Madam Speaker, I think it might be of value to take a look at part of the proposed act here that we are saying is redundant and wrong.
Clause 45 states that notwithstanding anything in this act, it is lawful for a person to important copies made with the consent of the owner of the copyright in the country where they were made of any used books. As far as that goes, that is fine, but the government is adding "except where textbooks of a scientific, technical or scholarly nature for use within an educational institution in a course instruction". How can the government say it is not relevant or not redundant?
It defies any logic to understand how even in a place like this where there is heckling from time to time, certainly not from our side, government members can possibly heckle and say that this clause does not have anything to do with textbooks. How can they say it does not have anything to do with the words I just read when those are the words they want to put into the act?
The result of this is going to be very detrimental not only to students but to businesses serving students who presently have a situation where there is a flow of textbooks back and forth. We have an open border situation that works very well. In fact, there are thousands of people who are either part time students or who are working on campus who are involved in this particular business. There is a business going back and forth. What the Liberals want to do, for whatever reason, is stop this business. The result is it will not only cost students many tens of thousands of dollars and perhaps millions of dollars additional to the cost of their being able to get themselves educated with the textbooks prescribed by their institutions, but it is also going to put in jeopardy literally thousands of jobs of either part time students or people working on the campus serving the students.
How in the world can government members turn around and say that it does not have anything to do with textbooks when the amendment states "textbooks"?
To give the House an idea of where some of these concerns are coming from I will read from a news bulletin put out by the CAUT entitled "Ambushed by the Heritage Committee": "Angst, combat, defeat and endurance, rather than terms describing warring nations or Olympic co-operation, have been the hallmarks of the proposed Canadian copyright legislation known as Bill C-32". For those who are just tuning in to the copyright saga, angst refers to the cumulative facts of the CAUT, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the Canadian school boards and the Canadian Teachers Federation. These people are deeply concerned not only about this part of the copyright law but other parts of it. Let us just stay on this part.
What is the net result of the entire process? It is being held together with chewing gum and baling wire. As a matter of fact the scotch tape is starting to show. This entire process has been so flawed that the members cannot even read the bill where it says "except textbooks of a scientific, technical or scholarly nature".
These people who are after all educators or are involved in higher education in Canada state, as is pointed out in this article: "The manner in which the amendments were pushed through the committee in just a few hours, many without prior consent from representatives of the jointly responsible Industry Canada, left onlookers aghast".
We are involved in a process that the government does not seem to understand. I will admit to a degree of partisanship when I speak about the heritage minister and the way that she has handled this, but really this bill has nothing to do with partisanship. This bill has everything to do with attempting to create a balance between the creators and the users of material, whatever that material is, whatever those creations are.
To give the House an idea of what I am talking about, there was some discussion in committee about another section of the bill and the term "commercially available". This has a real impact as well on universities and teaching institutions.
For example, under educational institutions, section 29.4, because of the committee amendments to commercially available, would impact educational institutions if they were to photocopy a poem or any document created by Margaret Atwood for an
overhead projection in a high school class. That would be an infringement of copyright.
If an educational institution was to make a photographic slide of a painting by Alex Colville, a living Canadian artist, that could be projected on to the screen for purposes of teaching an art class, that would be an infringement of copyright.
If that institution was to photocopy a chapter from a very hard to find book and the class was asked to write a short literary criticism or an explanation of that document, that would be an infringement.
If, as part of an examination students were required to translate a poem into French, this invokes both reproduction and translation under section 29.4(2).
Libraries and archives or museums are being impacted if they make a cassette production for use by patrons of an original recording of a Canadian artist, now deceased, reading his own poetry in the early sixties, the condition of the original is such that it could not be handed directly to the patrons. This entire bill is patchwork and many of those patches, many of the holes do not even line up any more.
I return to my original thesis. I do not know the reasons why this clause was inserted into the bill. It is going to create a very serious situation for students. We will be increasing the costs to people getting an education as a result of the oversight or the accidental inclusion of this clause. There does not seem to be any particularly good reason for the inclusion of it.
The problem is that the entire bill from stem to gunnel is a patchwork that is falling apart and the scotch tape is not going to do the job.