Evidence of meeting #7 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 copyright.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Alain Lauzon  General Manager, Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada
  • Martin Lavallée  Director, Licensing and Legal Affairs, Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada
  • Elliot Noss  President and Chief Executive Officer, Tucows Inc.
  • Jean Brazeau  Senior Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, Shaw Communications Inc.
  • Jay Kerr-Wilson  Legal Counsel, Fasken Martineau, Shaw Communications Inc.
  • Cynthia Rathwell  Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, Shaw Communications Inc.
  • Stephen Stohn  President, Executive Producer, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Epitome Pictures Inc.
  • Gerry Barr  National Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Directors Guild of Canada
  • Tim Southam  Chair, National Directors Division, Directors Guild of Canada
  • Greg Hollingshead  Chair, Writers' Union of Canada
  • Marian Hebb  Legal Counsel, Writers' Union of Canada

4:35 p.m.

Senior Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, Shaw Communications Inc.

Jean Brazeau

Jay, I'm not sure if we recommended anything specifically.

4:35 p.m.

Legal Counsel, Fasken Martineau, Shaw Communications Inc.

Jay Kerr-Wilson

The issue is in proposed subsection 2.4(1.1) of the existing bill, which would treat any transmission over the Internet as a communication to the public by telecommunication, which is generally the right that's applied to broadcasting activities. What Shaw has suggested is that you can have broadcasting activities over the Internet, in which case the communication right should apply and the rights should be paid, but that when you're selling a copy to a consumer, which is replacing the sale that would be made if I walked into Best Buy, then the reproduction should apply.

Rights holders still get paid. It would be a negotiated agreement with the rights holders for the sale of that copy. You just wouldn't then also treat it as a broadcast because it's been transmitted over the Internet.

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

All right.

Mr. Noss, I'm from a small rural community. We don't expect Google to move in any time soon, or Tucows, for that matter, but we do have several mom-and-pop organizations. Actually, in one family there are five members working in this area. How is this legislation going to help them grow their business or help other people establish businesses in the rural parts of the country?

4:35 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Tucows Inc.

Elliot Noss

I think one of the marvels of the Internet is that you become locationless. You'd be amazed at the small towns that huge hosting companies grow out of. In fact, most often they are not located in larger urban centres, because their customers are all over the world and their cost base is better in a smaller community.

There are two things. The first thing is to remove the threats, which I've talked about a few times. I can't overstate how important that is, because that burden falls on the small, which become the medium-sized and the big.

The second thing is that it just cultivates that open Internet. The Internet is, at its heart—

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair Glenn Thibeault

We are well over time, Mr. Noss, so could you wrap up very quickly, please?

4:40 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Tucows Inc.

Elliot Noss

—a communications medium, a sharing and collaboration medium. That means the more people to share with, the better off it is.

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair Glenn Thibeault

Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Noss and Mr. Armstrong.

You have five minutes, Mr. Nantel.

March 5th, 2012 / 4:40 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

First of all, I would like to thank you all for being here today. I would like to address my comments to the representatives from SODRAC and see if they have been noticing the same thing as me. The problems experienced by people in the music industry are also going to be experienced by people in the video world. It is just a matter of time. It is about data and things are adding up.

The music industry experienced the same issues 20 years ago. Today, the music industry is in a tough spot. Video people are perhaps less sensitive to this downward spiral, but it is going to catch up with them as well.

We all know that, on average, 90% of what people have on iPods is illegal. The bill we have before us does nothing to protect artists against their materials being stolen through the Internet.

I would like to know how you explain having the nerve to take away once again more than $20 million in mechanical royalties at artists' expense. That right was granted, it was there. From everyone around the table, the people who are most affected are the creators, of course, because they have lost more than $20 million in mechanical royalties. What do you think about that?

4:40 p.m.

General Manager, Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada

Alain Lauzon

If I may, I am going to answer part of your question and Martin will add to my answer afterwards.

You are comparing the video industry to the music industry in terms of facing the same problems. It is all related to bandwidth. Music is instant. But downloading a video takes more time. There is piracy and illegal copies of videos. I think the bill is trying to eliminate piracy on a large scale. On the one hand, it does not target foreign sites and, on the other hand, the bill will bring about technological protection measures.

In music, the problem is that there are no technological protection measures, because interoperability has been favoured. Historically, it has been open.

When I hear people in this room talk about an open Internet, I don't get it. Rights holders want to be compensated. I see no business plan in all that. The only people doing business are those using the copyright. It is quite unbelievable.

4:40 p.m.

Director, Licensing and Legal Affairs, Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada

Martin Lavallée

I am going to add to my colleague's answer. People say they want an open Internet with massive sharing and maybe there will be dollar signs under all that. I am talking about artists' works. They also want to have a chance to grow.

Meanwhile, there is talk about chilling effects, intimidation, threats and costly litigation.

Where is the value of rights in all that, where is the value in that for creators, songwriters or publishers in music, and where is the technological neutrality? The Copyright Act is supposed to be neutral. That means that a right that was there before, in the old economy, must continue to exist in the new one.

In our brief, we have included the measures affecting consumers and non-commercial practices. But when we look at the commercial realm, we see an imbalance between the value for artists and the value, in terms of profit, for commercial industries that make money at the expense of the underlying copyright, as Mr. Lauzon said.

4:40 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Thank you.

On the same topic, I would like to hear from the representatives from Shaw Communications Inc. about how they keep a record of the people who infringe on copyright.

Mr. Noss, you said that you know all your clients. Since you are hosting the site knowmulcair.ca, could you tell me who is behind that? You won't tell me.

Don't even bother to answer.

4:45 p.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

4:45 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Tucows Inc.

Elliot Noss

With apologies—the translation went out there—who was the client behind...?

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Behind knowmulcair.ca; it's supposedly a Tucows domain name.

4:45 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Tucows Inc.

Elliot Noss

Oh. I'd have to look.