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”.

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October 21st, 2011 / 12:50 p.m.
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NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Madam Speaker, we hear the word tax being thrown around a lot in this conversation.

I come from an area which benefits from the use fees that are attributed to intellectual property. What is being looked for is use fees. If someone uses a product, then that individual should pay for that product.

My colleague brought up the fact that the people who created the iPod are paid. Patent holders, which is a type of copyright, hold a number of patents on various aspects of the iPod and other MP3 players and they are paid with each unit they have sold.

Why is it so hard to understand that the creators of the content that goes on to these patented objects should want to be paid as well? Why is it referred to as a tax because of that? Could my colleague elaborate on that?

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October 21st, 2011 / 12:50 p.m.
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NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

I thank my colleague for his question. A fee for use cannot be considered a tax. Creators produce music, which is available on the Internet. People think that they can download it for free and put it on their MP3 players. Everyone was paid for the MP3 player, the product that plays the music—even the manufacturer of the paper and packaging. Everyone was paid, but the artist who created the work that users put on their iPods is not. That is completely absurd and we cannot allow that. Artists must be compensated for their work. We cannot consider that to be a tax. My colleague is absolutely right: it is not a tax; it is a fee for use.

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October 21st, 2011 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the floor.

I have the honour of rising today in the House to debate Bill C-11. As we all know, the purpose of this bill is to update the Copyright Act, which has not been changed in a number of years, in order to take the new digital technologies into account. We commend the fact that the government has finally decided to address this matter and we support the efforts to update the Copyright Act if they are geared toward justice and fairness.

The government could have taken this opportunity to resolve copyright-related problems, but instead it has once again demonstrated its narrow ideology by introducing a bill that satisfies American interests more than Canadian interests.

Last year, during the study of former Bill C-32, more than 200 submissions and proposals were made in committee, and each party offered criticism to improve this bill. These submissions and proposals gave us a better idea of the needs of our authors, creators and consumers. Unfortunately, the Conservatives have once again ignored Canadians. They are so arrogant as to brag about not having made any changes, since they prefer to get their orders from Washington.

I could ask why the Conservatives are ignoring these many in-depth consultations that were held in Parliament, but we already know the answer: for the Conservatives there is no room for reason, facts and evidence. This government insists on introducing these bills despite the many voices that speak out against them every time. This bill has a significant number of deficiencies that fail to serve either users or the authors.

Let us begin with the new rights and new exceptions with regard to fair dealing, especially for the purpose of education. A number of writers and publishers are strongly opposed to these exemptions, as they fear their works will be reproduced and distributed freely to students, which will result in lost income for them and constitutes, to some extent, an expropriation of their rights.

This is particularly problematic in Quebec and various francophone communities in Canada, given that, because of demographics, there is only a small pool of potential buyers.

Of course, a number of academic institutions support education exemptions because it will mean considerable savings and they will be able to use audiovisual products more often to facilitate student learning.

Creators live off their works and should be compensated when these works are used. A balanced bill would take the needs of creators and educational institutions into account, but this bill is not balanced and in no way compensates for the losses that certain authors will face. We are also asking the government to help artists adjust to the new digital reality and for transitional funding to help artists compensate for lost revenue resulting from the abolition of ephemeral recording rights, for example.

Another provision that we find extremely worrisome concerns digital locks. Bill C-11 introduces new rules for reproducing copyright-protected works for personal use but negates those rights by making it illegal to bypass a digital lock.

Someone who buys a DVD and wants to transfer its contents to a digital tablet, such as the Canadian PlayBook or the American iPad, will not be able to do so if the DVD has a digital lock. As we all know, various electronic media are making increased use of these locks to fight piracy and theft.

Therefore, the use of purchased works will be limited and buyers will be considered criminals if they break the lock in order to copy the work for personal use. This government will punish people who have legally obtained a work by limiting the ways they can use it and making criminals of those who want to use their legitimate purchase as they wish.

However, pirates have full use of the works they obtain illegally and will be considered just as guilty as someone who breaks a digital lock. Knowing how easy it is today for Internet users to illegally download works, pirated copies may appeal more to young Canadians than copies limited by a digital lock.

For example, why would a young person want to purchase a DVD if he cannot legally use the content on other platforms, whereas he could use a pirated copy, which is easy to obtain, as he sees fit? Bill C-11 is contradictory because, on the one hand, it allows copying of copyrighted material for personal use and, on the other, it prevents users from breaking locks that prohibit copying.

The provisions of this bill concerning digital locks are among the most restrictive in the world and cancel out the new personal use rights. This will ensure that, once again, Canadian users will be the losers. We must allow digital locks to be circumvented as long as it is for lawful and personal use.

It is not just political parties who are opposed to this bill. The Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois, the National Assembly of Quebec, the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec, the Association des libraires du Québec and many other groups have all publicly raised their concerns about this bill. As usual, this government is stubbornly ignoring Canadian interests. It prefers to address American interests under the pretext that it can do as it sees fit because it has a majority.

In fact, diplomatic cables clearly show that the Conservatives want to impose these restrictive measures as a result of pressure from the Americans. Once again, the Conservatives have decided to kowtow to the United States, which may try to impose its will on Canada more and more frequently, knowing that Canada will do what it asks without any opposition. It is high time that this government understood that it was elected by Canadians, not Americans, and high time that it started standing up for our people's rights rather than for the interests of American industries.

Many artists also spoke of their desire to have a resale right added to the bill to allow them to claim the revenue that they are currently losing. The government did not take this request into account, demonstrating once again that it does not care about the real and legitimate needs of creators, unless perhaps those creators are American.

Yes, the Liberal Party supports the modernization of the Copyright Act, but not in the form in which it has been presented to us today by this government. The bill is not balanced and does not pay enough attention to the needs of creators and consumers. The Conservative Party should have taken into account the many consultations pertaining to Bill C-32, which were held during the previous Parliament, rather than reintroducing an old bill that has not been changed despite the many amendments proposed. This government must stop ignoring the interests of Canadians and start standing up for them. It must stop doing nothing and amend this bill in order to address its many shortcomings.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from across the way for his presentation. I listened intently to what he said and I do have to question him though.

There are many groups across the country that support this legislation because it does get tough on IP crimes. That ensures that people who produce work, the creators, are protected.

For example, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada supports the bill. It said:

By deterring those who profit and benefit from stealing creator’s work, this legislation will help provide a framework for the digital marketplace and allow creators and companies to distribute their works in the manner that best suits them.

A further quote:

We strongly support the principles underlying this bill and look forward to working with Members of Parliament to adopt any technical changes needed to ensure the bill fully reflects those principles and avoid unintended consequences.

In addition, the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network said:

We're pleased that the government is committed to getting tough on IP crimes. Piracy is a massive problem in Canada which has a tangible economic impact on government revenue, legitimate retailers, rights holders and consumers. It's extremely difficult for legitimate retailers to compete with those who abandon all ethics as they steal and rip,

This is supported by creators across the country. I ask the member of the opposition to get behind the bill as well.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Madam Speaker, the member just read a quote that one of the associations is in favour of the bill, except it would like to see amendments. That is what we are doing. The Liberal Party is making amendments. We are ready to put the amendments forward now. If the government accepts our amendments, the bill is done and it is passed.

What does it take for the government to listen? What part of the quotes does he not understand? That is what I do not understand. It is in the quote. We are ready to work with the government, to make amendments. The Liberal Party is making amendments. They are ready, let us go, let us pass this bill. Make the amendments. It is not complicated.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:05 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Madam Speaker, I am always stunned by the Conservatives' comments.

They say that Canadians all over the country support this bill.

They have a talent for always referring to the only doughnut that everyone wants from the dozen, and passing over the 11 doughnuts that no one wants. That is always the Conservative way.

I would like to ask my Liberal colleague if he has any idea of the number of signatories from the Canada Council—which has nearly 80 organizations that are against this bill.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the question. He is a new member, so perhaps he is not aware that, during the previous session, there were over 200 people. This bill has been before us for about two weeks and everyone thought it would be amended. Everyone was a little reluctant. To date, there are perhaps 80 signatories, but I am sure there will be over 200, for we continue to receive emails every day from people who want to modernize the bill, but on the condition that the current bill is amended.

As I said to my Conservative colleague, I do not know what it will take to convince the government. Maybe if we were American they would listen to us. I do not know how this is going to work out. On our side, we are ready. We have proposed amendments. If the bill were amended, we could pass it right away.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:05 p.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Madam Speaker, I will be brief. We know that the average income of artists in Canada is quite low—less than $13,000 a year. It seems to me we should be helping these artists, encouraging them and trying to increase their income a bit.

I would like the hon. member to say a few words about this bill to explain how it is contrary to what we should be doing and how we can help these artists.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. The hon. member talked about a sum of $13,000 a year, but that was just the average. There is an artist named Céline Dion who earns more than $1 billion. It is her salary that raises the average because 80% of artists earn less than $10,000 a year. That is the problem.

How can we help them? We can create a separate fund. There are a number of ways to do so. We can work together. We have already held a number of meetings during the last Parliament. We can help bring the new parliamentarians up to speed. There are a great number of ways to help artists. They do enough lobbying. We all know artists. We are here for them.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:10 p.m.
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NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, as we know, copyright is a complicated issue and features competing demands from different stakeholders. We have artistic, academic, business, technology and consumer rights that we need to balance.

I am pleased to speak to this bill because just a few years ago I did not actually know very much about copyright. I was invited to participate in a panel discussion and a movie viewing. I was invited by some Dalhousie law students and some Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, or NSCAD, students, law students and art students working together to shed some light on the issue of copyright.

They had a screening of RiP, a remix manifesto, which is a great Canadian documentary featuring the artist Girl Talk. Girl Talk does a lot of work doing mash-ups, putting different songs together to create a completely new song. There is a big question around whether Girl Talk actually violates copyright law. I threatened to do a mash-up in the House today but I will leave that to Girl Talk.

However, I thank the students at Dalhousie and NSCAD for holding that panel because it enlightened me on the issue of copyright and made me realize how important an issue it is to the riding of Halifax, as well as across Canada.

This bill, as we know, was brought forward in the last Parliament as Bill C-32. Despite a lot of feedback from stakeholders and community organizations that the bill did not strike the right balance, it has been reintroduced and it is exactly the same bill as before. The NDP believes that copyright legislation needs to be modernized and that it is long overdue, but this bill has a lot of errors, some glaring omissions and, in certain cases, it actually creates problems where none existed before. The NDP will work to try to amend this bill to ensure it reflects the best interests of Canadians.

The NDP believes that copyright laws in Canada can balance the rights of creators and their right to be fairly compensated for their work, and the right of consumers to have reasonable access to copyrighted materials. We will look for all possible amendments. This is what committee is for. It is to bring people forward, talk about what the solutions are and to look at amendments. We will look at all possible amendments to the bill that will create a fair royalty system for creators because, as it stands, this bill would wipe away millions of dollars in revenues for artists.

As I mentioned, the constituents of Halifax have a lot at stake with this bill. First, there is a very high student population in Halifax. Students are the creators and owners of copyrighted material in their articles, essays and works of art, but, at the same time, they are also consumers. In order to study and learn, students need access to the copyrighted works of others.

I met with the Canadian Federation of Students and it pointed out that this three part perspective of use, creation and ownership of copyright gives students special credibility when it comes to the struggle for fair and balanced copyright law. I met with CFS representatives and they have reinforced to me how much any copyright reform needs to strike that balance. It needs to be fair and balanced.

With so many students in my riding, it follows that we have libraries. We have law libraries, medical libraries, archives, university and college libraries and public libraries. I have met with many librarians and they have told me that they need balance. If we are looking at this issue, no matter where in Nova Scotia or Canada we are, balance is needed. Most of the librarians I have spoken to have pointed out the fact that this legislation does not get the balance right, especially when it comes to digital locks.

As we have heard in the House, the bill would create powerful new anti-circumvention rights for content owners. I want to take a second to point out that I said “content owners”. That does not necessarily mean creators or artists. It means owners. Often the owners are not the creators or the artists themselves.

The rights for owners prevent access to copyrighted works and they can be backed with fines of up to $1 million and five years in jail. That would create a situation where digital locks could actually supersede all other rights, including charter rights. If we look at people being able to modify the way they can see material because they have a visual impairment, that penalty would impact someone who has an actual charter right to view this material, which is not what anyone would intend to happen.

What does this mean? It means there is a very real danger for consumers that they could be prohibited from using content that they have already paid for. Sometimes the format just needs to be changed. It has already been paid for. There should not be anything wrong with that.

The legislation is really important to people in Halifax because my community is rich with artists and creators. We are home to movie and television studios. We have video game developers, song writers and playwrights, authors, designers, sculptors and dancers. It is really incredible to think that there could be that much talent in one small city, but we are a hub of creativity and innovation.

In being elected by those people, I have been sent to the House to protect their rights, to protect their ownership interests in their creations and to stand up for fair compensation for their work. We will bring forward all possible amendments to the bill to create a fair royalty system for artists because, as the bill stands now, it would wipe away millions of dollars in potential revenue for artists.

The bill would grant a range of new access privileges but it would not increase opportunities for remuneration for artists. This new playing field would profoundly affect the ability of artists to survive, something that all of us have seen first-hand in our ridings. Artists and creators make our communities worth living in. They deserve access to fair compensation opportunities for their work. Without those opportunities, we risk destroying our creative communities altogether.

In the bill, there is a long and complicated list of exceptions, and I do not think it adequately recognizes creators' rights. In fact, it would create new ways for consumers to access copyrighted content. We talk about balance and we are creating new ways but at the same time we are not providing new avenues to remunerate creators for their work.

The no compromise provisions in the bill would provide sweeping powers to rights holders that would supersede all other rights. If enacted, the bill would ensure that artists could not access their work despite the fact that they own it. In the example that has been shared with me, if people are studying abroad or doing long distance education they cannot keep those materials. I would go so far as to say that it is draconian and inappropriate to ask people to destroy class notes within 30 days of the course ending. This is knowledge they have learned. They have paid for this material. It seems absurd that they would need to destroy them at the end of the course.

What are the propositions? We really need to come together at committee and hear from people who are impacted by this legislation. There is a lot of opportunity to do some very good work and modernize the bill while balancing the rights of creators and the public.

I look forward to the bill getting to committee to see what happens. I am very hopeful that the Conservatives are listening and that they will take feedback into account and work with the NDP to bring forward good, solid amendments that will benefit everyone.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:20 p.m.
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Oak Ridges—Markham
Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Madam Speaker, the hon. member is right, and, hopefully, once we defeat the Liberal motion, we will have an opportunity to bring the bill before committee to hear some more witness testimony. As I said in earlier comments, we have heard testimony from a vast array of people.

Graham Henderson of Music Canada said, we are “pleased to see long overdue copyright reform legislation back on the...agenda and a strong commitment to get it passed”.

The Canadian Publishers' Council said that the government was demonstrating “a clear understanding of the need to amend the current Copyright Act to bring it more in line with our times”. It strikes me that much of this bill would do just that. It would bring our legislation in line with copyright legislation around the world.

Jurisdictions around the world talk a lot about digital locks, or technical protection measures. However, in jurisdictions around the world where TPMs are protected there is actually more content available. That can protect artists but they need to ensure that consumers have access to a vast array of products.

It is frustrating to hear yet again another NDP speaker talk about the only solution for Canadian artists and Canadians is to tax them more and that will solve all the problems.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, my colleague pointed out that committee provides the opportunity to hear from stakeholders and from people in the community about the pluses and minuses, the good points and bad points. He also pointed out that, the last time the bill came around, the committee heard from all types of people from around Canada who gave feedback about this legislation. So, why is the bill exactly the same as last time?

If we really care about feedback from Canadians, if we really are listening to them, why would the bill be exactly the same as last time? I hope that this time the Conservatives actually listen.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, I fail to understand why we, as legislators, are constantly pitting consumers against creators.

As a consumer of music or any other art form, I would like to be able to buy a work and know for sure that the creator who produced it was compensated.

From what I understand of the current bill—and I would like clarification from the hon. member on this—if we pass it in its current form, the coming weeks will have to be spent creating fair trade music and fair trade art, like the fair trade coffee and chocolate we get from developing countries. It does not seem to me that we are going completely in the right direction.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his observation that so often the government is not actually looking out for creators.

If we look critically at this legislation, we can see that it would protect owners. As I said in my speech, owners are not necessarily creators, owners are not necessarily artists and owners are not necessarily users. They are publishers. They are music companies. They are industry.

This is one-sided legislation where the rights of owners would be protected but everybody else would be left out in the cold.

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October 21st, 2011 / 1:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Madam Speaker, I can tell the member who we are looking out for. This party will always stand up and look out for consumers across this country.

One of the opposition amendments is to place an iPod tax on MP3 players, on telephones and on other pieces of technology that actually play some of the music that is downloaded illegally.

I would first congratulate the member for Halifax and all Nova Scotians for the Halifax Irving Shipyard's winning bid this week. It is a tremendous opportunity, of course.

What will the member do for consumers in her riding, particularly single parents trying to buy Christmas presents for their children?