We are—exciting times—at meeting number 101 of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. Pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, December 13, 2017, and section 92 of the Copyright Act, we'll be doing a statutory review of the act.
Before we get into it, I have a few words to say as my preamble. We are televised today. We thought it would be a good idea for the whole world to see us. You're on stage. It's my genuine pleasure to welcome you all to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology's first meeting on the statutory review of the Copyright Act. The House of Commons honoured my colleagues and me when it entrusted the statutory review of the act to the industry committee. Given the importance of copyright law in our modern economy and the lively arguments it generates, there's a special responsibility that comes with today's undertaking. This is a responsibility shared among members of this committee and participants to the review.
To all Canadians who care about the issue we will examine, whether you submit a brief, appear as a witness in Ottawa, or meet us elsewhere in Canada,
you will be heard. You have our full attention. I make that commitment, as the chair of this committee.
But I ask for something in return. As we embark on what will certainly lead to difficult discussions, please remember that the role of the committee members is to ask all manner of questions to better understand the significance that copyright law has for Canada and its modern economy. Let us not presume the outcome of what will be a lengthy and fairly complex study. Let us always show respect to one another, no matter the different views we may hold on copyright. Let us aspire to a thoughtful and courteous conversation in true Canadian fashion.
Conscious of the critical role our Copyright Act plays in our economy and its effect on the everyday life of Canadians,
the members of this committee have spent many hours preparing this review. The committee has decided to conduct the review in three phases.
In phase one, we will hear from witnesses involved in specific industries and sectors such as education, publishing, broadcasting, software, and visual arts. This phase will notably provide the opportunity for stakeholders to share concerns that are unique to these industries and sectors of activity.
In phase two, we will hear from witnesses representing multiple industries and sectors. The committee looks forward to hearing from, among others, indigenous communities and the copyright board during this phase.
Finally, in phase three, we will hear from legal experts. The committee should expect bar associations, academics, and lawyers appearing in their individual capacities to share their insight and knowledge to improve the Copyright Act to the benefit of all Canadians.
The House of Commons expects from this committee that we will review every aspect of the act. We'll leave no stone unturned. You will all be heard. I want to thank you in advance for participating in this nice, long study.
Let's begin. Today we have with us, from Universities Canada, Paul Davidson, president; and also Wendy Therrien, director of research and policy. We have from the Canadian Federation of Students, Charlotte Kiddell, deputy chairperson. This is the first panel.
You have five minutes to present, and we will start with Mr. Davidson.