Evidence of meeting #6 for Bill C-32 (40th Parliament, 3rd Session) in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was copyright.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Roanie Levy  General Counsel and Director, Policy and External Affairs, Access Copyright
Brian Isaac  Chair, Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network
Annie Morin  Chair of the Board, Canadian Private Copying Collective
Sophie Milman  Artist, Canadian Private Copying Collective
Ysolde Gendreau  President, Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI Canada)
Glen Bloom  Chair, Copyright Legislation Committee (Technical), Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
Angela Crandall  Procedural Clerk

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Gord Brown

No, you'll have to do it in future opportunities.

We'll have to move to the Liberal Party.

We'll go to Mr. Garneau for five minutes.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The Conservatives have a very fluid definition of tax. It's usually something they apply when they don't like it.

Mrs. Morin, you mentioned that funds from the collective management regime had fallen 60% over the past three years. I assume that, around 2007, approximately $27 million or $28 million was collected on blank CDs and cassettes. Is that correct?

4:20 p.m.

Chair of the Board, Canadian Private Copying Collective

Annie Morin

In 2008, it was $27.6 million. When the amounts available for distribution were at their highest point, it was about $32 million.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Could you provide us with that chart so that we can see how the amounts—

4:20 p.m.

Chair of the Board, Canadian Private Copying Collective

Annie Morin

Of course. That way you can see what amounts were available for distribution for each year in which the system was in effect.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Today we're talking about approximately $10.5 million.

4:20 p.m.

Chair of the Board, Canadian Private Copying Collective

Annie Morin

In 2010, the amount available for distribution will be $10.6 million.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

What are your estimates for the use of blank CDs?

4:20 p.m.

Chair of the Board, Canadian Private Copying Collective

Annie Morin

It will continue to decline. We would like a certain level of stability to be achieved and maintained, but the figures we're being given indicate to us that it will continue to decline.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

I would like to have an idea of the scope of the challenge, of the problem. You're talking about a system that would establish levies on MP3 players ranging from $2 to $25. Are those figures based on your intention to restore the amounts available to approximately $30 million? Is that how you address this problem?

4:20 p.m.

Chair of the Board, Canadian Private Copying Collective

Annie Morin

No. In fact, we relied on the royalties that were established in 2004. Considering the reasons that were given for establishing those amounts, we believe those amounts are still plausible.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

How much did the system generate in 2004?

4:25 p.m.

Chair of the Board, Canadian Private Copying Collective

Annie Morin

Levies were collected on digital audio recorders for 10 months in 2004.

We've collected $4 million in the first 10 months of the collection of royalties on the DARs.

We collected $4 million in the first 10 months from the royalties on the DARs.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Of course, some people say that, by attacking peer-to-peer file sharing sites, this bill will be useful in that it will reduce pirating.

Now you're saying that 90% of music that is listened to is music that people haven't paid for.

How far do you think this figure of 90% could fall if Bill C-32... Do you think people will find ways to circumvent the problem?

4:25 p.m.

Chair of the Board, Canadian Private Copying Collective

Annie Morin

I can tell you that, based on the last figures we've obtained, legal downloading has increased somewhat in a year. Before that, 90% of the content on an MP3 player consisted of unauthorized copies. For 2008-2009, we see that unauthorized reproductions represented 85%. So there has been a slight improvement.

That said, I don't see how Bill C-32 could improve the figures on music copies. Even if there are no further opportunities for illegal downloading, people will nevertheless copy music and pay nothing if the copying is done on a digital audio recorder.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Very good.

I have a question for Madam Levy.

There are those who argue that education as an exemption is not a sort of free ticket to go out and do whatever you want; there is still a requirement to prove that you are fair dealing.

What is your feeling about somebody who feels that their works are being copied unfairly and decides they will go to court? What kind of onus, from your point of view...? Do you think that's a fair way of doing things?

December 6th, 2010 / 4:25 p.m.

General Counsel and Director, Policy and External Affairs, Access Copyright

Roanie Levy

Let me give you an answer by example. In 2004, we started a process with the Copyright Board in order to set a tariff for the photocopying of mostly textbooks that was happening in the elementary and secondary schools. The Copyright Board issued its decision and made a certain allocation for fair dealing.

The ministers of education were not satisfied with that allocation for fair dealing. They claimed it should have been far greater, so they appealed the decision. The Federal Court of Appeal felt that the Copyright Board's decision was a reasonable one. The ministers of education are not happy with the Federal Court of Appeal decision, so they're seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

This is a process that started in 2004. The evidence necessary to be able to prove not just what gets copied, but the intent behind the copying--the purpose of the copying and everything you must prove in order to demonstrate whether a use is fair or not fair--has cost millions of dollars.

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Gord Brown

Thank you.

We have to move on.

4:25 p.m.

General Counsel and Director, Policy and External Affairs, Access Copyright

Roanie Levy

This is money that creators and publishers can ill afford.

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Gord Brown

Mr. Cardin, you have five minutes.

4:25 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ms. Levy, earlier you said something about half a billion copies of all kinds. I don't know whether you saw the article by Kenyon Wallace, who interviewed Greg Nordal in the National Post. He cited a number closer to 10 billion pages copied at the primary and secondary level, which is quite a lot more than your estimate.

4:25 p.m.

General Counsel and Director, Policy and External Affairs, Access Copyright

Roanie Levy

To clarify the subject, 10 billion photocopies are made in the elementary and secondary schools in Canada. These are copies of absolutely everything, whether it be letters sent to parents or other things.

Of those 10 billion pages, more than three billion are copied from published works, works that are protected by copyright. Some 250 million are covered by the Access Copyright licence, and a levy is applied to them. These are 250 million pages of works that are copied in the primary and secondary schools. Add to that the copies that are made in the postsecondary institutions.

4:30 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

In that same article, it was estimated that the cost of that was $75 million annually.

4:30 p.m.

General Counsel and Director, Policy and External Affairs, Access Copyright

Roanie Levy

That's roughly our estimate as well; that's approximately what the exceptions may cost creators and publishers. A portion of those losses is definitely hard to quantify because the result will be a decline in book sales that is still hard to calculate. However, the royalties currently collected by COPIBEC and Access Copyright, as well as by other collectives, such as ERCC, will definitely disappear or are at very high risk of disappearing.

4:30 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mrs. Morin, earlier you said that the levy between $2 and $25 could mainly be applied to music copying equipment?