians won’t bother to read the legislation and will therefore take misleading assurances at face value. Consider the latest attempt to assuage concerns: a cartoon of Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez providing an assurance that the bill’s changes won’t affect individual Canadians since “the changes only apply to companies.” That cartoon sparked an instant mashup that pointed to the direct effects on digital first creators. Further, the changes don’t apply only to companies. Bill C-11 treats all audio-visual content as programs subject to potential regulation. With exceptions that could easily capture TikTok or YouTube videos, the bill is about far more than just large companies.

Read more ›

March 30, 2022 25 comments News
Darcy Michael website, http://www.darcymichael.com

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 123: Darcy Michael on Why Bill C-11 Hurts Canada’s Digital First Creators

Since the introduction of Bill C-11, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has insisted that he heard the concerns about regulating user generated content and he “fixed it.” Yet the reality is that anyone that takes the time to the read the bill knows that simply isn’t the case. The concerns with the government’s approach have started to attract the attention of Canadian digital-first creators, who fear the plans could lead to lost revenues and reduced promotion worldwide of what has become one of Canada’s most successful cultural exports.

Darcy Michael is a B.C.-based comedian with millions of TikTok subscribers and a globally successful podcast. Last week, he appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to warn about the risks of Bill C-11 and to call for reform. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to tell his story of success online and his fears about what the bill would mean for Canadian digital-first creators.

Read more ›

March 28, 2022 0 comments Podcasts
Gotta Love Trump https://invictus-tv.com/gotta-love-trump

Bill C-11’s Foundational Faults, Part Five: How is “Gotta Love Trump” Cancon But Amazon’s Toronto Maple Leafs Series Isn’t?

My series on Bill C-11’s foundational faults has covered jurisdictional over-reach, the implications of treating all audio-visual content as a “program” subject to CRTC regulation, as well as the flaws and harms of the discoverability provisions. While the faults thus far focus on provisions contained in the bill, this post examines a critical aspect of broadcast and cultural policy that the government has failed to address. The bill purports to support “Canadian stories” but the current system often means that certified Cancon has little to do with Canada and fails to meet those objectives. Case in point: the certification of Gotta Love Trump, a film primarily comprised of pro-Trump clips that include Trump’s photographer, a former Apprentice contestant, Roger Stone, Candace Owens, and a cast of others with scarcely anything resembling Canadian content.

Read more ›

March 16, 2022 10 comments News