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Evidence of meeting #10 for Bill C-11 (41st Parliament, 1st Session) in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was amendment.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Robert DuPelle  Senior Policy Analyst, Copyright and International Intellectual Property Policy Directorate, Department of Industry
Gerard Peets  Acting Director General, Marketplace Framework Policy Branch, Strategic Policy Sector, Department of Industry
Anne-Marie Monteith  Director, Copyright and International Intellectual Property Policy Directorate, Department of Industry
Drew Olsen  Director, Policy and Legislation, Copyright and International Trade Policy Branch, Department of Canadian Heritage

3:35 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, members of the committee, and our witnesses.

Welcome to the 10th meeting of the Legislative Committee on Bill C-11.

I just want to remind all of the honourable members that this meeting is televised.

I'd like to start off by introducing our witnesses, who will be with us for the duration of the clause-by-clause process.

From the Department of Industry, we have Madame Monteith, Monsieur DuPelle, and Mr. Peets; and from the Department of Canadian Heritage, Mr. Olsen.

Thank you for being with us for the next few weeks.

Before we begin, members, I just want to remind you about a few things.

First, we have routine motions, which are going to guide us on the timing for each of the parties in relation to discussion on the clauses and amendments.

The clerks and I have six timers going in relation to the routine proceedings and the motion that was passed.

So let me read it to you:

That the Committee begin clause-by-clause consideration of the bill no later than Wednesday, March 14, 2012; that debate be limited to a maximum of five (5) minutes per party, per clause, and five (5) minutes per party per amendment.

That's what we will be doing.

When we start the clause-by-clause process, whoever starts will have five minutes to discuss the clause. When we get to the amendment piece, you have five minutes to discuss the amendment. If there is a subamendment, then you need to introduce that subamendment within the five minutes. You will not be given another five minutes for the subamendment.

Is everyone clear with that? There are five minutes to ensure that you have time to introduce your subamendments, if you have those, but you will not be given an extra five minutes for a subamendment.

Also, it looks as though we will have votes in the near future, so we may have to start this process and then shut it down very quickly, but we will be coming back.

With that, just moving forward, we will obviously be postponing the preamble in clause 1 until the last part of this clause-by-clause process.

Now I will open up for discussion clause 2.

Does anyone have any discussion on clause 2?

Seeing none, shall clause 2 carry?

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

On division.

3:35 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

(Clause 2 agreed to on division)

(On clause 3)

I shall open up discussion now on clause 3.

Is there any discussion on clause 3?

Mr. Angus, the five minutes for your party is now starting on clause 3.

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Thank you.

Mr. Chair, as you know, we have raised a number of concerns about the need to modernize copyright to ensure that artists are able to be remunerated in the changing marketplace. One way of doing that would be to introduce the artist's resale right. It may be decided that it's beyond the scope of the bill, but we think it is an important issue.

We have brought an amendment forward on that to clarify the rights of artists who are involved in the art market, with regard to this ability at galleries and other public sales. The resale of their work, that 5% royalty, would provide stability for artists, so we would like to have that added to the bill.

3:35 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Mr. Angus, you spoke to clause 3 for about one minute. You have about three-and-a-half minutes left, if anyone else wants to speak to clause 3.

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Sure. I will, Mr. Chair. Thank you so much.

What we have, and what we've been trying to do all along with Bill C-11 is present a balance between the needs and protections of consumers, and the needs of artists to get paid. Here there is an opportunity to extend this resale right to visual artists, which is something that artists in about 30 countries have already.

This is a very specific and limited right. Our proposal is a 5% royalty on public resale of works priced over $1,000, but there is a ceiling. This would just pertain to those works that are sold at auctions. We're not talking about if I had a painting and I wanted to sell it to my friend across the way, Mike Lake; this would be sales that were adjudicated in....

Now if you take, for example, aboriginal artists. Many aboriginal artists sell their work the first time for very little money, and then the next sale of their work is significantly higher.

We have one example. Canadian artist Tony Urquhart sold his painting, The Earth Returns to Life, in 1958, for $250. It was resold by an auction house in 2009 for $10,000. By this amendment he would have been able to recoup $500. Now this isn't a huge amount of money, but we've been trying to say all along in this process that the life and business of artists—essentially small businesses and micro-businesses—depend on these small incremental royalty payments.

This is how the small business of the arts and culture industry is practised for many artists in Canada. That's why we think this is a very solid, simple plan. It's one that will see Canada join with about 30 other countries, including the U.K., France, and Germany.

It would enable Canada to enter into reciprocal agreements with those nations to allow an international system of compensating visual artists for the resale of their works. As we know, there are many Canadian artists whose works are selling abroad. We want to be able to create some sort of reciprocity here, so that our artists in Canada get paid.

That's a fundamental foundation of our policy on Bill C-11.

Thank you.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Thank you.

I should mention that it sounds like we're speaking about clause 4. We're talking about clause 3 at the moment.

Section 2.4 of the act is amended by adding the following:

(1.1) For the purposes of this Act, communication of a work or other subject-matter to the public by telecommunication includes making it available to the public by telecommunication in a way that allows a member of the public to have access to it from a place and at a time individually chosen by that member of the public.

That is the clause we are currently discussing. There is still approximately one minute left for the New Democrats.

Seeing that no one is going to take that time, I'll now move over to Mr. Lake, for five minutes on clause 3.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

I won't need five minutes to speak about it. I think this is a new clause that's being put forward by the NDP.

The amendment amounts to a policy change here. Clearly this issue wasn't actually in Bill C-11. If witnesses had wanted to speak to this, they wouldn't have known they would have had an opportunity. When they looked at C-11 and decided they wanted to come, they were coming to speak to what was actually in C-11.

Probably the appropriate way to address the issue, if members are passionate about it, would be to introduce a private member's bill or something like that. It would then have its debate and study at that time.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Mr. Lake.

Mr. Regan, before you begin, can I try to reel us all in again?

We are discussing an amendment that will be discussed after clause 4. We are now discussing clause 3, which was the one I read. I know Mr. Lake addressed it.

We are on clause 3.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Chairman, I guess you're telling me—and this is a point of order at this stage—that you haven't yet received the motion to amend.

Is that right?

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Well the amendment will come down the road—

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

It's not properly before us yet.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Right. It's not properly before us yet.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

I'll look forward to that time.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Awesome. Thank you very much, Mr. Regan.

I'm not trying to take away anyone's time. You do have five minutes to speak to clause 3, if you're interested. If not, we can move forward and ask the question on clause 3.

(Clause 3 agreed to on division)

(On clause 4)

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Does anyone want discussion on clause 4?

Mr. Angus.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

We would like to move our amendment on the artist's resale right, if this is the time, and just to clarify for the record, this was spoken at our committee under Bill C-32. We had a number of people come forward to speak on it, and the policy of Bill C-11 was that we were not going to allow repeat witnesses, so testimony that was given on the issue of the resale right was actually given in the previous Parliament. This is why we felt this was something that should be brought forward because the witnesses spoke on this—

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

For clarification purposes, Mr. Angus, just to let you know, now isn't the time to move that amendment, not just yet. We still have to do clause 4, and then we have to introduce that as amendment 4.1.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

I keep getting time on this.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

I'm giving everyone their five minutes to discuss clause 4, so is there any discussion on clause 4?

(Clause 4 agreed to on division)

Now the New Democrats have proposed clause 4.1, which would be a new clause.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

We are bringing forward the amendment language to deal with the issue of the resale right because it is about modernizing the Copyright Act, and it is ensuring that, as we move forward, we start looking at other jurisdictions where artists are remunerated for their work—and we find there's a shortfall in Canada. One of the areas where there is a shortfall is on the issue of the resale. This would not affect the market. This is a fair deal for artists, and so we would like to move that amendment now.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

Thank you, Mr. Angus.

Bill C-11 amends the Copyright Act to update the rights and protections of copyrights owners. The amendment attempts to insert into the bill various rights of resale, including royalties of the original author of a work, and as House of Commons Procedure and Practice, second edition, states on page 766, “An amendment to a bill that was referred to a committee after second reading is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill”, it is the opinion of the chair that the introduction of resale rights for original authors of a work is a new concept that is beyond the scope of Bill C-11 and is therefore inadmissible.

With that, there is no further discussion on the amendment.

We have a point of order.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Chairman, I'd like to indicate that I would have supported this motion, and I regret that it has been decided that it has been termed out of order.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP Glenn Thibeault

That's not a point of order, but thank you for your comments, Mr. Regan.

We will now move on to clause 5. Is there any discussion?

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Chair, can I move that we pass clauses 5 through 11 as a block?