Copyright Modernization Act

An Act to amend the Copyright Act

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2013.

Sponsor

Christian Paradis  Conservative

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Copyright Act to

(a) update the rights and protections of copyright owners to better address the challenges and opportunities of the Internet, so as to be in line with international standards;

(b) clarify Internet service providers’ liability and make the enabling of online copyright infringement itself an infringement of copyright;

(c) permit businesses, educators and libraries to make greater use of copyright material in digital form;

(d) allow educators and students to make greater use of copyright material;

(e) permit certain uses of copyright material by consumers;

(f) give photographers the same rights as other creators;

(g) ensure that it remains technologically neutral; and

(h) mandate its review by Parliament every five years.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 18, 2012 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
May 15, 2012 Passed That Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, as amended, be concurred in at report stage with further amendments.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by adding after line 15 on page 54 the following: “(3) The Board may, on application, make an order ( a) excluding from the application of section 41.1 a technological protection measure that protects a work, a performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or a sound recording, or classes of them, or any class of such technological protection measures, having regard to the factors set out in paragraph (2)(a); or ( b) requiring the owner of the copyright in a work, a performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or a sound recording that is protected by a technological protection measure to provide access to the work, performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or sound recording to persons who are entitled to the benefit of any limitation on the application of paragraph 41.1(1)(a). (4) Any order made under subsection (3) shall remain in effect for a period of five years unless ( a) the Governor in Council makes regulations varying the term of the order; or ( b) the Board, on application, orders the renewal of the order for an additional five years.”
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by replacing line 11 on page 52 with the following: “(2) Paragraph 41.1(1)( b) does not”
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by replacing line 25 on page 51 with the following: “(2) Paragraph 41.1(1)( b) does not”
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 7 on page 51.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 24 to 33 on page 50.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting line 37 on page 49 to line 3 on page 50.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 17 to 29 on page 48.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 38 to 44 on page 47.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by adding after line 26 on page 47 the following: “(5) Paragraph (1)( a) does not apply to a qualified person who circumvents a technological protection measure on behalf of another person who is lawfully entitled to circumvent that technological protection measure. (6) Paragraphs (1)( b) and (c) do not apply to a person who provides a service to a qualified person or who manufactures, imports or provides a technology, device or component, for the purposes of enabling a qualified person to circumvent a technological protection measure in accordance with this Act. (7) A qualified person may only circumvent a technological protection measure under subsection (5) if ( a) the work or other subject-matter to which the technological protection measure is applied is not an infringing copy; and ( b) the qualified person informs the person on whose behalf the technological protection measure is circumvented that the work or other subject-matter is to be used solely for non-infringing purposes. (8) The Governor in Council may, for the purposes of this section, make regulations ( a) defining “qualified person”; ( b) prescribing the information to be recorded about any action taken under subsection (5) or (6) and the manner and form in which the information is to be kept; and ( c) prescribing the manner and form in which the conditions set out in subsection (7) are to be met.”
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by adding after line 26 on page 47 the following: “41.101 (1) No one shall apply, or cause to be applied, a technological protection measure to a work or other subject-matter that is intended to be offered for use by members of the public by sale, rental or otherwise unless the work or other subject-matter is accompanied by a clearly visible notice indicating ( a) that a technological protection measure has been applied to the work; and ( b) the capabilities, compatibilities and limitations imposed by the technological protection measure, including, where applicable, but without limitation (i) any requirement that particular software must be installed, either automatically or with the user's consent, in order to access or use the work or other subject-matter, (ii) any requirement for authentication or authorization via a network service in order to access or use the work or other subject-matter, (iii) any known incompatibility with ordinary consumer devices that would reasonably be expected to operate with the work or other subject-matter, and (iv) any limits imposed by the technological protection measure on the ability to make use of the rights granted under section 29, 29.1, 29.2, 29.21, 29.22, 29.23 or 29.24; and ( c) contact information for technical support or consumer inquiries in relation to the technological protection measure. (2) The Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing the form and content of the notice referred to in subsection (1).”
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by adding after line 26 on page 47 the following: “41.101 (1) Paragraph 41.1(1)( a) does not apply to a person who has lawful authority to care for or supervise a minor and who circumvents a technological protection measure for the purpose of protecting the minor if ( a) the copy of the work or other subject-matter with regard to which the technological protection measure is applied is not an infringing copy; and ( b) the person has lawfully obtained the work, the performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or the sound recording that is protected by the technological protection measure. (2) Paragraphs 41.1(1)( b) and (c) do not apply to a person who provides a service to a person referred to in subsection (1) or who manufactures, imports or provides a technology, device or component, for the purposes of enabling anyone to circumvent a technological protection measure in accordance with subsection (1). (3) A person acting in the circumstances referred to in subsection (1) is not entitled to benefit from the exception under that subsection if the person does an act that constitutes an infringement of copyright or contravenes any Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province.”
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by deleting lines 21 to 40 on page 46.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 47, be amended by replacing line 25 on page 45 with the following: “measure for the purpose of an act that is an infringement of the copyright in the protected work.”
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 22, be amended by deleting lines 30 to 34 on page 20.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 22, be amended by deleting lines 33 to 37 on page 19.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11 be amended by deleting Clause 62.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11 be amended by deleting Clause 49.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 27, be amended by deleting line 42 on page 23 to line 3 on page 24.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 27, be amended by replacing lines 23 to 29 on page 23 with the following: “paragraph (3)( a) to reproduce the lesson for non-infringing purposes.”
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11, in Clause 21, be amended by adding after line 13 on page 17 the following: “(2) The Governor in Council may make regulations defining “education” for the purposes of subsection (1).”
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11 be amended by deleting Clause 2.
May 15, 2012 Failed That Bill C-11 be amended by deleting Clause 1.
May 15, 2012 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage of the Bill and one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill; and That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at report stage and on the day allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the Bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.
Feb. 13, 2012 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to a legislative committee.
Feb. 13, 2012 Passed That this question be now put.
Feb. 8, 2012 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, not more than two further sitting days shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the Bill; and that, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the second day allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.
Nov. 28, 2011 Failed That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: “the House decline to give second reading to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, because it fails to: ( a) uphold the rights of consumers to choose how to enjoy the content that they purchase through overly-restrictive digital lock provisions; (b) include a clear and strict test for “fair dealing” for education purposes; and (c) provide any transitional funding to help artists adapt to the loss of revenue streams that the Bill would cause”.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 10:40 a.m.
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Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the great work of my hon. colleague on this file. As a member of the international trade committee for the past six and one-half years, I know the importance of bringing archaic legislation into the 21st century.

We have had ample debate. I will mention the opposition's tactic last week of moving to adjourn. If it was so important to have debate on the budget, why would the opposition move to adjourn?

On this specific issue, I think it is important that the minister inform the House of why we need this legislation to be brought in accordance with WIPO and to meet our international trade agreement and obligations in the future.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 10:40 a.m.
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Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, this is about what is in the best interests of Canada, Canadian consumers, Canadian creators and their rights, needs and obligations in a digital environment.

As I said at the outset, it has been essentially 22 years since Canada has had sweeping amendments to Canada's copyright law in the way this bill proposes. We believe in a system that will best serve Canadians' interests. As I have said a number of times, individuals and organizations have come forward and spoken out in favour of this legislation for their own purposes. This is a balancing act. Certainly there are those who wish they had amendments a little different from the way our government has designed the bill, but we think we have an effective and responsible balance that will serve Canadians well into the future.

The Canadian Media Production Association, which represents thousands of jobs across the country, said it applauds the government's copyright reform. The Entertainment Software Association of Canada, which is responsible for Canada's video game industry and roughly 15,000 high paying jobs across the country, many of them in Montreal, congratulated the government on its copyright legislation. It said that it will help protect Canadian creators and that it is good public policy and is essential to our economy.

This bill is critical to the success of Canada's digital economy. It works. Let us get it done.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 10:40 a.m.
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NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, first, almost as an aside, I would like to offer my condolences to the Liberal Party, because when the Minister of Canadian Heritage reaches out and says that he feels bad for the Liberals, I think those guys are in a really rough spot.

We are talking about 23 amendments that were brought forward by the independent members who were not able to sit at the committee, and we are talking about one day of debate.

The minister said he has heard all these amendments before and he is not interested, so we should just shut down the debate. However, every individual member of Parliament has the right to participate and bring forward legislative amendments, and these are worthy of debate. There has been a single day of debate. That is what it has been. It might go a couple more hours before we go through them.

As I said, the New Democratic Party went through these very carefully. Some of them are very interesting and some of them we think are very problematic, but that is our role.

This is not about obstruction. This is about allowing every member of the House to participate on a substantive piece of legislation that affects all Canadians.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 10:40 a.m.
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Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP can reference Bill C-38 and other things, but when we do it, it is against the rules. Anyway, whatever, that is the member for Timmins--James Bay.

The reality is, the amendments that were put forward, particularly those from the leader of the Green Party, were serious and substantive amendments, and I understand that. However, the ideas represented therein were not new. They were considered by our government and had been considered over the past two and a half years, throughout this entire process.

We certainly do respect that, but if the NDP's idea concerning debate is just ongoing, never-ending, continuous debate and members can keep putting forward amendments to change “us” to “them” and “we” to “they”, and then condemn us for not considering sometimes frivolous amendments, it is nonsense. We have been debating this for two and a half years. We have considered the ideas. They are thoughtful ideas. They are just reasonable differences of opinion with some of the amendments that were put forward by the leader of the Green Party.

It is not obstruction to say we have had two and a half years of debate, and now two years of debate on a specific piece of legislation. We have considered it. We have thought about it. We have tabled our legislation. We gave signals to Canadians in the election campaign. We put it in our throne speech. We put forward the legislation. We invited Canadians in at the front end through our consultations.

Let us just get on with it, pass this legislation and serve Canadians' interests.

Report StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

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

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal 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 StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:35 a.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green 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 StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:35 a.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal 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 StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:35 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative 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.

Report StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:45 a.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. friend for his speech and his defence of the bill.

I think that it needs to be understood that this copyright modernization act has moved in the right direction in most ways. Unfortunately, the balance is not right in relation to consumer rights and those of device manufacturers and copyright holders.

I want to return to a passage I put earlier to the member for Winnipeg North and put it to the member opposite. In relation to copyright law, let me mention that I have permission to read from Intellectual Property Law: Copyright, Patents, Trade-Marks text, second edition, published in 2011, by David Vaver. Allow me to continue with this real-life example of how this legislation would put consumers at risk of breaking the law. Here is a real-life example that I am quoting from this text:

Buyers of video game consoles found they were tied in to the console makers' games. TPMs

—that is, digital locks—

barred third-party games, improvements, and imports. Users found themselves unable to exercise fair dealing and other rights the Copyright Act gave them. The consumer was often given no prior warning that rights he thought he had were being negated. The situation was ripe for hackers for surmount such obstacles, and cat-and-mouse games ensued as copyright holders tried to keep one step ahead of circumventers. The public sided largely with the circumventers, who enabled buyers to enjoy the usual rights of ownership of property that had been bought and paid for.

I am looking to the Conservative members of the House. We were not all members in this House, in this place or in committee. I do understand committee has rejected a number of the amendments or ones like it, but, please, let us fix this now.

Report StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I assume there is a question in there.

However, I was recently in Washington, meeting with a number of congressional leaders. We were talking about this very piece of legislation, the copyright modernization act. They were very pleased to learn that we are now bringing our copyright and intellectual property regime into the 21st century. They were quite concerned about the older regime that we were existing under.

By improving our intellectual property regime, we would be creating an opportunity to create more jobs in Canada, create investment and long-term prosperity for companies that would like to invest in this country, and create jobs for Canadians, so it is imperative that we pass the bill as expeditiously as possible.

Report StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:45 a.m.
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NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Madam Speaker, it is completely irresponsible to limit debate today for the 21st time in a little over a year, especially since this debate will not strike a balance between authors' rights, the industry's rights and consumers' rights.

Howard Knopf, a lawyer who specializes in copyright, says that this bill does not encourage innovation and that, in fact, it inhibits it. He wonders how making it illegal to bypass a regional code in order to watch a legally imported Bollywood DVD that is not available in Canada is going to encourage innovation.

Thus, there is no consensus and no respect for authors' rights or consumers' rights, and furthermore, the bill does not encourage innovation. How can this government move forward on the bill at this stage and limit debate when the bill still contains several controversial elements?

Report StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I am really not surprised to hear from the NDP that anyone's creation should not have any property rights attached to it.

The creator has, by creating a piece of property, a legal and moral obligation to receive compensation for it. It is not a Wild West situation in which anything in the public domain belongs to everybody. That is just not true, and creators of intellectual property deserve the full protection of the law.

We are now in the 21st century, and there are new opportunities and new technology. They must be protected, and the creators of these must be protected.

Report StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:50 a.m.
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NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, as I said in my previous speech—and it bears repeating—shutting down debate is becoming a tradition. This is the 21st time this year. I do not know what more to say, but I thought it was worth pointing out.

First of all, this bill is exactly the same as Bill C-32 from the previous Parliament. Artists were very critical of it. Now that the Conservatives have a majority, they are bringing it back. This is another perfect example of them shutting down debate. This bill creates powerful new anti-circumvention rights for content owners, who are not necessarily the creators or developers of the content. This prevents access to copyrighted works. These new provisions are backed by fines in excess of $1 million and up to five years in prison.

Report StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:50 a.m.
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NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Yes, my colleague is absolutely right.

This means that digital locks, for example, will, for all practical purposes, take precedence over all other rights, including fair dealing rights for students and journalists. People are being muzzled yet again. This is really becoming a tradition with this Parliament, and it is problematic for a number of reasons. Obviously, there is the very real possibility that consumers will not be authorized to use content they have already paid for. This government claims that it stands up for consumers' rights, so I find this whole thing a little paradoxical and contradictory.

Digital locks take precedence over all other rights guaranteed by the Charter. Take, for example, format shifting for individuals with vision or hearing loss. These people might not be able to exercise their rights. That is discrimination. I do not think that is news to anyone here.

Furthermore, where a digital lock has been used, copies made for educational purposes must be automatically erased after five days and course notes must be destroyed within 30 days of the course concluding. That would lead to serious problems for students enrolled in distance education courses. In my opinion, it is not an appropriate use of the copyright rules. A student who pays copyright fees for course materials often needs the materials even after the courses end. This is completely unacceptable.

The bill also creates new limited exceptions to the fair dealing provision of the Copyright Act, including the exceptions for educators, and exceptions for parody and satire, which once again limit freedom of expression. The exceptions do not adequately recognize the rights of creators. In fact, the exceptions facilitate consumers' access to copyright-protected content without providing new methods to compensate creators for their work.

It is also interesting to note that, in this bill, the Conservatives have deliberately avoided addressing the issue of a possible extension of the private copying exception. It has been proven that this exception has been very effective in the past for cassettes, CDs and DVDs. However, the Conservatives do not want to apply it to new technology. Instead, the Conservatives have tried to put a populist face on all this by scaring consumers. I find this quite unacceptable.

Clearly, the NDP is in favour of modernizing the copyright rules. It is something that needs to be done, but there are too many major problems with this bill. In some cases, it even creates problems where there were none before. In my opinion this is not an approach that balances the rights of creators, who obviously must be paid for their work— their job is to create—and the right of consumers to have reasonable access to content.

It is therefore our duty to vote against this bill, which contains far too many provisions that will have very serious consequences for the way in which Canadians obtain and share protected content.

The bill includes provisions that create powerful new anti-circumvention rights for content owners, which have absolutely nothing to do with the creators and content developers and prevent access to copyrighted works.

These new provisions are supported by fines of $1 million. I think it is important to point this out because I do not understand how the average consumer could be fined such a large amount. It is completely inappropriate and unacceptable.

This measure is modelled directly after the United States' controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Digital locks would trump all other rights. I really do not see how this is useful for the consumers that the Conservatives claim to want to protect.

There are two fundamental problems with this approach. First, there is a real danger that it will prevent consumers from using content for which they have already paid, which is ironic given that the Conservatives claim to be working for consumers. The approach also seriously infringes on the rights of artists and creators.

The work of artists and creators is very important in our society. Indeed, it is very important for a society to have a lively arts and culture sector in order to reflect that culture on the world stage. These creators may no longer have the means to continue creating and will be forced to do other work. This is not going to benefit our country in the end.

We know that the government is accusing us of voting against a number of its bills, but we cannot not vote against this type of bill, which is harmful to consumers and artists alike.

The NDP has fought every step of the way for a balanced approach to copyright. We participated in the committee, even without support from some of the opposition members, that studied this bill. We listened to the concerns of a number of groups with regard to the scope of this bill. At committee stage, we proposed 17 amendments that could have made this bill more balanced and fair for the artists and consumers. Nonetheless, the government did not listen to us or the many groups of artists and writers who came before the committee.

That is why it is impossible for us to support this bill, which penalizes Canadian families and artists.

I would be pleased to answer my colleagues' questions.

Report StageCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 11:55 a.m.
See context

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her excellent speech.

I think we all agree that Canada's copyright legislation needs to be updated. However, we also need to protect consumers' rights. So many amendments are needed because the technical protection measures are too strict. I hope the NDP will support those amendments during this evening's vote.

I would like to know the member's thoughts on eliminating technical protection measures that are too strict, in order to allow consumers to legally use copyrighted material they have legally purchased.