Copyright Modernization Act
An Act to amend the Copyright Act
Christian Paradis Conservative
This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.
- June 18, 2012 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
- May 15, 2012 Passed That Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, as amended, be concurred in at report stage with further amendments.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by adding after line 15 on page 54 the following: “(3) The Board may, on application, make an order ( a) excluding from the application of section 41.1 a technological protection measure that protects a work, a performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or a sound recording, or classes of them, or any class of such technological protection measures, having regard to the factors set out in paragraph (2)(a); or ( b) requiring the owner of the copyright in a work, a performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or a sound recording that is protected by a technological protection measure to provide access to the work, performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or sound recording to persons who are entitled to the benefit of any limitation on the application of paragraph 41.1(1)(a). (4) Any order made under subsection (3) shall remain in effect for a period of five years unless ( a) the Governor in Council makes regulations varying the term of the order; or ( b) the Board, on application, orders the renewal of the order for an additional five years.”
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by replacing line 11 on page 52 with the following: “(2) Paragraph 41.1(1)( b) does not”
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by replacing line 25 on page 51 with the following: “(2) Paragraph 41.1(1)( b) does not”
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 7 on page 51.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 24 to 33 on page 50.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting line 37 on page 49 to line 3 on page 50.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 17 to 29 on page 48.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 38 to 44 on page 47.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by adding after line 26 on page 47 the following: “(5) Paragraph (1)( a) does not apply to a qualified person who circumvents a technological protection measure on behalf of another person who is lawfully entitled to circumvent that technological protection measure. (6) Paragraphs (1)( b) and (c) do not apply to a person who provides a service to a qualified person or who manufactures, imports or provides a technology, device or component, for the purposes of enabling a qualified person to circumvent a technological protection measure in accordance with this Act. (7) A qualified person may only circumvent a technological protection measure under subsection (5) if ( a) the work or other subject-matter to which the technological protection measure is applied is not an infringing copy; and ( b) the qualified person informs the person on whose behalf the technological protection measure is circumvented that the work or other subject-matter is to be used solely for non-infringing purposes. (8) The Governor in Council may, for the purposes of this section, make regulations ( a) defining “qualified person”; ( b) prescribing the information to be recorded about any action taken under subsection (5) or (6) and the manner and form in which the information is to be kept; and ( c) prescribing the manner and form in which the conditions set out in subsection (7) are to be met.”
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by adding after line 26 on page 47 the following: “41.101 (1) No one shall apply, or cause to be applied, a technological protection measure to a work or other subject-matter that is intended to be offered for use by members of the public by sale, rental or otherwise unless the work or other subject-matter is accompanied by a clearly visible notice indicating ( a) that a technological protection measure has been applied to the work; and ( b) the capabilities, compatibilities and limitations imposed by the technological protection measure, including, where applicable, but without limitation (i) any requirement that particular software must be installed, either automatically or with the user's consent, in order to access or use the work or other subject-matter, (ii) any requirement for authentication or authorization via a network service in order to access or use the work or other subject-matter, (iii) any known incompatibility with ordinary consumer devices that would reasonably be expected to operate with the work or other subject-matter, and (iv) any limits imposed by the technological protection measure on the ability to make use of the rights granted under section 29, 29.1, 29.2, 29.21, 29.22, 29.23 or 29.24; and ( c) contact information for technical support or consumer inquiries in relation to the technological protection measure. (2) The Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing the form and content of the notice referred to in subsection (1).”
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by adding after line 26 on page 47 the following: “41.101 (1) Paragraph 41.1(1)( a) does not apply to a person who has lawful authority to care for or supervise a minor and who circumvents a technological protection measure for the purpose of protecting the minor if ( a) the copy of the work or other subject-matter with regard to which the technological protection measure is applied is not an infringing copy; and ( b) the person has lawfully obtained the work, the performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or the sound recording that is protected by the technological protection measure. (2) Paragraphs 41.1(1)( b) and (c) do not apply to a person who provides a service to a person referred to in subsection (1) or who manufactures, imports or provides a technology, device or component, for the purposes of enabling anyone to circumvent a technological protection measure in accordance with subsection (1). (3) A person acting in the circumstances referred to in subsection (1) is not entitled to benefit from the exception under that subsection if the person does an act that constitutes an infringement of copyright or contravenes any Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province.”
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 21 to 40 on page 46.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by replacing line 25 on page 45 with the following: “measure for the purpose of an act that is an infringement of the copyright in the protected work.”
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 22, be amended by deleting lines 30 to 34 on page 20.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 22, be amended by deleting lines 33 to 37 on page 19.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11 be amended by deleting Clause 62.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11 be amended by deleting Clause 49.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 27, be amended by deleting line 42 on page 23 to line 3 on page 24.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 27, be amended by replacing lines 23 to 29 on page 23 with the following: “paragraph (3)( a) to reproduce the lesson for non-infringing purposes.”
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 21, be amended by adding after line 13 on page 17 the following: “(2) The Governor in Council may make regulations defining “education” for the purposes of subsection (1).”
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11 be amended by deleting Clause 2.
- May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11 be amended by deleting Clause 1.
- May 15, 2012 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage of the Bill and one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill; and That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at report stage and on the day allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the Bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.
- Feb. 13, 2012 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to a legislative committee.
- Feb. 13, 2012 Passed That this question be now put.
- Feb. 8, 2012 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, not more than two further sitting days shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the Bill; and that, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the second day allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.
- Nov. 28, 2011 Failed That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: “the House decline to give second reading to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, because it fails to: ( a) uphold the rights of consumers to choose how to enjoy the content that they purchase through overly-restrictive digital lock provisions; (b) include a clear and strict test for “fair dealing” for education purposes; and (c) provide any transitional funding to help artists adapt to the loss of revenue streams that the Bill would cause”.
The House resumed from June 15 consideration of the motion that Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, be read the third time and passed.
Business of the House
June 18th, 2012 / 8:40 p.m.
Gordon O'Connor Minister of State and Chief Government Whip
Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties for the following motion. I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing or Special Order, or usual practice of the House, when the proceedings are interrupted later this day, pursuant to the order made Tuesday, June 12, 2012, under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), with respect to the third reading stage of Bill C-38, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures:
(a) all questions necessary to dispose of third reading stage of the said bill shall be deemed put and a recorded division shall be deemed requested;
(b) the bells to call in the members shall ring for not longer than 30 minutes;
(c) following the disposal of Bill C-38, the House shall then proceed immediately to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions respecting the third reading stage of Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, and the motion to concur in the third report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates; and
(d) after the taking of the recorded divisions provided for in this order, the House shall stand adjourned to the next sitting day.
Copyright Modernization Act
June 15th, 2012 / 1 p.m.
Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS
Madam Speaker, if there is time left, I will split my time with the hon. member for Brampton—Springdale.
I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act. I am proud to say that our government is moving ahead with copyright modernization legislation that addresses the challenges and opportunities of the Internet and other digital technologies, and will bring Canada's copyright laws up to international standards.
I would like to thank the hon. members of the legislative committee. We all sat together and worked hard in studying the bill. The amendments we adopted at the committee have strongly enhanced this bill.
Before I discuss the copyright modernization act, I would like to emphasize that until we pass this legislation, we will be stuck with a copyright law and regimen that are long and overdue for reform.
The last time Canada's Copyright Act was substantively updated was in 1997. That was 15 years ago. Back then, VCRs and CDs were the norm. Words like “blog”, “tweet”, “iPad”, “WiFi” and “app” were not part of Canada's everyday vocabulary.
Since then, the Internet has radically transformed the way in which Canadians produce and access copyrighted material. Apps for mobile devices continually improve our access to content. Tablet devices allow readers to access e-books, e-magazines and other content. It seems like every day there is something newer, faster or better out there for creators and consumers.
We need to catch up and keep up with the rapid pace of technological change that touches upon all of our lives. The fact is that while Canadian businesses and consumers are making use of all kinds of new and innovative technologies, our copyright laws have simply not kept pace. An update is drastically needed. That is why we are modernizing the Copyright Act to bring Canada's copyright laws into the digital age.
We are taking a common sense approach to this modernization. We are taking a balanced approach that considers how Canadians create and use content, an approach that gives Canadians and Canadian creators, the innovators the tools they need to protect their investments. It is an approach that is responsive to the ever-evolving technological environment, I would like to stress, it is an approach that protects and helps create jobs, promotes innovation and attracts new investment to Canada. In short, we are taking an approach to copyright modernization that is going to help us succeed in a digital economy.
The challenge in modernizing any copyright law is striking just the right balance between the needs and interests of the various users, creators and intermediaries. We believe we have this balance just right.
Bill C-11 would give Canadian creators the tools they need to remain creative, innovative and competitive internationally. It contains a number of important provisions that would help Canada's creators reach new markets. It would also help them roll out new business models.
One way we will do this is by allowing creators to benefit from the full range of rights and protections that are established in the World Intellectual Property Organization Internet treaties, better known as WIPO. These treaties represent an international consensus on the standard of copyright protection, which is needed to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the Internet and other digital technologies. Implementing these rights will bring Canada in line with its G8 partners and most of the economies for the OECD. In short, implementing these rights will allow Canada's creators to compete on the global stage.
Beyond implementing the rights of the WIPO treaties, Bill C-11 would continue a number of measures that would help legitimate online businesses flourish and challenge illegitimate ones. For example, Bill C-11 introduces a new civil liability for those who enable online piracy. It does this by supplementing the existing provisions of the Copyright Act with new tools that make liability for enabling online piracy even clearer. I would note that this measure has been enhanced by the amendments that were adopted by the legislative committee studying Bill C-11. Thanks to the work of this committee, the bill clearly targets those who enable online copyright infringement.
Bill C-11 also ensures that Canadian Internet service providers will play a key role in curtailing online infringement. Canadian Internet service providers have developed a practice in which they forward a notice to their subscriber when a rights holder notifies the ISP that one of their subscribers has allegedly infringed upon their copyright. This practice is known as “notice and notice”. It is a Canadian solution to a worldwide problem.
Bill C-11 would formalize this notice and notice practice into law. Again, the committee that was studying Bill C-11 adopted an amendment that would improve the clarity of this provision. I would like to thank my colleagues on the committee for their hard work to ensure the effectiveness of the bill.
Let me emphasize that all of these measures, along with many others in the bill, would give creators the rights and protections they need to flourish in the digital economy of today and tomorrow.
Because Bill C-11 is about balance, it also includes a number of copyright exceptions. These exceptions allow Canadian consumers to legally benefit from digital technology. They serve the public interest and are responsive to the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.
There are a couple of exceptions in the bill. In particular, there are the exceptions that recognize the incredible potential that technology offers to Canadian educational institutions and students.
As an 18 year experienced educator, I can say that this copyright legislation will make massive improvements in the ability of teachers to instruct their students. It would allow teachers to connect with students in remote communities across the country through technology and enhanced learning opportunities. This would open the door for digital learning. It would enable students in rural and remote communities to access the same lessons as those in metropolitan centres. Furthermore, Bill C-11 would allow educators to make use of publicly available material from the Internet in their teaching activities and it would allow teachers to enjoy the flexibility to use copyrighted materials, together with innovative new classroom technologies such as smart boards.
Let me emphasize that these exceptions would contribute to an enriched educational experience for our students. Let me also emphasize that these educational exceptions are complemented by a number of other exceptions that legitimize many everyday activities for Canadian consumers in the digital age. For instance, the bill would give consumers the flexibility to copy legitimately acquired content, such as songs, to devices such as smart phones and MP3 players.
These exceptions are a key part of the government's approach to copyright modernization, an approach that is fair, balanced and relevant to today's technological world. In today's global economy, Canada must keep pace with the world as it races forward. Bill C-11 would help put us in the winning position in this global economy. It would contribute to an environment that fosters creativity, innovation and economic growth.
However, Let us not forget that we will have none of this until we pass this legislation.
The committee studying the bill has now completed its work. It has listened to Canadians, has reviewed the bill, has amended the bill and now we need to pass the bill. We need to complete our work on copyright modernization. I invite my colleagues to contribute to the swift passage of this legislation so we can bring Canada's copyright laws into the digital age.
Copyright Modernization Act
June 15th, 2012 / 12:45 p.m.
David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON
Madam Speaker, good morning, after a marathon of debate and voting in the last 30 hours.
I would like to focus on some of the practical everyday aspects and impacts of this bill, legislation which the Liberal Party of Canada will not be supporting.
There are a few things that viewers and people reading Hansard might want to know. This bill is a carbon copy of a previous copyright bill, old Bill C-32, which had been brought before the House. The government has refused to amend the bill in any way, shape, or form, either through legislative amendments put by parties, or based on the sound evidence and testimony given by folks who deal with this sector day in and day out.
Let us look at some of the testimony we heard at the industry committee just in the last seven days.
It deals with the question of digital locks. As my colleague said, it would say to families, housewives, fathers and single moms or dads that when taking their kids to a soccer tournament, for example, they would not be able to copy a film to play in the car during the eight-hour ride to Windsor. If they did make a copy, they would be subject to prosecution.
There are a couple of other elements.
We heard from the CEO of UBM TechInsights, which is an Ottawa-based world-class company. Its job is to protect intellectual property for creators and owners. It is sort of like a CSI crime lab. It helps inventors and owners in the intellectual property area.
Mr. Harry Page, the CEO of the company, explained to the committee that his company employs some very extensive reverse engineering technologies, so-called forensic techniques. They are used to help people identify instances where there is an infringement. It helps them prove that to enforce their intellectual property rights.
The problem, of course, is that the digital lock measures in the bill would prevent that company from breaking a digital lock even if it is placed on a device by someone who is pirating another company's hardware or software.
Why would the government want to make it illegal for a company like UBM TechInsights to break a digital lock to prove a theft, for example, on behalf of a client? It makes no sense. Why would the government aid and abet software pirates? Why is the government not protecting companies like UBM TechInsights that have hundreds of employees and carry out this work on a global basis?
There is another practical example of the impact this legislation would have.
Campus Stores Canada testified at committee. It is a major supplier of books in the academic settings across the country, in colleges, CEGEPs and universities. Its representative said that the bill would have a negative impact on more than 100 vendor and supplier associates. The Campus Stores Canada representative testified that the new copyright act would increase the cost of Canadian textbooks by as much as 15%.
I am blessed with four kids at home, three of whom are in college and university, and I can attest to my own kids' struggles with the cost of textbooks. They work at part-time jobs and search long and hard for used textbooks, which are often not available. They have to buy new textbooks every year. That is the way the teaching system works. It is hard for young people.
Why, as the Campus Stores Canada representative testified, would it want to bring in a 15% increase on the over one million students that it serves? Of course, the company does not want to do this, but this is another practical impact of what the government is pursuing.
There is a third example, and it was picked up on by my colleague a moment ago when he read into the record some testimony from Professor Ian Hargreaves. Professor Ian Hargreaves is not just another professor in the area of intellectual property. He was the person who conducted the definitive study in Britain last year on intellectual property. It is the number one study in the United Kingdom.
It is important for Canada to look to other jurisdictions to determine how they have done it comparatively. They are struggling with the same thing.
I want to re-emphasize what Professor Hargreaves said in committee in the last several days. It was basically that the notion that informs this legislation, which is something that the conservative movement has seized upon now in its present form for many years, is about tougher enforcement. The government is going to be tougher about enforcement. We often hear that, and we often ask why the government would not want to be as tough on the causes of crime, for example, as the government says it is on the crime itself.
Professor Hargreaves said that the United Kingdom has a law in place making it unlawful to copy a song from a laptop to an MP3 player. He basically said that this was a big mistake. It has not worked in the United Kingdom. He went on to say, “The continued unlawfulness of copying a song from a laptop to an MP3 player is something which has not been tenable for really quite some time. The law needs to be sensible.” The law he referred to as making “reasonable sense to reasonable people”.
We have a situation where the government, with full knowledge of other experiences in other jurisdictions, is simply saying it does not want to change or improve this bill. Perhaps the Conservatives are motivated by such partisanship that they cannot accept good amendments from other parties. It is very unfortunate if that is the case. Perhaps they are under inordinate pressure and undue influence from the United States, which has a very powerful entertainment industry. Perhaps they are under pressure from forces in Los Angeles and Hollywood that are very worried about the growth of Canada's film industry, of the success in Toronto and Vancouver and even in cities like my city, Ottawa, where increasing numbers of films and recordings are being pursued.
I do not know what the motivation is, but it is unfortunate that the government does not see fit to work with Parliament. That is why we come to work here every day. We come to work to improve things. We have here a case where the definitive author of the biggest study in the United Kingdom in years testified that it just does not work, so why do we not actually pursue another way?
That is why we put forward a number of amendments to try to overcome these difficulties. We ask again, why will the government not amend Bill C-11 to allow consumers to break a digital lock for personal use, for what we call non-infringing purposes? Why would the government want to send a signal to the millions of Canadians who occasionally copy this kind of material for personal use that they had better watch out because they are going to be hunted down? It sort of portrays, and I am not sure if it is ignorance or just an unwillingness to see where society is on these issues.
I have four teenage kids who spend a lot of time doing creative work, listening to creative work, participating in creative work. It is now part and parcel of what they do in school. It is part and parcel of what they do in society.
Seniors are increasingly turning to online solutions. Very many seniors in my riding of Ottawa South are now doing online banking. They are pursuing online entertainment searches. Some of them have mobility problems, or perhaps are disabled.
I do not understand why the government has this pig-headedness, this hard-headedness about not wanting to improve the bill based on these practical issues that have been raised and practical solutions that have been proffered by both the U.K. experience and by parliamentarians here on the floor.
I would like to close by saying that, yes, it is important to improve and modernize our Copyright Act, but it is not a serious venture when the government carbon copies the previous facsimile of it, brings it to the floor of the House, and says, “Here, do it again. We are not interested in improving this,” when there is goodwill and good faith to do so.
Copyright Modernization Act
June 15th, 2012 / 12:30 p.m.
Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS
Madam Speaker, I am pleased that my colleague and friend from Halifax West asked me to stand and speak. He serves as the industry critic and is certainly much more involved in this topic and piece of legislation than I am. But I have been able to form an opinion after following the debate, after having an opportunity to speak with a number of persons whose lives and livelihoods are impacted by the passing of this legislation, and after having read some of the testimony given in committee hearings. I am very comfortable with my party's position on this particular piece of legislation.
This is not the first time we have seen this type of legislation. For the most part, Bill C-11 is a carbon copy of what we saw in the previous Parliament, which was Bill C-32. The Canadian economy is in the midst of a transition to a digital economy. We know that cultural institutions are going to be impacted through this transition. The music, cinema and education sectors are going to be profoundly impacted by this piece of legislation.
From what I have been able to read through the development of the legislation and the testimony in committee, there is some support for the legislation. There are some solid principles in the legislation and the direction of the legislation was embraced by the vast majority, but there are a number of specific aspects of this bill that are very contentious and are going to pose harm to a great number of Canadians. Amendments that were brought forward that seemed to be logical and reasonable were totally dismissed, and I am going to talk about that a little later on.
We know that things have changed. Let me take the music sector, as an example, and talk about how that has changed over the last number of years. My caucus colleagues and I would have grown up in an era in which our first experience with music probably would have on vinyl. I do not think it would have gone back to the time of 78s, but certainly 45s and long-playing albums.
The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, be read the third time and passed.
Business of the House
June 15th, 2012 / 12:10 p.m.
Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to start my one-day-late Thursday statement with the Conservatives' deep gratitude to all of the staff and pages of the House of Commons, who were forced to endure a rather long Wednesday sitting. I thank them for that and I apologize that they were subjected to it.
On to the remaining business of the House, this afternoon will we complete third reading debate of Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act. On Monday we will have the third reading debate of Bill C-38, the jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act, now that we are past the opposition's theatrical and ideologically driven delay tactics at report stage, which caused you, Madam Speaker, to have to spend an undue length of time here, in particular during the unfortunate act of slow votes, which really achieved nothing but inconvenience to the staff and pages of the House of Commons.
If we have extra time on Monday, we will resume second reading debate on Bill C-15, the strengthening military justice in the defence of Canada act. For the remainder of the week, I want to see the House dispose of the many bills that are still awaiting our work and attention. To accommodate the House, we have voted to sit into the evenings next week.
I would welcome any co-operation from my counterparts on moving these bills forward efficiently. I would like to start with securing second reading and referral to committee before the fall sitting of the following bills: Bill C-24, the Canada—Panama economic growth and prosperity act; Bill C-28, the financial literacy leader act; Bill C-36, the protecting Canada's seniors act; Bill C-15, the military justice bill that I mentioned moments ago; Bill C-27, the first nations financial transparency act; and Bill S-2, the family homes on reserves and matrimonial interests or rights act.
Of course, this is only the start of my list, but it would be a good message for us to send to Canadians to show that we are actually willing to do our jobs, the jobs they sent us here to do, and actually vote and make decisions on the bills before us. A productive last week of the spring sitting of our hard-working Parliament would reassure Canadians that their parliamentarians are here to work.
To get on in that direction, since today is World Elder Abuse Day, I want to draw attention to our Bill C-36, the protecting Canada's seniors act. I believe this bill to combat elder abuse has the support of all parties. I have heard the suggestion of the opposition whip, but I would like to suggest we go one step further. I know the opposition has shown it likes to talk about things; we actually like to make decisions and get things done on this side of the House. With that in mind, and in recognition of this day, it is appropriate to advance this important bill right now and send it to committee for study. Therefore, I would like to ask for unanimous consent for the following motion:
That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (elder abuse) be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
Copyright Modernization Act
June 15th, 2012 / 10:05 a.m.
Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)
moved that Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, be read the third time and passed.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to open debate at third reading on the copyright modernization act. This has been a long process. After 15 years, unprecedented levels of consultations, introduction in two Parliaments, reviews conducted by two legislative committees, over 30 hours of review and debate, 100 witness testimonies and thousands more submissions, and several efforts by our government, it is a great honour to rise today at third reading of the bill. I look forward to seeing this bill move toward the Senate.
I thank the President of the Treasury Board and the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, who have put a tremendous amount of work into crafting this bill and toward consultations to get us here today.
Modernizing our copyright regime is one of the key ways to create a dynamic, growing and creative digital economy in Canada that creates jobs, not only today, but for many years to come.
I remind members of the House who are thinking of opposing this bill of what Canadian businesses, entrepreneurs, creators, artists and users have said throughout this difficult process. They have said that they need modern legislation to reflect modern times and that they could no longer wait.
Our copyright laws were last substantially amended in 1997. Compared to the fast-paced world that we live in today, where we have new smart phones every year, we can watch movies on many devices with a screen and Internet connection, and where artists and creators can get their big break through social media, 1997 was a different world.
Indeed, for those of us with young children or teenagers at home, it is fascinating to see the ease with which they interact with digital media. That which we need to learn they have already internalized as part of the world in which they are growing up.
However, our copyright laws are simply not relevant or responsive enough for today's world. Whether it is the everyday online activities of the average Canadian, saving a favourite show on a personal video recorder, updating a music playlist on smart phones or putting a mash-up online, whether it is artists or creators looking to manage the release of their works online or protect their works from online infringements or rights holders looking to ensure that their investments are protected, all need modern copyright laws. This would ensure that the digital web, with its vast database of knowledge, incredible ability to connect people, and its limitless potential to create, innovate and grow, is fully accessible to all Canadians.
Since the current round of copyright reform began, we have seen a tremendous change in the digital world. Social media is everywhere. It is now easy to access copyrighted material online and to do so using hand-held devices. Now cloud computing is looking to completely upend old service models for data transfer and storage.
Over the last few years, many different views have been expressed on how to approach copyright reform. Quite simply, to move forward we need to establish a balance between what is necessary for consumers and what is good for creators. What will support users while protecting rights holders?
This bill finds a fair balance. It gives copyright owners the tools they need to combat piracy, including new provisions enabling them to sue in case of copyright violations.
Under the legislation, consumers will be able to record their favourite televisions shows to watch them later, transfer music from a CD to a digital device, and create digital mash-ups to post on social media sites.
Until this bill is passed, these activities are technically illegal. Consumers who do ordinary activities that are commonly accepted, such as the activities I just mentioned, are now in a grey area with respect to their copyright responsibilities.
The bill updates the act's exceptions to allow for the use of copyright-protected content for the purposes of satire and parody, according to the provisions of fair dealing. It also expands the notion of fair dealing and provides exceptions for educators to better use digital resources. This will improve teaching, research methods and educational content, through the use of the most recent technologies. It specifies the roles and responsibilities of Internet service providers and search engines.
The bill also supports private sector innovation by creating exceptions for reverse engineering, security testing, encryption research and technological processes. It provides legal protection for companies that, in the context of their operational model, rely on digital locks to protect their copyrighted content.
Finally, under this bill, rights and protections in Canada will be harmonized with the World Intellectual Property Organization treaties signed by Canada in 1997. We will finally join the group of nations that have brought their copyright legislation into the digital era.
Taken together, the measures in the bill would help Canadian creators and innovators to compete and contribute to attracting foreign investment to Canada, while ensuring that consumers, educators and users would have new protections that would give them full opportunity to engage in their digital world.
As I described at the outset of my remarks, this House has debated the bill extensively, at second reading, during both legislative committees and during the report stage just two weeks ago.
Throughout this process, we have made a special effort to introduce technical amendments that preserve the balance and spirit of the bill.
At the report stage, many of my colleagues spoke eloquently about the nature and purpose of these amendments. In the minutes remaining, I would like to remind the House why we introduced these amendments. I would like to begin by discussing the three main amendments that will strengthen the anti-piracy tools available to copyright holders.
First, members will recall that the bill before us includes a provision enabling copyright holders to take legal action against individuals who knowingly violate copyright online, such as those operating websites that facilitate the illegal exchange of files. I am sure that everyone here agrees that such sites should be the first target of an anti-piracy campaign.
To ensure that this provision will be as effective as it is meant to be, we introduced an amendment clarifying that the provision will apply to online services primarily provided to violate copyright, even if they were not initially designed to do that. The idea is not to do indirectly what we cannot do directly. To sum up, regardless of the initial purpose of a site, if the site enables copyright violations, there will be consequences.
Second, copyright holders told us that they were worried about the fact that they would not be able to exact pre-established damages from these enablers. Websites that facilitate illegal file-sharing hurt copyright holders and often profit from their pirating activities. Accordingly, the bill was amended to ensure that copyright holders can protect themselves against these enablers and pre-established damages.
Lastly, the committee amended the bill to eliminate a potential loophole. We were told that the liability exemptions, which were intended to protect neutral intermediaries, could become a loophole that enablers could use to protect themselves against litigation. A technical change corrected the situation in order to ensure that enablers would not be able to use these exemptions to protect themselves against litigation.
I would now like to highlight some of the changes we made that will identify some of the exceptions included in the bill regarding innovation.
Specifically, the bill contains exceptions to support important innovative activities related to software reverse engineering, security testing and encryption research.
On that point, I would like to thank my colleague, the member for Kitchener—Waterloo, for bringing this to our attention and working to better the act.
We were told that someone could use these exceptions to engage in illegal activities. The government therefore has made a balanced change that will ensure that people engaging in such activities cannot get around copyright requirements and that our honest innovators and researchers can pursue their important work, inventing new products and marketing their innovations. In addition to those changes, we have also proposed changes that will support non-profit agencies that work in the interest of people with visual impairments.
As far as consumers are concerned, the bill indeed includes an exception that allows non-profit organizations to create and export material adapted for people with perceptual impairments, under certain conditions, including a limitation based on the nationality of the author.
However, given that the author's nationality is not always easy to determine, there was concern that an organization might have to pay damages for errors made in good faith. An amendment to the bill responds to that concern and recognizes that in many cases, people do make honest mistakes.
In order to ensure that the non-profit organizations in question are not unduly penalized as a result of mistakes made in good faith, the amendment states that, in such circumstances, an injunction is the only remedy that the owner of the copyright in the work has against the organization.
With regard to intermediaries, Internet service providers and search engines play an important role in exchanging ideas and information. They make it easier to access the online world and help us to sort through a vast quantity of information.
At committee, many intermediaries informed us of the unintended consequences that the provisions of the bill could have on them. In order to protect these groups from such unintended consequences, we proposed amendments that take their concerns into account without affecting the bill's balanced approach. For example, the bill requires Internet service providers to forward to subscribers the notifications of claimed infringement they receive from copyright owners.
This provision was amended to require Internet service providers to forward notifications of claimed infringement “as soon as feasible” rather than “without delay” as it said in the original version of the bill. Furthermore, it is important that the intermediaries are not held responsible when they play a neutral role. By establishing an exemption for real network intermediaries and new technologically neutral exceptions for consumers' daily activities, Bill C-11 paves the way for an increased use of digital technologies, such as cloud computing, networked personal video recording and other services that have yet to be invented.
A service that meets the conditions of the exemption will not result in liability under copyright law. Although intermediaries must assume clear responsibilities in the fight against online piracy, we also have to ensure that the requirements imposed on them are not unrealistic or too cumbersome.
The government firmly believes that the provisions of Bill C-11 strike such a balance.
I think all members would agree that this House has debated and consulted for some time now on how to strike an appropriate balance while establishing a modern, responsive copyright regime in Canada. These amendments are the latest demonstration of our government's commitment to strike the right balance between rights holders and users.
We recognize that copyright in the digital age will always evolve and that efforts to maintain balance are ongoing, whether a bill is before us or not. Such is the complexity of copyright and the many views on what is an ideal regime.
Our job as government is to ensure that the bill strikes the right balance, that it promotes innovation, investment and job growth in the Canadian digital economy while also preserving the rights of Canadians to use legally purchased copyright material in new and creative ways. For that reason, the bill has a built in five-year review so it does not fall this far behind again.
I hope hon. members will agree with me that the bill should be passed as amended and moved quickly to the Senate for debate and review.
This bill will bring Canadian copyright into the digital age. It is long overdue.
The faster it moves through Parliament, the faster it will benefit creators, the faster we can adopt measures to fight piracy, the faster search engines and Internet service providers will have clearly defined roles and responsibilities with respect to copyright, and the faster users will be able to go about their daily non-infringing activities with confidence and full knowledge of the practices permitted under the law.
We can no longer put off passing this bill. It is time to move forward.
Extension of Sitting Hours
June 11th, 2012 / 3:25 p.m.
Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
That, pursuant to Standing Order 27, the ordinary hour of daily adjournment shall be 12 midnight, commencing on Monday, June 11, 2012, and concluding on Friday, June 22, 2012, but not including Friday, June 15, 2012.
Today I rise to make the case for the government's motion to extend the working hours of this House until midnight for the next two weeks. This is of course a motion made in the context of the Standing Orders, which expressly provide for such a motion to be made on this particular day once a year.
Over the past year, our government's top priority has remained creating jobs and economic growth.
Job creation and economic growth have remained important priorities for our government.
Under the government's economic action plan, Canada's deficits and taxes are going down; investments in education, skills training, and research and innovation are going up; and excessive red tape and regulations are being eliminated.
As the global economic recovery remains fragile, especially in Europe, Canadians want their government to focus on what matters most: jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. This is what our Conservative government has been doing.
On March 29, the Minister of Finance delivered economic action plan 2012, a comprehensive budget that coupled our low-tax policy with new actions to promote jobs and economic growth.
The 2012 budget proposed measures aimed at putting our finances in order, increasing innovation and creating suitable and applicable legislation in the area of resource development in order to promote a good, stable investment climate.
The budget was debated for four days and was adopted by the House on April 4. The Minister of Finance then introduced Bill C-38, Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act, the 2012 budget implementation bill. The debate at second reading of Bill C-38 was the longest debate on a budget implementation bill in at least two decades, and probably the longest ever.
On May 14, after seven days of debate, Bill C-38 was passed at second reading.
The bill has also undergone extensive study in committee. The Standing Committee on Finance held in-depth hearings on the bill. The committee also created a special subcommittee for detailed examination of the bill's responsible resource development provisions. All told, this was the longest committee study of any budget implementation bill for at least the last two decades, and probably ever.
We need to pass Bill C-38 to implement the urgent provisions of economic action plan 2012. In addition to our economic measures, our government has brought forward and passed bills that keep the commitments we made to Canadians in the last election.
In a productive, hard-working and orderly way, we fulfilled long-standing commitments to give marketing freedom to western Canadian grain farmers, to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, and to improve our democracy by moving every province closer to the principle of representation by population in the House of Commons.
However, in the past year our efforts to focus on the priorities of Canadians have been met with nothing but delay and obstruction tactics by the opposition. In some cases, opposition stalling and delaying tactics have meant that important bills are still not yet law. That is indeed regrettable.
In the case of Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act, a bill that will help to create good, high-paying jobs in Canada's creative and high-tech sectors, this House has debated the bill on 10 days. We heard 79 speeches on it before it was even sent to committee. This is, of course, on top of similar debate that occurred in previous Parliaments on similar bills.
It is important for us to get on with it and pass this bill for the sake of those sectors of our economy, to ensure that Canada remains competitive in a very dynamic, changing high-tech sector in the world, so that we can have Canadian jobs and Canadian leadership in that sector.
Bill C-24 is the bill to implement the Canada-Panama free trade agreement. It has also been the subject of numerous days of debate, in fact dozens and dozens of speeches in the House, and it has not even made it to committee yet.
Bill C-23 is the Canada-Jordan economic growth and prosperity act. It also implements another important job-creating free trade agreement.
All three of these bills have actually been before this place longer than for just the last year. As I indicated, they were originally introduced in previous Parliaments. Even then, they were supported by a majority of members of this House and were adopted and sent to committee. However, they are still not law.
We are here to work hard for Canadians. Adopting today's motion would give the House sufficient time to make progress on each of these bills prior to the summer recess. Adopting today's motion would also give us time to pass Bill C-25, the pooled registered pension plans act. It is a much-needed piece of legislation that would give Canadians in small businesses and self-employed workers yet another option to help support them in saving for their retirement. Our government is committed to giving Canadians as many options as possible to secure their retirement and to have that income security our seniors need. This is another example of how we can work to give them those options.
In addition to these bills that have been obstructed, opposed or delayed one way or another by the opposition, there are numerous bills that potentially have support from the opposition side but still have not yet come to a vote. By adding hours to each working day in the House over the next two weeks, we would allow time for these bills to come before members of Parliament for a vote. These include: Bill C-12, safeguarding Canadians' personal information act; and Bill C-15, strengthening military justice in the defence of Canada act. I might add, that bill is long overdue as our military justice system is in need of these proposed changes. It has been looking for them for some time. It is a fairly small and discrete bill and taking so long to pass this House is not a testament to our productivity and efficiency. I hope we will be able to proceed with that.
Bill C-27 is the first nations financial transparency act, another step forward in accountability. Bill C-28 is the financial literacy leader act. At a time when we are concerned about people's financial circumstances, not just countries' but individuals', this is a positive step forward to help people improve their financial literacy so all Canadians can face a more secure financial future. Bill C-36 is the protecting Canada's seniors act which aims to prevent elder abuse. Does it not make sense that we move forward on that to provide Canadian seniors the protection they need from those very heinous crimes and offences which have become increasingly common in news reports in recent years?
Bill C-37 is the increasing offenders' accountability for victims act. This is another major step forward for readjusting our justice system which has been seen by most Canadians as being for too long concerned only about the rights and privileges of the criminals who are appearing in it, with insufficient consideration for the needs of victims and the impact of those criminal acts on them. We want to see a rebalancing of the system and that is why Bill C-37 is so important.
Of course, we have bills that have already been through the Senate, and are waiting on us to deal with them. Bill S-2, which deals with matrimonial real property, which would give fairness and equality to women on reserve, long overdue in this country. Let us get on with it and give first nations women the real property rights they deserve. Then there is Bill S-6, first nations electoral reform, a provision we want to see in place to advance democracy. Bill S-8 is the safe drinking water for first nations act; and Bill S-7 is the combatting terrorism act.
As members can see, there is plenty more work for this House to do. As members of Parliament, the least we can do is put in a bit of overtime and get these important measures passed.
In conclusion, Canada's economic strength, our advantage in these uncertain times, and our stability also depend on political stability and strong leadership. Across the world, political gridlock and indecision have led to economic uncertainty and they continue to threaten the world economy. That is not what Canadians want for their government. Our government is taking action to manage the country's business in a productive, hard-working and orderly fashion. That is why all members need to work together in a time of global economic uncertainty to advance the important bills I have identified, before we adjourn for the summer.
I call on all members to support today's motion to extend the working hours of this House by a few hours for the next two weeks. For the members opposite, not only do I hope for their support in this motion, I also hope I can count on them to put the interests of Canadians first and work with this government to pass the important bills that remain before us.
June 7th, 2012 / 3:05 p.m.
Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Mr. Speaker, I am not quite as enthusiastic as the member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, but I will try.
This morning, my hon. friend, the member for Edmonton—Leduc and chair of the hard-working Standing Committee on Finance reported to this House that Bill C-38, the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act, has passed the committee and been recommended for adoption by the House.
I am pleased that the Standing Committee on Finance followed the lead of the House with respect to the longest debate on a budget bill in the past two decades. The committee gave this bill the longest consideration for a budget bill in at least two decades. That is in addition to the subcommittee spending additional time to consider the responsible resource development clauses.
This very important legislation, our budget implementation legislation, economic action plan 2012, will help to secure vital economic growth for Canada in the short, medium and long term. Given the fragile world economy that is around us, this bill is clearly needed, so we must move forward. Therefore, I plan to start report stage on the bill Monday at noon.
In the interim, we will consider second reading of Bill C-24 this afternoon. This bill would implement our free trade agreement with Panama, which I signed when I was international trade minister, some 755 days ago. It is now time to get that bill passed.
Tomorrow, we will consider third reading of Bill C-31, the protecting Canada's immigration system act, so the Senate will have an opportunity to review the bill before it must become law, within a few weeks' time.
Next week I plan to give priority to bills which have been reported back from committee. It goes without saying that we will debate Bill C-38, our budget implementation bill. I am given to understand that there is a lot of interest this time around in the process of report stage motion tabling, selection and grouping.
The House will also finish third reading of Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act. The bill is a vital tool to unlock the potential of our creative and digital economy. It is time that elected parliamentarians should have their say on its passage once and for all. I would like to see that vote happen no later than Monday, June 18.
If we have time remaining, the House will also debate second reading of Bill C-24, the Panama free trade act, if more time is necessary, as well as for Bill C-7, the Senate reform act, and Bill C-15, the strengthening military justice in the defence of Canada act.