Evidence of meeting #11 for Bill C-11 (41st Parliament, 1st Session) in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was amendment.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Robert DuPelle  Senior Policy Analyst, Copyright and International Intellectual Property Policy Directorate, Department of Industry
  • Mike MacPherson  Procedural Clerk
  • Anne-Marie Monteith  Director, Copyright and International Intellectual Property Policy Directorate, Department of Industry
  • Gerard Peets  Acting Director General, Marketplace Framework Policy Branch, Strategic Policy Sector, Department of Industry
  • Drew Olsen  Director, Policy and Legislation, Copyright and International Trade Policy Branch, Department of Canadian Heritage

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I agree with this amendment. It seems to me that for a person with a perceptual disability, as we heard from witnesses, they're going to have a tough enough time accessing any material. They'll have a tough enough time accessing the means to circumvent a digital lock. So if they can pass all those hurdles, to say that they still aren't allowed to do it.... To say that it's basically criminal, if they proceed in that fashion in order to be able to access it, makes no sense.

We heard very clearly that for a person in that situation, let alone to be able to access it, to be able to put it back in the condition it was before they circumvented the digital lock is next to impossible.

How many times is that going to happen? I ask my colleagues on the government side if they foresee this being a problem if they don't pass this amendment. Can they describe for us the situation in which they feel that it would be a problem for someone who had managed to circumvent the digital lock because they had a perceptual disability and they couldn't put it back on? What kind of a problem would they see that creating, and how often do they think it's going to happen?

9:10 a.m.

NDP

The Chair Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Mr. Regan.

(Amendment negatived)

We'll move on to the next amendment, NDP-11. Will this amendment be moved?

9:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Yes. I'll turn it over again to Mr. Benskin.

9:10 a.m.

NDP

The Chair Glenn Thibeault

Mr. Benskin.

March 13th, 2012 / 9:10 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Thank you.

Further to the same point, the issue of accessibility, Canada's official opposition has been clear throughout this process that we believe copyright laws should be fair to all implicated parties, taking special account of the needs of Canadians with disabilities.

At the core of the grievances expressed by Canadians with perceptual disabilities and their advocates is the relative scarcity of materials available in a format that is usable by their community, both at home and abroad.

Mr. Workman, from the Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians, on February 27, for example, reminded this committee that less than 10% of published works available in Canada are ever adapted to a format suitable for use by his clients.

This limited availability represents a defining reality of the market for alternative format culture products, which has led to the development of elaborate and mutually beneficial cooperative networks for the production of, sharing, and making available cultural materials across international borders for persons afflicted by perceptual disabilities. For example, Canadians with disabilities benefit tremendously from access to American and British repertoires of translations, adaptations, recordings, and reproduction of materials in formats suitable to their distinct needs.

Our proposed amendment is therefore a simple one: that a specific protection be accorded to Canadians with perceptual disabilities and their legitimate advocates for the practice of importing and adaptation of protected work, which they would have legally been permitted to create had it originated in Canada.

This amendment reflects the stated needs of blind Canadians without opening the system to abuse. It has potential to greatly enhance the availability of adapted material for our citizens here at home and open new markets for adapted Canadian content abroad.

We respectfully ask that our colleagues consider supporting this amendment. .

9:10 a.m.

NDP

The Chair Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Mr. Benskin.

Mr. Regan, the floor is yours for five minutes.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to speak in support of this motion as well.

People who are at home and may be hearing this and not watching it may not understand that the last motion was defeated because the Conservatives voted against it. It strikes me that this again is an obvious motion. If we apply some common sense, we can see the need for it.

I hope my colleagues in the Conservative Party, when they signed up to be a Conservative candidate, didn't promise to check their brains at the door and just do whatever they're told. I've certainly seen in past governments when Liberal MPs would in fact oppose what ministers did and ignore what ministers wanted, and proceed to using their common sense. That's the role of members of Parliament.

We have an amendment here that would make it possible for groups like the CNIB to distribute materials to their members. If this motion is defeated, it is because the Conservatives voted against it because they don't agree with ensuring that the CNIB and groups like them can provide these kinds of materials. I find that most unfortunate, if that's their view, Mr. Chairman.

9:15 a.m.

NDP

The Chair Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Mr. Regan.

Mr. Del Mastro.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Peterborough, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'll try not to get too offended by the comments by Mr. Regan, as baseless as they were. He's new. He never sat on Bill C-32, and perhaps he's unaware of the features in the bill. But Mr. Regan should know that the bill does very specifically have a carve-out under digital locks, allowing for circumvention for the very individuals he's speaking of.

With that, I'll pass it off to Mr. Lake, who I believe has a question for officials.

Mr. Regan is either knowingly or unknowingly causing confusion and disseminating facts that are in fact incorrect.

9:15 a.m.

NDP

The Chair Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Mr. Del Mastro.

Mr. Lake.

9:15 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

This is a fairly quick question, I think.

I think it's clause 18 that refers to this issue already. It seems to me that this particular amendment wouldn't really change the bill at all. It basically says what we say in clause 18.

Could you comment on that?

9:15 a.m.

Senior Policy Analyst, Copyright and International Intellectual Property Policy Directorate, Department of Industry

Robert DuPelle

Clause 18, specifically proposed new subsection 27(2.1), would provide for greater certainty that a copy made outside Canada does not infringe copyright in terms of secondary infringement “if, had it been made in Canada, it would have been made under a limitation or exception” in the act.

If it could have been made in Canada pursuant to an exception, then it does not infringe by being outside of Canada.

9:15 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Chairman, the difficulty, of course—

9:15 a.m.

NDP

The Chair Glenn Thibeault

Just one second, Mr. Regan.

9:15 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

The problem remains, right, that you have a situation where a person with a perceptual disability is expected, if they are going to get around a digital lock, to put it back on. I'd like to know how they are going to do that.