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 chair.

Topics

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my colleague, who is also doing an absolutely phenomenal job in this area. He is an artist, a musician I very much like listening to.

The figures I cited earlier are absolutely incredible. It is often said that arts and culture are the poor cousins of the economy, but that is definitely not as a result of their impact in our communities. ACTRA estimated that the arts and culture industry in Canada injected $85 billion a year into our economy, which represents 7.4% of Canada's gross national income. That is not peanuts. People attend more shows than hockey games or anything else.

And yet it seems that artists and people who work in the cultural field are forced to spend their lives fighting for money, whether from the Minister of Canadian Heritage or from Quebec's Minister of Culture. I see that in Gatineau. It is a constant struggle, and artists always get the impression of having to beg, of being poor cousins. And yet they ultimately inject an enormous amount of money into the economy.

There are activities and shows in the Outaouais, in Gatineau, among other places. Year after year, for example, L'Outaouais en fête fights for a minuscule grant from Canadian Heritage and is unable to get it. It seems that it is asked for much bigger guarantees than what big businesses are asked for—oil companies, banks or other businesses—on the grounds that it is part of the cultural sector. And yet it is an extraordinary economic organization. It is excellent for us. It represents us in Canada, in Quebec, among other places, where culture and the arts are flourishing so well.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier my colleague mentioned the contribution that artists make to the economy. However, we know that most artists are not Céline Dion or Bryan Adams. They do not make millions of dollars. They earn only a few thousand dollars a year.

How will the bill, as it currently stands, affect the careers of most artists?

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3:15 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, what a good question.

In my speech, I talked about the $85 billion that is injected into Canada's economy. However, and this is shocking, by comparison, the average salary of Canadian artists is $12,900. That is terrible. It is below the poverty line.

When you look at a bill like this one through the eyes of an artist, of a person who works in the cultural sector, you may well wonder whether you will see any part of those billions of dollars. The answer is "no" because, in our view, the Conservatives' bill is so unbalanced that we get the feeling its purpose, once again, is to protect the big fish, the major American studios, for example, the major American record companies and so on.

Has anyone looked at this bill through the eyes of a Canadian or Quebec artist? I very much doubt it. This is really not a balanced bill. That is why we have introduced a number of amendments. Unfortunately, as is the case with all other bills, everything has to come from this government, and what comes from other parties is fundamentally bad.

It is unfortunate that the Conservatives have this attitude, because we will be inheriting an act that cannot achieve the objectives for which it was drafted.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak to this bill. I am pleased that our government is getting closer to delivering on its commitment to modernize the Copyright Act.

I would like to invite all of my colleagues to join me in ensuring the swift passage of Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act. By supporting the legislation, we will be delivering on our government's commitment to modernize the Copyright Act in a way that balances the needs of creators and users.

The road that has led us to where we are today has been a lengthy one. Once we pass the legislation, this will be the first time in more than 15 years that we have completed a comprehensive overhaul of the Copyright Act. During this time, we have heard from thousands of Canadians and have had ample time to debate copyright modernization.

As my colleagues may recall, the copyright modernization act was first introduced following the largest consultations of their kind in Canadian history. In the summer of 2009, we set out to hear the views and opinions of Canadians from across the country. We leveraged new technologies to provide as many people as possible with access to this important process. We hosted interactive and web-based discussions. We held live events from coast to coast in Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Gatineau, Peterborough, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Finally, we also accepted written submissions.

The response we received was impressive. Around 1,000 Canadians participated in the live events. More than 8,000 submissions were made, the website received 30,000 unique visits. We had more than 2,500 online forum posts and hundreds of followers on Twitter.

Based on this response, it was clear that Canadians from all walks of life understood the importance of modern copyright legislation, and this is still the case. During those consultations, Canadians told us about how copyright impacted their daily lives. Canadians told us about the importance of copyright to the digital economy and its effect on Canada's global competitiveness. Furthermore, Canadian creators and users told us that they needed clear, fair and predictable rules.

Our government listened to all of this and we responded with the introduction of the copyright modernization act in 2010 and its reintroduction last fall. We have responded with legislation that takes a common sense, balanced approach to copyright modernization. This approach considers the needs of both creators and users of copyright material. We have responded with legislation that reflects a uniquely Canadian approach to copyright modernization, an approach that takes into account the perspectives that Canadians have shared with us as creators, consumers and citizens during our consultations.

I would like to highlight four specific things we heard during the consultations and highlight how our government responded.

The first thing we heard was that Canadians thought that technological neutrality was an important guiding principle for copyright modernization. They emphasized that Canada's copyright regime must be able to accommodate technology that did not yet exist. They told us that any copyright reform must reflect the reality of an ever-evolving media and technological landscape. We responded. The copyright modernization act includes a number of exceptions that are technologically neutral. They reflect the reality of an ever-evolving media and technological landscape. They will stand the test of time.

The second thing we heard was that Canadians wanted to make reasonable use of content that they had legally acquired. We responded. The copyright modernization act includes a number of exceptions that facilitate commonplace private uses of copyright materials.

The third thing we heard was that Canadians did not think it was fair that one could risk facing huge penalties for minor copyright infringement. We responded to this, too. The copyright modernization act would create two categories of infringement to which statutory damages could apply. The first category is commercial and the second category is non-commercial. For non-commercial infringement, the existing statutory damages in the Copyright Act will be significantly reduced. The copyright modernization act also introduces proportionality as a factor for the courts to consider when awarding damages.

The fourth thing we heard was that Canadian copyright owners wanted new rights and protections to sustain business models in a digital environment. We responded to this as well. The copyright modernization act would implement the rights and protections of the Internet treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization. These include a making available right, a distribution right, moral rights for performers and protections for digital locks and digital watermarks.

These four things are just examples of what we heard during the 2009 consultations. There are numerous other things we heard and we responded to. Perhaps the easiest way to sum it all up is to say that the 2009 consultation demonstrated to us the importance of a balanced approach to copyright modernization, an approach that balances the interests of all Canadians, creators and users alike. This is the approach we will be delivering to Canadians by passing Bill C-11.

Large scale national consultations have been held, legislation has twice been introduced and debated, witnesses have testified and submissions have been received. Committees have studied the bill at length and a number of technical amendments have been made to improve the clarity of certain provisions.

The bill is back before us. We need to pass the legislation and deliver results to Canadians. The fact is that after 15 years, it is time to turn the page on this chapter of copyright modernization.

Our government recognizes that new challenges may emerge in the future for the Copyright Act. That is why we have included in the bill a mandatory review of the legislation every five years. This five year review will ensure that Canada's copyright regime does not fall back into the outdated state it is today. However, before we can think about all this, we need to first modernize the Copyright Act by passing the bill.

Canadians from all walks of life have an interest in modern copyright laws. The benefits of copyright modernization are many. However, Canadians will not enjoy them until we have passed the bill.

I urge all members to join me in supporting the swift passage of the copyright modernization act.

Copyright Modernization Act
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May 15th, 2012 / 3:20 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the comments of my colleague. He would have us believe that this is a very balanced bill and that based on the consultation, the government has weighed in to protect both consumers and artists. However, when one examines the bill, this is not the case.

We could argue quite well that the real winners in Bill C-11 are the recording industry and major movie studios. In fact, this is one explanation why the technological protection measures, or TPMs, provided in the bill virtually trump all other rights to allow record companies and movie studios to strengthen their ability to generate enormous profits.

Would the member respond to that criticism? It is not just us saying this. People who have been very involved in the bill's process are very concerned that it favours these very large players.

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3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, she used a word that we heard over and over, and that was balance, that we had to strike a balance. That was the overarching objective of our government, and we did achieve that balance.

I will illustrate that. By having sat on the committee that studied the bill, we heard from a number of witnesses. It was very common to for witnesses to thank us for bringing in copyright legislation, but then they would say that there was one little thing we could change. We heard that from all sides of the spectrum.

At the end of day, the bill before us is one that is balanced, one that recognizes the needs of creators and also recognizes the needs of consumers. Some of the protections we have in place now for copyright holders, including distribution rights, moral rights, is the use of digital locks for those who choose to use them to better protect their copyrighted material.

It is a balance. We are in a new era. When this study first began, we knew that technologically we had advanced by leaps and bounds. We have to keep up with the times. Bringing in this copyright legislation now is the right thing. It is the right time. It is also the right balance. We heard this over and over at committee.

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3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity to ask a number of the hon. member's colleagues this question. Given his involvement in the committee stage, the concern that many of his constituents and my constituents would have is the whole idea of the digital lock.

If constituents purchase a favourite album, which has a digital lock, and they want to back it up or put it on one or two of their MP3 players for jogging purposes or whatever it might be, but strictly for personal use, should constituents not be allowed to do that?

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3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, this bill would legitimize the activities Canadians are doing everyday. I will give the member some examples. It would recognize that Canadians should not be liable for recording TV programs for later viewing, copying music from CDs to MP3 players or backing up data, if they were doing so for their private use and had not broken a digital lock.

The issue of a digital lock is up to the copyright holder. We heard from the testimony at committee that a digital lock is a way some people would choose to protect their copyrighted material. We also heard in committee that other creators are moving well beyond that. They do not want to use a digital lock. They want their material to be shifted from one format to another, and they are embracing these new technologies and the ways consumers are using them.

However, we have to strike that right balance between the many creators we celebrate in Canada being able to continue to do the great work they do, making us proud and earning a living as a creator, with the issues consumers face with the technology available to us today, being able to use material in the way they see fit. This bill would strike that balance.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that I have to rise in the House once again to condemn this excessive and unbalanced Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act. The people of Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, consumers and many creators alike, will not be happy to see that the Conservatives did not take advantage of the study in committee to make the necessary changes to this bill in order to take into account their rights and concerns.

As the New Democrats have been saying from the outset, Bill C-11 does not really protect creators' rights, since it will take millions of dollars in revenue away from them and erode their market.

We are not the only ones to say so. Over 80 arts and culture organizations have said that this bill is “toxic to Canada's digital economy”.

One of them, the Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada, states that:

The desired balance between the interests of creators and those of consumers and users is, in our opinion, completely absent.

The people in my riding are concerned about this bill. I have received a hundred or so emails and phone calls from constituents who simply do not trust this bill or this government.

To these concerned citizens, I responded that, although changes to the act are necessary, those set out in Bill C-11 were harmful to artists, teachers and consumers. We need legislative changes that protect artist royalties, while making sure that distance education is not hampered and that young people are not exposed to unfair and costly fines.

That is what the people of my riding, what Quebeckers and what all Canadians want.

A person in my riding, from the municipality of Lac-Simon, wrote:

Thank you very much, Mylène.

Copyright is an issue that is close to my heart, and I fully agree with its renewal… but I do not have faith in the majority government in place…

In a few words, that sums up this government's problem. Its majority is going to its head and is preventing all intelligent discussion. We need a bill to modernize copyright, and the opposition wants to discuss and work constructively with the government. Unfortunately, the government's response is to muzzle debate. It is limiting the debate and, in the end, taking measures that will do nothing to improve the situation of artists and consumers.

This government's lack of subtlety and judgment is perfectly illustrated in one measure in this bill.

Bill C-11 proposes to block the use of content for which people have paid and which they are therefore entitled to use. For example, if you take a distance training course, you have an obligation to destroy the course notes 30 days after completing it. That is absurd and unfair. What happens if you take another course and are asked to use the concepts from the first course? What happens if you fail the course and have to take it again? This is really absurd and unfair.

Here is another example of improvisation: the only protection measure that can be taken by content owners—who are often not the creators themselves—is to lock their works, which will really hurt consumers. Rights owners do not like it either, because it often benefits only the big companies.

This bill is also not good for consumers because digital locks make criminals of Canadian users who are entitled to access those works. The bill criminalizes the act of circumventing digital locks, regardless of the reasons for doing so, even for legal purposes.

This bill ultimately gives consumers rights with one hand and, with the digital lock, takes them away with the other.

Another nonsensical aspect of this bill is more technical but illustrates the way this government makes things up as it goes along.

This bill creates an artificial and inconsistent legal distinction between "copying for private use" and "reproduction…for…private purposes". I just compared section 80 of part VIII of the Copyright Act and paragraph 29.22(2)(e) of the proposed Copyright Modernization Act.

The government is indiscriminately tackling complex legal provisions and imposing disproportionate penalties such as the possibility of a fine of more than $1 million and five years in prison.

As in other matters, the Conservatives are self-styled experts, drawing inspiration from their retrograde ideology and, in this case, the controversial American legislation, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

This bill creates legal uncertainty that will result in many costly court cases. In short, artists and creators, as well as consumers, archivists, teachers and students are opposed to this unbalanced bill. That is why, with the support of many stakeholders, the New Democrats, at committee stage, proposed 17 amendments that would have made it possible to have a more balanced bill that was fairer to artists and consumers.

In a nutshell, here are a few of those amendments: eliminate the loophole that the Conservatives included in the bill and that takes $21 million away from music creators; protect the moral rights of artists for new forms of content produced by users, such as mashups and YouTube videos; link the ban on circumventing digital locks to acts of violating copyright, thus allowing the circumvention of digital locks for legal purposes, which also involves ensuring that people with visual or hearing impairments have the explicit right to circumvent digital locks to gain access to a work; remove the "book-burning" provisions that the Conservatives are imposing on students and educational institutions by requiring them to destroy their educational material once the course is over.

These proposed amendments, which would balance this bill, were rejected by the Conservatives, despite the broad consensus of creators of culture in Quebec and in Canada. Instead of protecting creators by protecting their rights and ensuring that they will be paid for their work, instead of protecting Canadians and Quebeckers by giving them access to content, this bill aims to protect foreign interests. The Conservatives' priority is not to create a balanced system between the rights of creators and the rights of the public, but to respond to the demands of big U.S. content owners.

If the Conservatives had really wanted to create a balanced system, they would have listened to the witnesses in committee. The brief submitted by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges clearly condemned digital locks:

The digital-locks amendment will, in effect, severely limit how one can access and use digital information. In practice, this would mean that educational institutions, teachers, and students would lose their rights under fair dealing, educational and library exceptions, or other users' rights in copyright law to copy, perform, or share electronically a digital work that has been locked by a “technological measure”.

The Canadian Library Association also strongly criticized this measure: “The prohibitions on the circumvention of digital locks in Bill C-11 exceed Canada's obligations under WIPO copyright treaties.”

I am going to wrap things up now because I have just one minute left. Copyright modernization is long past due, but this bill has too many major problems. Canada has an opportunity to become a leader by implementing copyright regulations and taking a balanced approach between the right of creators to be compensated fairly for their work and the right of consumers to have reasonable access to content. It is clear that the NDP is the only party that truly stands up for the rights of artists and consumers.

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3:40 p.m.

Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech with interest. It was concerning to me because the world is undergoing economic challenges and our government has been focused on job creation. In her province of Quebec the electronic gaming industry relies on digital locks in order for its business model to work. It is coming up with new models, guaranteed, but right now creators historically have been able to say that they own the intellectual property with their creations. Companies like EA in Montreal spend literally tens of thousands of hours creating a video game. That video game is locked. Companies sell the video game to consumers and the consumers know it is locked. That is their business model. They choose it. There is freedom for them to choose that model. What she and her party are proposing is that these locks should be able to broken. Today with the new technology, that means one person could buy that game, upload it on the Internet and this great company that employs literally thousands of Canadians could lose that intellectual property. It would cause extreme job losses, not only in her province but across Canada.

What could the member say to people in the gaming creation industry about her party's policy and why would she propose those job losses?

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3:40 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Madam Speaker, I think my colleague misunderstands our position. What we are saying is that this would go far beyond what is needed. Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act, essentially would give with one hand and take away with the other from the consumers. That is what we are saying. This bill contains a few concessions to consumers but they are then undermined by controversial issues like digital lock provisions. That is what is going to be undermining all sectors of the creation economy.

What my colleague does not seem to understand about our position is that we are talking about a more balanced approach. The digital lock provision is a sweeping legislation in favour of the companies and not there for the creators or for the consumers. This is really, in most cases, going to be in favour of the companies that are not usually based in Canada. So there needs to be a lot more battling.

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3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel on her speech.

I totally agree with what she said in the House about the importance of a balance between users and creators. I think she will agree with me that this balance cannot be found in this bill. This is why we are against it.

I am hoping that my colleague might be able to share with us her views as to whether she believes that this lack of balance in this copyright legislation is similar to what I think is a general disregard that the Conservatives and their government have had for supporting arts and culture in Canada. If the government were interested in supporting creativity and cultural industries, some of the cuts we have seen, for example to Radio–Canada, to CBC, to the arts council and to Telefilm Canada, would not have taken place.

Does my colleague agree with me that it is part of a larger framework of a disinterest in the arts? I represent a region of the country where there is a vibrant artistic community and it is suffering under the current government.

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3:40 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Madam Speaker, I am glad my colleague from the Liberal Party agrees with me. I am never sure, with the Liberal Party's record, what its members are going to say. However, I am very glad he does agree and that we are talking about moving forward and modernizing in a way that is more equitable.

I agree that the Conservatives do not really think about creators or the artists. There are numerous artists in my riding. One of the most famous is Gilles Vigneault. Obviously he has a very strong position on creator rights. This is his source of income and it needs to be protected and understood by everybody. However, that obviously needs to be balanced with consumer rights. That is what makes this legislation difficult. That is where we need to be putting the emphasis and that is not where the Conservatives are putting the emphasis.

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3:45 p.m.

Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, it is so wonderful to see such agreement on the other side of the House.

I am pleased to rise in my place to speak to Bill C-11, the copyright modernization bill. This legislation is a result of an extensive amount of consultation and debate. I believe that we have arrived at a good bill that is ready to be passed by this House. While the process to get here has been long, we have seen the support of representatives from across Canada's creative industries, like software producers, as well as consumer groups.

The name of this bill says it all. This is a bill to modernize Canada's copyright regime. Why do we need to modernize Canada's copyright law? Because it was last updated in the late '90s. Let us consider that for a moment.

In the era of SMART Boards and e-learning, the current Copyright Act is weighted down by provisions that apply to overhead projectors and dry erase boards. This says nothing about how consumers' lives have changed since the advent of smart phones and PVRs. This law is simply out of touch with our daily lives. We live in a global digital environment yet have copyright laws that were last updated in the 1990s, before the dot-com era, before social media, and before tablet computers and mobile devices allowed us to access thousands of songs, movies and gaming applications at the touch of a button or at the swipe of a finger.

We went from 8-bit video game consoles to motion sensing input devices that can use gestures and spoken commands instead of hand-held controllers. Video game consoles can be found now in households all over Canada and they have many times the processing power of computers from the '90s.

Our government's approach to copyright is clear. We want Canada to have a modern, forward-looking, technologically neutral copyright regime that balances the rights of creators and rights holders with the everyday activities of Canadians in the 21st century economy.

One of the motivating principles behind our government's approach to protecting intellectual property is to promote and spur innovation in Canada. Our government knows the important role that innovation plays in creating economic growth and jobs now and in the future. That is why, as part of our jobs, growth and long-term prosperity bill, we have proposed considerable investments in programs that support business-led innovation and research and development. All of this would be for nothing if those innovators, entrepreneurs and creators did not have the legal tools available to them to protect their works. A modern copyright regime is one of those tools.

Following the legislative committee's review of Bill C-11, the committee proposed a targeted set of technological amendments to the bill to ensure that the spirit of the legislation is implemented. It is for this reason that the committee adopted specific technical amendments to support innovative companies in the information technology sector. I commend the committee for its work and fully support the amendments it has proposed.

Allow me to explain. The amendments to the bill's exception for reverse engineering, interoperability and security testing will serve their purpose in encouraging these economic activities while not exposing other businesses to needless risks. When conducted in good faith, these kinds of activities are a necessary step in the process of developing new computer applications or computer security tools, thus driving innovation.

However, we cannot ignore the possibility that some individuals would pursue such activities for malicious reasons. To ensure that this does not happen, the bill has been amended to firmly establish that these exceptions should never apply to an activity that is otherwise in violation of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Furthermore, the committee proposed an amendment that seeks to clarify the section of the bill that brings many of those everyday activities that Canadians are already doing, namely time and format shifting, onto the right side of the law.

The amendments recognize that creators' and rights holders' interests could have been unduly compromised by an ambiguity in the original version of the clause, which did not specify that these exceptions are meant only for the private purposes of the person who made the copy, not for somebody else's private purposes. This change, while seemingly minor, made sure that the adequate protections remain in place for the legitimate interests of rights holders and creators. It also gives consumers the clarity they need to understand what is allowed and what is not allowed.

Finally, all of us in this House know the incredible growth potential that is still to be realized in the digital economy. Year over year, e-commerce continues to grow even despite broader uncertainty in the world economy.

Dematerialization of video games, for instance, is only one of the new phenomena produced by the progress of the digital economy. This part of the Canadian economy is a hotbed for innovation and the creation of new technologies, like cloud computing. Our government is completely committed to supporting the digital economy and our record to date reflects this amazing commitment.

That is the big reason why we have included elements in the bill that strike directly at those who undermine legitimate online businesses by enabling the large scale infringement of copyright.

illegitimate online services like these drag down the economic potential and opportunity of the mainstream digital economy. The piracy they enable makes creators and rights holders think twice about engaging in this new and emerging market. This is bad for creators and bad for consumers. Jason Kee, from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, said in committee that we are talking about an industry that employs approximately 16,000 people in good quality jobs. He pointed out that it accounts for an estimated 11,000 more in terms of indirect employment, and contributes $1.7 billion in direct economic activity.

That is one reason why we need this bill. It give creators and copyright owners the tools they need to specifically target these piracy enabling services. This is where the committee identified the need to tighten up this clause in order to ensure that the services that enable the violation of copyright are rightly identified and exposed to the appropriate level of liability.

I believe that the amendments that I have described today make it absolutely clear, the government does not tolerate piracy. This bill would make it much more difficult for commercial pirates to get away with infringement. Everyone in the House should welcome these technical amendments. They are the product of an extensive committee review process that stretched over two Parliaments and which met for 21 combined days of deliberation, hearing the testimony of 110 witnesses.

For creative industries, like software creators and video game publishers, the bill provides a clear, predictable, legal framework that allows them to combat online piracy and roll out new online business models. Businesses that decide to use technological protection measures to protect their products should have the protection of the law. We will provide legal protection for businesses that choose to use technological protection measures, or digital locks, to protect their work as part of their business models. At the same time, the bill also ensures that locks on wireless devices will not prevent Canadians from switching their wireless service providers, as long as existing contracts are respected. This will not affect any obligations under existing contracts.

This highlights our commitment to produce a bill that will be balanced. It is, above all, common sense. In closing, I think it is important to note the mandatory five year review that has been put right into the bill. This will mean that whatever issues may arise we will have the benefit of a review to see how the bill can be improved in the future. This step is important because we know that technology evolves, understanding of copyright evolves and new issues emerge. Parliament will have the ability to react in a thoughtful fashion to these issues.

I urge hon. members to join me in supporting this committee report and to work with the government to move the bill to the Senate.

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3:50 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague opposite for his speech. It sounds really nice when it comes out of his mouth. However, I wonder what he tells the various opponents of the bill who still see many shortcomings in it.

It makes me think that, even though the government tells us that enough time has been spent on this bill, not enough time really has been, when you consider the kind of opposition it has raised. For instance, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, SOCAN, believes that amendments should be made to the bill to facilitate access to creative content on new media, and especially to ensure that creators are fairly compensated for their creative content on new media.

Once again, it is a question of balance. The creation of creative content will eventually drop off, because Canadian creators will no longer be able to make a living from their creations. There is a lot of talk about big digital enterprises and so on. However, we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is the whole issue of the creators, the authors, that is at stake in this change, which is quite extensive, thank you, and which seems to create more problems than it solves.

Copyright lawyer Howard Knopf also objects, as do SODRAC, Jeremy F. de Beer and many others. I could continue in this vein for many more minutes.