Copyright Modernization Act

An Act to amend the Copyright Act

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2013.

Sponsor

Christian Paradis  Conservative

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Copyright Act to

(a) update the rights and protections of copyright owners to better address the challenges and opportunities of the Internet, so as to be in line with international standards;

(b) clarify Internet service providers’ liability and make the enabling of online copyright infringement itself an infringement of copyright;

(c) permit businesses, educators and libraries to make greater use of copyright material in digital form;

(d) allow educators and students to make greater use of copyright material;

(e) permit certain uses of copyright material by consumers;

(f) give photographers the same rights as other creators;

(g) ensure that it remains technologically neutral; and

(h) mandate its review by Parliament every five years.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

  • 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”.

Copyright Modernization Act
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June 15th, 2012 / 10:50 a.m.
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NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question because, of course, the United States is our biggest trading partner. There is a huge corporate lobby in the United States because of the immense power of the entertainment industry, and I love American culture as much as anybody. The problem is that the American digital millennium copyright act has targeted citizens and attempted to use legislation to shut down any form of cultural development in many areas.

It is important to raise here the issue of the diplomatic cables that have been released. We hear the Conservatives talking about the bad guys and the pirates, and we, in our caucus, strongly believe in being able to take the fight to piracy because it is damaging. However, the image that one of our Conservative members claimed, of Canada being a pirate haven as though it were Yemen or North Korea, comes from the diplomatic cables of the former industry minister, the famous Muskoka minister, who, when staff were meeting in Washington, said to put us on the piracy watch list because it would help us.

Imagine a government whose idea of trade is to have this made up and have Canada treated as an international outlaw in order to help the government pass its legislation. It is an outrageous attack on our reputation.

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June 15th, 2012 / 10:50 a.m.
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NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his precise overview of this bill and the clear, progressive, smart ideas and propositions to change it. We just went through a couple of days of putting forward propositions that the Conservative government turned down, so it is no surprise when it turns them down.

The member just touched on something that is important for Canadians to know, because we have debated the issue for a long time. It is the notion that somehow Canada is on the wrong side of the tracks, that we are a haven for piracy, and that if we do not do this right away, we are going to threaten the whole industry and Canada will be be on a pirate list forever, I guess, with the Conservative government.

Can the member help us understand why the government insists that this is just an issue about piracy when it is actually an issue that is much more detailed and nuanced? Why does the member think the Conservatives reject our propositions and only want to look at this in a black and white frame?

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June 15th, 2012 / 10:55 a.m.
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NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are suddenly interested in the international community when it comes to depriving artists of getting paid. They say that otherwise we would be international outcasts. Of course, they trash the Kyoto accord or stand up in this House, talk about the crisis in Europe and ridicule what they call failed European welfare states at a time when the eurozone is in need of international solidarity of some sort.

The Conservatives create a false dichotomy that their idea is to re-establish Canada's international reputation. Canada's international reputation has been created through the arts. Our international artists bring in more than the oil, gas and mining sectors will bring in, yet the arts are not treated with the same level of importance.

The fundamental base of copyright is the trade that is established through the Copyright Board, the right of authors in French or in English to be paid for their work. The Conservatives have decided that authors being paid for our right to make a copy is somehow a tax on the consumer. By taking away that market for artists, they are destroying what is one of the greatest entertainment industries in the world.

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June 15th, 2012 / 10:55 a.m.
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NDP

Jean Rousseau Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for Timmins—James Bay for his excellent speech. My colleague has been working in the industry for many years. He spoke with a number of stakeholders about what would be acceptable for the industry.

One of the points raised by my colleague and the Minister of Industry has to do with the scope of online piracy. But there is another type of piracy that is quite extensive, and that is copying or counterfeiting. When I was younger and played around with a small, independent production group, we would make one or two copies on tape to give to our friends, so they could discover new artists. Now, this is being done on a much larger scale. Hundreds and thousands of copies are being made of both major artists and up-and-coming artists.

Nothing in the current bill prevents small business owners from illegally copying artists' products and works.

What does my colleague think about that?

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June 15th, 2012 / 10:55 a.m.
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NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question. Certainly, piracy is undermining the rights of artists. However, we are in a world where there is the potential to make millions of copies and artists are not paid for any of it.

We have said again and again, rather than creating this war between the consumer and the creator, and people make copies because they love the music of their artists, we need to find the remuneration systems that would actually ensure people are paid. It can be done. That is forward-looking copyright. The government has backward-looking copyright.

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June 15th, 2012 / 12:30 p.m.
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Liberal

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.

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June 15th, 2012 / 12:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

I am being heckled that mine was vaudeville. That is a good heckle, but it is not true.

At that juncture, artists would go into a studio, record an album and receive benefits from the sale of that album. Regardless of the format, that template had been set and pretty much followed through the age of cassette players and CDs. There was a revenue stream realized by the creators of the music. They would go out on tour, and their concerts were opportunities to promote the music and hopefully sell some of their product at merchandise tables afterward or hope that people would be motivated to buy their music in various stores.

At one time there was a great Canadian institution like Sam the Record Man and today we have seen the downscale of HMV. Many independent record stores have closed their doors because the industry has changed so much. There were companies that invested in artists over the years. Sony Music used to have branches in the country. It would work with and invest in up-and-coming artists so they could hone their skills and bring their music to a broader audience. There is no longer that type of investment, because the industry has changed so much.

I have a young fellow who is fairly musically inclined. He is studying music at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, but he also plays in a little rock band, Back Pocket Material.

Number one, a person can go into a studio now, and the digital technology is there. A group can go to a friend's house and record absolutely excellent-quality sound. At one time, only professionals could create that kind of sound, but with the digital technology now, it is really at everybody's disposal.

Rather than laying down tracks and creating an album, the band wants to get music recorded so they can put it on the Internet and get it into the hands of potential fans so that they can hear the music and get it for nothing. Hopefully, if fans get it for nothing, they'll get excited about the band's music and will come out to the shows and pay admission. That will continue to come back to the band; the band will continue to grow and improve, and hopefully it will pursue a career in music. However, it is just a completely different approach to developing this craft than we would have seen even 10 years ago, and certainly 15 years ago.

As I said, there has been some contrary opinion. Just reading through the testimony from committee, we have seen contrary opinion being shared by a host of individuals and groups. The Canadian Research Chair, Michael Geist; the Retail Council of Canada; the Canadian Council of Archives; and the Documentary Organization of Canada strongly oppose this legislation.

The main aspect of the legislation is the digital locks provisions. They find it overly restrictive. They believe that similar restrictions that have been placed in the United States have proved detrimental to the development of artists, so they are very concerned about that. The critics would have liked some amendments brought forward.

On the other side of that, large business groups, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives have expressed support for the bill, which doesn't surprise me. We have seen a tendency on the part of the government that when the Canadian Chamber of Commerce sort of barks, then these Conservatives tend to jump, whether that is on the skills development agenda, EI reform, or whatever it might be, and that seems to be the path the government follows.

Still, big players in the industry: Google, Bell and Rogers have all expressed support for the bill, in principle, but again, concerns around the digital provisions and the digital lock-out provisions.

Really, with the digital lock-out provisions, there is potential to make criminals out of ordinary Canadians. If a mom buys a DVD and has a movie for the kids, and she wants to put that on her iPad or she wants to put that on her computer and play it in the van, and many of the new vans are now equipped with that type of technology, she compromises herself and puts herself at risk for being charged for making a copy of that. Taking any kind of recording and having it burned onto a CD, after paying for the music, but just taking it and putting it in a different format now places an individual at risk of being charged criminally.

There was a chance to step back from those measures. Amendments were put forward at committee that would have averted that, but those amendments were totally disregarded.

I should not be surprised. I have been here long enough now and nothing about this should surprise me. The fact is that we were here for 23 hours, voting on amendments to a 450-page budget bill, a bill that impacted on the environment, on fisheries and oceans, on natural resources, and on many different sectors with changes in 70 different pieces of legislation, which went through. Not as much as a comma changed during the course of that debate. There were 800 amendments put forward. They were grouped into 150-odd groups for voting purposes, but there were 800 amendments and the government found none of them worthy.

When the government brought forward the omnibus bill on crime, my colleague from Mount Royal put forward a number of amendments in particular areas. There was one aspect of the bill that he was in total support of, and he offered the amendments only to enhance and improve that aspect of the legislation. They were totally dismissed by the government.

When the bill came back here for report stage, we know that the Minister of Justice tried to enter those exact same amendments at report stage and was ruled out of order by the Speaker. We know that when the bill went to the Senate, those amendments were put in at the Senate. Those changes were made, I believe, because they were in contravention of the charter. They did improve the legislation.

Therefore, the government used the back door. It used the Senate—

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June 15th, 2012 / 12:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's speech and some of the important aspects he is trying to get across. We have to realize that this is a very important piece of legislation that has to address an entire industry. We can only do that by trying to find a balance. That is what this legislation has effectively done, provide a balance with flexibility built in, so that when individual concerns come up, we are able to address them.

With respect to the legislation, we want to strengthen our ability to compete in the global digital economy. This is important for Canada because it is a global digital economy.

I hope the member understands that while the aspects he is bringing up are important, as the minister stated earlier, there is flexibility within the bill to deal with situations as they may arise, as the bill goes forward, and it attempts to provide the protection that is required by both the consumers and the industry to make us competitive globally.

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June 15th, 2012 / 12:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the intervention and the comment from my colleague. These issues have been brought up and addressed, and amendments have been proposed at committee.

I will read into the record a quote from U.K. Professor Ian Hargreaves. He is the author of a 2011 report to the British government on intellectual property. In his presentation he states:

I don't think there is any doubt at all that there is a substantial online infringement problem. My own view is that a substantial online infringement problem will not be satisfactorily addressed until the law makes reasonable sense to reasonable people. Therefore, in the UK case for example, 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.

That is what we are talking about here when we see a mom taking something off her laptop and burning it onto a DVD so that the kids can watch it in the van. She puts herself at risk of being charged criminally, and that is the reasonableness that I think we were hoping to attain.

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June 15th, 2012 / 12:45 p.m.
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NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, my colleague touched on something that is very important. We have to strike a balance. We have to protect creators. We have to ensure that they will get paid for their works.

I remember doing a press conference with Billy Bragg here in Ottawa. He was saying that as an artist he wanted to ensure that his fans would not be locked up and that they should be able to share music. However, we have to find a way to find that balance.

The government has put digital locks forward as a means of protection when we know the locks will not do so. They will actually interrupt that exchange that should be there.

Therefore, I would like to ask the member, could he share with me what he thinks would be a good balance? I think the government has it wrong. It is locking up that relationship between the artists and those who want to use the information. What is the balance, how do we get there, and how would he ensure that there is an equal playing field?

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June 15th, 2012 / 12:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Madam Speaker, my colleague cites the essence of the problem. It is in the balance. I am certainly no expert on this, but I have had an opportunity to speak to artists as well.

Rex Goudie, a fine upstanding young singer-songwriter from Newfoundland, a Canadian Idol runner-up, is driving a truck to supplement his income and develop as an artist. Artists are very concerned about the provisions in this legislation. Bruce Guthro, who has his own career, is concerned about it for other up-and-coming artists.

Certainly from the testimony I read, I do not believe the balance has been struck. I am comfortable where our party stands now, that we will not be supporting this legislation because there is an absence of balance in the legislation.

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June 15th, 2012 / 12:45 p.m.
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Liberal

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
Government Orders

June 15th, 2012 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question.

Does he agree that this copyright reform has a lot in common with the policies of our neighbours to the south, and that it is basically a cut-and-paste job? Is the government essentially copying the American vision, adding nothing more than a “Royal Canadian” sticker?

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

June 15th, 2012 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Madam Speaker, first, we have to be very careful. Our American neighbours have their own interests at heart, and we have to respect that. In this case, it is clear that the Americans have had a major influence on the Conservative government.

Diplomatic cables recently revealed information showing that some parts of the Conservative bill were drafted to address concerns expressed by the American industry rather than issues of interest to Canadians. That is what is going on.

We have responsibilities here as Canadian lawmakers. We have to protect our own creative sector. Quebec, for example, has world-famous producers, filmmakers and writers.

We have to protect our own interests. I am not here to criticize American society, which has to protect its own interests. Still, it is outrageous that this bill has been influenced by so much pressure from the United States.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

June 15th, 2012 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Madam Speaker, one issue in the bill is of direct concern to people in my riding and across Alberta. We have a wonderful university called Athabasca University where everybody learns online. Students need to access materials online. The bill would digitally lock material, which would self-destruct within five days, and the course materials would have to be destroyed after no more than 30 days.

Could the hon. member speak to that? Does he think there should be accommodation? We want to protect creators. I have been an academic. We value the work of writers, but at the same time we want to try to encourage the people, particularly in aboriginal communities and isolated rural communities, to beef up their skills.

Surely there should be greater provisions to support those people who make an effort to further their education. They should be able to access that information for a longer time period.