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.