House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #196

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

I wish to inform the House that because of the proceedings of the time allocation motion, government orders will be extended by 30 minutes.

Bill C-11. Report Stage

The House resumed from May 14 consideration of Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, as reported with amendments from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Report Stage
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Winnipeg North has seven minutes left to conclude his speech. I will recognize the hon. member for Winnipeg North now.

Report Stage
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have a right to be quite concerned about Bill C-11 and what is actually happening and about the government's inability to make a number of amendments, which many would argue are dictated by common sense and which could have been made to alleviate some concerns that Canadians as a whole would have in regard to Bill C-11.

An example occurred yesterday when the member for Lethbridge stood and answered a question I specifically asked in regard to a constituent. I will repeat the question, and I suspect members will be surprised by the answer. The question I posed yesterday was this. If one of the member's constituents were to purchase a CD and take it home and it happened to have a digital lock, should his constituent have the ability to put his favourite song from that CD onto an MP3 player? From a consumer's point of view, should he have the right to be able to do that, given that he has already purchased the song?

The member for Lethbridge answered very specifically, and I give him full credit for being very precise with his answer. His answer was no, and then he sat down.

At the time, I believed that most consumers and Canadians would be very concerned about that particular answer. It begs the question as to whether the member for Lethbridge is right. As a consumer, if I go and purchase a disc and on that disc I have identified a song that I feel quite attached to, I bring it home and put it on an MP3 player. I must confess I have three MP3 players and I have legitimately purchased a copy of some music and I put the same song on all three of my MP3 players, because these are the songs I appreciate. I have one in my office, one in my house and one in the apartment I have here in Ottawa. The member for Lethbridge would suggest that if Bill C-11 passes in its current form, it would be illegal for me to have that song on all three, even though it is for specific personal use.

I do not think I am alone. I would suggest there are hundreds, if not thousands, of constituents who the member for Lethbridge and all of us represent, who would likely do something similar. I have spoken in the past in regard to music and how individuals, in an era in which we used to have records, would identify the songs they liked and they would record them onto a cassette and they would be able to play that cassette.

Times have changed and now we have this digital format, and it is important that we respect the artist and recognize the incredible contribution Canadian artists make to our economy and our heritage. However, we also need to be concerned in regard to the type of laws and the ramifications of those laws on all Canadians. I would be first to my feet to defend and protect the interests of those artists, but on the other hand I am also going to be first to my feet to protect consumers and their right to take personal ownership of something they have legitimately purchased.

That is something on which I would challenge the government to add further comment, to provide more clarification as to what the consumer rights are in regard to that digital lock. I do not believe I am alone in wanting to be able to provide assurances.

Should the bill be amended to make it okay to circumvent a digital lock, if the purpose is to use it for personal reasons such as having a backup? For individuals who have two MP3 players, should they have the right to be able to take that song they have acquired and put it on both of their MP3 players?

I think those are legitimate consumer-oriented questions that are worth debate and discussion. We know the government put limitations on that particular debate today through time allocation. It is not the first time it has used time allocation, which is most unfortunate, and it does cause concern.

The idea of copyright is something that, in principle, we have supported in the past. Going forward we continue to support intellectual knowledge and the ability to protect it and those creative ideas. We have industries doing exceptionally well across Canada, and we need to protect those industries. One of the ways we do that is through copyright laws.

There is a need to continue the debate. I will end my comments there and would be more than happy to provide further comment—

Report Stage
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

11:35 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Questions and comments. The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.

Report Stage
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

11:35 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, the questions the hon. member raises about the day-to-day activities of Canadians that are perfectly legal are echoed in a prominent textbook on intellectual property law by David Vaver, who talked about the problem of digital locks being applied in ways that actually limit a person's legal right to material for which they have already paid.

He points out that what is called technological property protection measures or digital rights management has often met with consumer resistance. He says that buyers of compact disks found they could not copy them to play on their computer or in their car. They bought a video disk in England and moved to Canada. They found it would not play on North American disk players. Users found copyright holders had sometimes invaded their privacy and compromised the security of their computer to monitor what was being done with the copyright material.

This is a very significant area of corporate control over things that a consumer has bought in good faith, with no prior notice. I would like my hon. colleague to comment on this issue further.

Report Stage
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, the leader of the Green Party and I agree in principle in regard to how the consumer appears to be overlooked in Bill C-11.

The member raises a valid concern. That is why I took the last few minutes I was provided to bring it to the attention of the government. I believe that the government is vastly underestimating the number of Canadians who would be and should be concerned if Bill C-11 passes without amendment dealing with something that most Canadians, 90%-plus, believe they have the right to do. That is to be able to have that music CD, to bring it home and use it to its full extent if it is for personal use.

This legislation has the potential to make those consumers criminals, because of the way this legislation is worded. The government needs to make note of that before it passes third reading. Otherwise we might have to obligate our Senate, once again, to clean up the mess or the sloppy legislation the government is trying to force through the House today.

Report Stage
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler York Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, it is my great pleasure to rise today to speak to Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act.

Let me start by reminding my colleagues that we are now closer than we have been in the last 15 years to modernizing the Copyright Act. During that time new technologies have fostered new ways to create and use copyrighted material, as well as new distribution models and consumer products.

Digital technologies have changed the way Canadians work, live and engage locally and globally. The emergence of the Internet has blurred the lines between users, creators, producers and distributors of copyrighted materials. All this has created a new world that the Copyright Act must adjust to and reflect.

Just some 15 years ago, many of the works protected by copyright were primarily available in physical formats such as paper for printed books, VHS cassettes for movies, or cartridges for video games; today, creative works are becoming increasingly available to consumers in digital formats over the Internet. Consumers can buy an e-book, stream a movie or download a game directly to their game console.

Given this new reality, it is important to pass the copyright modernization act. The copyright modernization act includes provisions that are technology-neutral and reflect the reality of an ever-evolving media and technological landscape.

Effective copyright protection is key to creativity, innovation, citizen engagement and economic growth. Modernizing Canada's Copyright Act just makes sense.

We need to make sure our copyright law is responsive to today's digital reality so that we continue to benefit from the rapid expansion of the knowledge-based economy. This is why modernizing the Copyright Act is a priority for our government.

The Copyright Act is a complex legal framework. There are many perspectives to be heard and balanced when modernizing it. The Copyright Act affects consumers, creators, publishers, producers, Internet providers, educators and students. It relates to the books and websites that we read, the movies we watch, the music we listen to, the video games we play and the computer programs that we use.

Our government has listened to and considered all these different perspectives as we have worked toward modernizing the Copyright Act. We heard the perspectives of thousands of Canadian businesses and stakeholder organizations on copyright modernization. This includes all the Canadians we heard from during the nationwide consultations we held in the summer of 2009. More than 1,000 Canadians attended live events across the country. An additional 8,000 written submissions were also received.

This also includes all the Canadians who attended or made submissions to the two legislative committees that studied the copyright modernization act. Combined, the two committees heard testimony from over 120 organizations and received over 250 written briefs.

Finally, it includes all of the Canadians who have informed the many hours of debate on the bill in this House and in the one before it.

We now need to deliver concrete results to all these Canadians by passing the bill.

The copyright modernization act returns to us today with a number of technical amendments that were adopted by the legislative committee. The committee adopted these amendments to improve the clarity and intent of certain provisions of the copyright modernization act. The committee adopted these amendments after an extensive review of the bill, along with all the testimony and submissions it received.

I would like to take this opportunity to tell the House about two sets of technical amendments the committee made to clarify and strengthen the bill.

The first set of amendments I would like to highlight are technical amendments the committee made to the measures that address the role of Internet service providers in facilitating the enforcement of copyright on the Internet.

One of these amendments included a change to the provision addressing the notice and notice regime for Internet service providers. It amends the obligations providers have for forwarding notices received from rights holders. These amendments will ensure that Internet service providers can continue to support efforts to fight online copyright infringement without fear that events outside of their control could unintentionally expose them to liability.

The second amendment I would like to mention is an amendment that provides not-for-profit organizations with greater certainty in their mission to support the distribution of adapted works for the visually impaired. Bill C-11 would allow a not-for-profit organization acting for the benefit of persons with a print disability to make and send adapted works outside of Canada as long as the author of the work is either a Canadian or a national of the country to which it is sent. This amendment will protect not-for-profit organizations that make a good-faith mistake from being unreasonably sued for monetary damages.

These technical amendments are intended to improve certain provisions of the copyright modernization act. As a result, these amendments would make it easier to implement the intent behind Bill C-11.

All of the amendments adopted by the committee are consistent with the balanced approach our government has taken to copyright modernization. It is now time to make this approach a reality for Canadians by passing the copyright modernization act.

Canada's path toward this round of copyright modernization has lasted more than 15 years. We have heard from thousands of Canadians and have debated the bill extensively. We need to deliver concrete results for Canadians. By swiftly moving forward with a copyright modernization act, our government is delivering on our commitment to protect Canadian jobs, stimulate our economy and attract new investment to Canada.

I invite all members in this House to deliver results to Canadians by ensuring the swift passage of the copyright modernization act.