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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

Standing Committee on Public AccountsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, if in fact the request is for you, Mr. Speaker, and your office to determine whether the blues were altered and how, members on this side of the House would be in full support of that.

However, we would note that the point that was at issue, and would ask you to address it if that is the thrust of where we are going, is how the formal commitment contained within the committee blues for the President of the Treasury Board to provide documents to the public through the committee was struck from the official record.

You have repeatedly heard the term “sure, sure” in response to questions from the member for Timmins—James Bay, and that those words had been taken out. I think the President of the Treasury Board was in fact admitting that it happened, that the initial draft came with the word “sure” twice in response to questions from the member for Timmins—James Bay, and that they were not there in the official record when it was finalized. How that came about, we would like to know.

On the other hand, if the government seeks to engage in a thorough debate about how it is that the Conservative government, through its ministers, continue to withhold vital information about how public money was spent by the President of the Treasury Board, we would respond very vigorously that we would like to do that as well; that is, engage in that debate.

It is entirely possible that the privileges of all of the members of the House were breached by his actions in the public accounts committee, first by saying “sure”, and then by not giving the documents as he appears to have made a very clear commitment in that regard.

However, if the President of the Treasury Board is hoping to correct the record as to what was said to the media in the press conference in the morning, if that was the thrust of where he was going, and I had some sense of that although it was not entirely clear, that is beyond the purview of you and this Chamber.

Therefore, if he wants to try to correct whatever impression was left there, that is a question of debate--

Standing Committee on Public AccountsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. I am sorry to keep stopping the hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh.

Do we still having problems?

Standing Committee on Public AccountsPrivilegeOral Questions

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I brought it up before. I think channel 2 is not working, which is the English channel. I am also getting tweets from the general public saying they cannot hear either.

I do not know what is happening. Maybe we want to suspend. I am not sure.

Suspension of SittingPrivilegeOral Questions

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

In light of the technical difficulties and in the interests of allowing members to hear what is being said, we will suspend for a few minutes while we try to sort this out.

(The sitting of the House was suspended at 3:36 p.m.)

(The House resumed at 3:44 p.m.)

Sitting ResumedPrivilegeOral Questions

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have been informed that the technical difficulties seem to have been worked out. I will go back to the hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh so he can finish his remarks.

Sitting ResumedPrivilegeOral Questions

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, just as we ran into the technical problem, I was pointing out that a second aspect of the seeking of a finding of breach of privilege by the President of the Treasury Board was more a question of debate. Information that, as he perceives it, breaches privilege was given in the media outside this chamber and outside of committee. Mr. Speaker, if that is what his criticism is, I would suggest it is beyond the scope of your role as the Speaker of this House and that he would be better to take it up directly with media sources.

If in fact there is a breach of privilege, we could see that it could be established without in any way finding that the source of that breach of privilege was the member for Timmins—James Bay, given the dispute we have over the facts.

I want to go back to the initial comments I made. If there is a breach of privilege here, we could see that finding, but we are not at all suggesting or admitting that the member for Timmins—James Bay is the source of it. There may have been a breach here because the statements made by the President of the Treasury Board in committee clearly had been altered. He sees that, and we see it on this side of the House.

I believe it behooves your office, Mr. Speaker, to investigate that matter. We are not opposed at all to that finding. However, we are saying very clearly that we are adamantly opposed to a determination that the cause or source of the breach of privilege is the member for Timmins—James Bay. There may be a general determination that his privileges have been breached, because the records have been altered. We should get to the bottom of that, if for no other reason than to make sure it never happens again.

Sitting ResumedPrivilegeOral Questions

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I thank the hon. member for his comments on this matter. Orders of the day.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay has seven minutes to conclude his remarks.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise yet again today on Bill C-11, an act to amend the copyright act.

As someone who has spent many years involved in the artistic and publishing business, I understand the vital importance of copyright for artists. There is an enormous amount of effort for an artist to create a work. As well, there is a great intellectual effort.

Copyright is a public construct. I love the way it comes down to us in French law, le droit d'auteur, the right of the author. This is a principle that has been fought over for hundreds of years.

As has been defined in parliamentary tradition, when an artist creates a work, it is not a piece of property. This is sometimes misunderstood by some creators. It is not a piece of property, something one can put a fence around, because we do not want to create fences around ideas; when we create a piece of artistic work, we want to open it up to the public. We want the public to be able to access that work. The problem occurs when artists are unable to receive rightful recompense for their work.

In 18th century England there were the so-called book wars. People would make copies of works, and then the book owners would keep out new competition.

We need to have a balance, and this has always been the issue with copyright. There is a need to ensure that a work can be put into the public realm and become part of our consciousness, our literature, our identity, so that new authors or new artists can build on that work and create more. We do not want to lock that content down so that it is inaccessible. However, in order for the creative process to continue, the artist must be paid.

Let us see how that relates to Bill C-11.

Unfortunately, in Bill C-11 we see a number of areas in which content is being locked down. It is being locked down as a so-called market solution. We hear the government say that we should let the market decide what copyright is or what rights the author and consumer have. That is not good enough. That is not forward-looking copyright. That is not copyright that would bring us into the 21st century.

We need to establish the principle that Parliament, not the marketplace, decides what the balance is. The marketplace has its role, but a corporate entity in the United States, such as Sony Music or another massive entertainment industry, does not have the right to trump the rights that have been established under Canadian parliamentary tradition.

Let us examine what those rights are.

Under the bill there would be the right to do parody and satire, which is a fundamental of art. All artists have done parody and satire of other artists. Today's great artist was yesterday's thief. Parody and satire are important. The documentary film community wants to be able to access work so that they can comment on it and create new works, but if a digital lock is put on it, those rights disappear.

With one hand we are offering rights to the Canadian public, meaning the right to make backup copies and the right to do parody and satire, but with the other hand we are taking those rights away if a digital lock is imposed, because a digital lock supersedes all other rights. That is not consistent with what many of our trading partners have decided.

There is a possibility to have a balance on digital locks, so let us examine their role.

A digital lock in a modern age is an electronic code to keep a product from being unfairly taken, and a corporate entity has a right to put a lock on their product. For example, in the gaming industry, codes were being broken on video games. People were taking the games without paying. The New Democratic Party has always supported the right of an entity that has invested in its creative work to put a digital lock on it.

However, in most of our WIPO-compliant countries, there is a right for exceptions. For example, someone may have to break a digital lock if that person is partially blind and needs to access a work to read it in larger print. That person is not the same as a criminal. In fact, it is a perfectly okay thing to do.

Another example is that because of digital locks, television networks will no longer be allowed to excerpt footage of films. They will only be able to show a screen. That does not do anyone any good.

There are legitimate reasons to be able to break a lock in order to access something someone has a right to. However, we do not support breaking digital locks just so product can be taken without paying.

On the issue of education, there are a number of areas where we have grave concerns. We support the idea of updating copyright into the 21st century, but we have concerns on the issue of fair dealing for education.

Fair dealing has been defined by right under the Supreme Court CCH decision, which established the six principles of what constitutes fair dealing. Fair dealing should not be seen as an open season to make it fair to take a textbook and just make endless copies to avoid buying more textbooks. That is not considered fair. The Supreme Court established the six principles of fair dealing so that we could have some clarity. We do not have that clarity in this bill, and it is important that we ensure clarity on education.

We also do not even define what education is. I can imagine many private businesses saying they are doing company training and saying it is education. That is not necessarily the same thing as education through an educational institution.

One of our great concerns in terms of education is the digital book-burning provision. If someone is learning through a distance education college, and many of my communities take education by long distance, students will be forced to destroy their class notes 30 days after the end of the semester, and teachers will be ordered to destroy their entire class notes. That would create a two-tier system of education, one in the classroom and one by distance. That makes no sense, and it would undermine the incredible ability of distance education.

To conclude, we are opposed to this bill because we do not see the government willing to work with us on the key amendments needed to make this bill into proper and positive copyright legislation for the 21st century.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, as many people know--and if they do not, it bears being reiterated here in the House--most Canadian artists' wages are below the poverty line, below $13,000 a year. It is incumbent on us as policy-makers to fashion policy that is going to support innovation and allow for the building of a greater middle class of Canadian artists. This sector is a major economic driver in our economy, but the copyright bill as it stands right now would take $20 million a year out of the pockets of artists because of the changes in the broadcast mechanical provisions. Would my hon. colleague care to comment on the effects of this kind of policy for our Canadian artists?

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague and I have shared many royalty payments together over the years. He will know, as I do, that the greatest theft from musicians everywhere has never been necessarily piracy, but the line in the recording contract that was called “recoupable”. It enabled the recording industry to recoup every possible dime that it might have ever spent off their royalty payments.

Therefore, the issue of mechanical royalties for a musician is essential. The radio mechanical royalty is in many ways some of the only real revenue an artist sees, but the government has decided that $20 million in mechanical royalty revenue to Canadian artists is something artists do not need and is giving it to the big broadcasters. The broadcasters will not have to pay a royalty right that they have had to pay for years. That money is being directly robbed from artists.

In no other system that I know of has it been decided that people who had a right to earn a living no longer have that right. The Conservatives call that “balanced”; we call it wrong.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, my colleague and I have worked quite a bit on this issue over the past few years. We have been through many of these battles and through three versions now, I think, of this particular bill.

I want to ask him about the situation with the education exemption. We are slowly finding that we rushed ahead with the provisions of TPMs and digital locks and have now locked down material that under normal circumstances should be accessible.

Because of the way these TPMs operate, sharing among one's own devices, ironically, will be eliminated by the provision for TPMs. It does not seem to me, and I am sure it does not seem to him, that this is technologically neutral. It does not add up to it. At present one has a right to transfer material from one device to another, but because of digital locks, that right will be eliminated. That ability had been given to us by the private sector, not by legislation.

I wonder if the member could comment on that aspect.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question, because this is not a technologically neutral bill.

As my hon. colleague said, the bill says that the TPM defines the right. This is going to have an extreme effect on education and libraries. Right now, if people want to get a master's thesis from the University of York and read it in Alberta, they contact the university which mails them a copy. They can read it for a while and then send it back. It is pretty easy to make a photocopy. It would not do any real damage. It happens.

The bill would force all libraries to put digital lock codes on the transmission of materials, so that after, I think it is, five days of study it magically goes poof and disappears. The ability of libraries to impose that kind of technology on the products they have, that are meant to be shared and understood, is excessive. I do not think it is even possible for them to be able to do.

It is going to have a negative impact. It is actually not serving anybody's purposes by having this arbitrary use of TPMs.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, to begin with, I would like to stress how important this issue is to all creators, and particularly those in my riding, whether they be in Sutton, Magog, Bromont, Cowansville, Knowlton, or elsewhere. Moreover, I salute all those creators who are very active across all forms of art, which improves people's quality of life, whether it be through the medium of cinema, theatre, improvisation, television, writing, painting, and so on. Artists are entitled to be fairly compensated for their work. This bill will deprive artists of millions of dollars in revenue and erode their market. The long and complex list of exceptions does not adequately recognize the rights of creators.

In fact, these exceptions create new ways for consumers to access protected content without concurrently creating new avenues through which to compensate creators for the fair use of their work. Bill C-11 does not adequately protect the ability of people to post content submitted or produced by users themselves, even if it were easy to collectively authorize this. Moreover, Bill C–11 creates an artificial distinction between copying for private use and reproducing for private use in Part 8, section 80 of the Copyright Act, and section 29, paragraph 22)(1)(e) of the copyright modernization bill.

There are also direct implications for consumers. The rigid provisions assign unprecedented powers to rights holders, which trump all other rights. If passed, Bill C–11 could mean that an individual would no longer have access to the content for which he has paid, and which he has every right to use. For example, if someone is enrolled in long distance education courses, it is draconian and unacceptable to ask him to destroy his course notes within 30 days of the course concluding, as proposed under this bill.

For all these reasons, it is felt that powerful, new anti-circumvention rights must be created for content owners, as opposed to content creators and content developers. In addition to preventing access to copyrighted works, these new provisions are strengthened by fines of over $1 million and sentences of five years detention. A further provision prohibits access to protected information by way of a digital lock, such as a digital watermark.

This would lead to a situation whereby digital locks would take precedence over virtually all other rights, including the fair dealing rights of students and journalists. This is problematic for several reasons. In particular, there is a very tangible danger of consumers, in some circumstances, not being authorized to use content for which they have paid. Moreover, the digital locks trump all other rights guaranteed by the Charter, including change of format in the case of a visual disability.

Secondly, the new provisions would require, where a digital lock has been used, that copies made for educational purposes be automatically erased after five days and that course notes be destroyed within 30 days of the course concluding. That would lead to serious problems for students enrolled in long distance education courses. It is not an appropriate use of the copyright rules.

Thirdly, it would create new limited exceptions to the fair dealing provision of the Copyright Act, including the exceptions for educators, and exceptions for parody and satire. The exceptions do not adequately recognize the rights of creators. In fact, the exceptions facilitate consumers' access to copyright protected content without the provision of new methods for creators to be compensated for their work.

With this bill, the Conservatives have intentionally avoided dealing with the question of the possibility of extending the exception for private copying, a measure that has been proposed by the NDP and also by a number of experts.

The private copying exception has been very effective in the past for cassettes, CDs and DVDs. The government has tried to put a populist face on its opposition to extending the exception.

The NDP believes it is high time to modernize copyright rules, but there are too many major problems with this bill. In some cases, it even creates problems were there were none before.

We are going to try to amend the bill so that it better reflects the interests of Quebec and the Canadian public. The NDP believes that copyright rules in Canada could balance the right of creators to receive fair remuneration for their work and the right of consumers to have access to content at reasonable prices. We are also going to study any potential amendment that could be made to the bill to create a fair system of royalties for artists. As it stands at present, the bill eliminates several million dollars in income for our artists.

For all these reasons, it seems that the efforts Canadians have put into reform of the Copyright Act in recent years have had very little to do with the creation of a system that strikes a balance between the rights of creators and the rights of the public. Those efforts have instead been attempts to meet the demands of the big owners of American content, the film industry, record companies, video game developers and others. When will Canadians finally have legislation that meets their needs?

In the NDP, we believe that Canadian copyright legislation can achieve a balance between creators’ right to receive fair compensation for their work and consumers’ right to have reasonable access to content. We are going to assess all of the amendments that might be made to the bill to create a system of fair royalties for artists. As it stands at present, the bill eliminates income worth several million dollars.

As a result, the copyright modernization bill gives with one hand and takes back with the other. Although the bill contains some concessions to benefit consumers, they are undermined by the government’s refusal to adopt a compromise position on the most controversial issue: copyright in Canada.

We are also proposing that the clauses that criminalize the elimination of digital locks for personal, non-commercial purposes be removed from the copyright modernization bill. We support reducing the penalties for people convicted of violating the Copyright Act, since that would prevent excessive prosecution of the public, a problem that often exists in the United States.

The Conservatives have ignored the opinion of the experts who were heard by the committee and the conclusions of their own copyright consultations in 2009. As a result, they have introduced a bill that could cause more harm than good.

The NDP believes it is high time for a modernization that will eliminate these blatant problems and we are going to work to amend the bill so that it better reflects the interests of Canadians.

In conclusion, a number of groups have stated their ideas and supported what we are calling for through their statements, such as the cultural industries and the Writers Guild of Canada. The Guild says that the only option Bill C-11 offers creators is the addition of a digital lock, the effect of which would be to block existing sources of income for creators and create a loophole in the bill by taking away from consumers the same rights as are guaranteed to them in other clauses of the bill.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Marc-André Morin NDP Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, in listening to my colleague, a question comes to mind.

We, on this side, read a lot or we have all read a lot. In a book there is often a bibliography of 20 pages and on every second or third page, we find a reference or a quote from an author.

Under this legislation, we would find at the end of the book a page indicating that every note and every reference was destroyed at the end of 30 days. It is utterly ridiculous.

I believe it is a good bill, but trying to make it a smart bill is like running a mule in the Kentucky Derby.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my dear colleague for his comments.

As I have already said, I agree that this bill does not help creators. This lock will help neither creators nor consumers. For all the reasons I have just listed, we will work on amending this inadequate Bill C-11 because it is very important for Canadians. Canadians have spent $1.4 billion on attending live artistic performances, or more than twice as much as on attending sporting events, spending $0.65 billion on those.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is quite simple and concerns copyright.

A copyright payment is a royalty. It is a salary. It provides a living. My question is very simple: what do we call copyright legislation that essentially prevents creators from receiving an income? That is a key question. We keep talking about copyright, but this bill is essentially about denying copyright. It denies creators the possibility of making a living from their creations.

How can we hope to encourage creation when the creators are denied income?

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question.

Income is a right. Artists have the right to be fairly compensated for their work and effort. If they receive fair compensation, they will be encouraged to create. It is a cycle. This bill will deprive artists of millions of dollars in income, as I have already said, will erode their market.

The long, complex list of exceptions, which does not recognize the rights of creators, must be removed. These exceptions create new means for consumers to access protected content without also creating new ways to compensate creators for the use of their work.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the bill would grant a range of new access privileges, but does not really increase opportunities for artists to make a living. This is a big issue for us on this side of the House because we know the arts and culture sector is a major economic driver in our country. The bill is an opportunity for us to get copyright right so innovation can proceed in the country.

Would my hon. colleague care to comment on the import of the arts and culture sector to our economy and to Canada as a whole?

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob NDP Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I can say that arts and culture are very important in my riding and across the country.

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists estimates that the arts and culture industries in Canada contribute $85 billion a year to our economy, which represents 7.4% of Canada's GNI. They support some 1.1 million jobs, or about 6% of the Canadian labour force. These industries and the jobs that depend on them can only survive in an environment where intellectual property is protected.

I could go on to say that many cities and towns make their living in the arts sector.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is true that everyone has been waiting a long time for a modernized copyright act that would reflect the new technologies and the new realities facing consumers, artists, producers and booksellers. At last, we have this opportunity to debate a new and modern copyright bill.

However, the debate on this issue has been going on for many hours and it is obvious that we are disappointed by what the government is proposing with Bill C-11.

Why are we disappointed? First, it is because both consumers and artists were consulted on many occasions but, unfortunately, most of the proposals put forward were ignored. Once again, people may be frustrated by the government's lack of consideration, even arrogance, regarding the views of those who have to live with the restrictions and the benefits of the laws that we pass.

Of course, this unwillingness to listen generates a lot of frustration, and we heard many vent that frustration. Allow me to address, among other issues, the government's lack of consideration for consumers' rights and also for artists' income and respect.

Generally speaking, there are several small things that have us worried about this bill. There are things which suggest that implementation problems could surface, because certain rights may not be respected and because the government may not have thought about everything when it drafted this legislation. I hope the government will be open to some changes, even just basic ones, to ensure that this bill is appropriate and that it respects people's rights.

I am not going to mention them all, but there is, for example, the difficulty that visually impaired people may have with the new lock standards on the content that they buy. Then there are the problems that distance learning could experience with the new standards and the new restrictions imposed by the locks. These are small issues which make us wonder and which also make us hope that the necessary adjustments will be made. I met with members of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and their position on this bill is very clear. They say:

The legislation misses an opportunity to take on the personal contributions made by students to publishers abroad, under the Book Importation Regulations. If these contributions were abolished, students could save $30 million annually.

We are hearing a lot of talk these days about rising tuition fees and about students who have a hard time making ends meet, who are worried about adding more costs to their education expenses and about their studies becoming much more difficult because of copyright restrictions. I will mention some of the concerns I have heard. There are three main ones.

First, there are interlibrary loans. I was studying to be a teacher not very long ago, and I can say that interlibrary loans offer a wealth of information to students. Today, library books are still available in paper format, of course, but many are available online. Whether we are talking about scientific articles or complete volumes housed in libraries, students, regardless of where in the country they live, have access to an impressive amount of information thanks to a high number of interlibrary loans and loans of digital articles. These students are worried about their rights because this is a matter of access to information; it is a tool to help educate oneself, learn and produce new material. We must not forget that there are students at the bachelor, master's and doctoral level who produce very interesting material because they have access to information. This is one of the first concerns raised by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.

The other concern—and we have already talked about it a lot—has to do with the requirement that course notes be destroyed within 30 days.

I am greatly simplifying this. We already explained this measure. Students are also concerned about this. Students are recommending, among other things, that the clause in Bill C-11 about destroying information after 30 days be eliminated so that educational institutions can offer more effective and high-quality education, which will encourage lifelong learning and innovation.

I was a student but I was also a lecturer at a university. I know that there are things that need to be adapted. We agree that the Copyright Act needs to be adapted. Students often get together to purchase one copy of the class notes and then photocopy it. There are also professors who do not respect copyright. They photocopy entire chapters of books and give them to their students. A change must be made in this regard to ensure that copyright is respected in universities, but I do not think that the solution is to pass the bill on to students or to limit their access to information. I do not think that we are targeting the real problem or the people who should be paying for these documents. Changes also have to be made in this regard.

I am now going to speak about the new problems that Bill C-11 could cause because of the many exceptions it contains. Unfortunately, these exceptions cast a net that is a bit too wide and certain problems may arise as a result. I am speaking once again about the use of texts and materials in schools.

It was not so long ago that teachers were required to contribute, by buying course material, to an organization that collected funds and redistributed them. It was a sort of large communal piggy bank, where the money that was put in was redistributed to authors, artists and writers to ensure a certain degree of respect for copyright.

Elementary school, high school and college teachers make a lot of photocopies. They use materials and give them to their students. In order for it to be worthwhile for authors to continue to produce educational materials adapted to our Canadian and Quebec reality and in order for it to be worthwhile for authors of educational material to produce topical material and to be up-to-date on new information and technology and the new interests of our young people, they have to be compensated. No one is going to produce educational material for the sheer fun of it or for little or no compensation. That is ridiculous. These people need to be motivated to produce material so that our children, our teenagers and our young adults are motivated to learn and have the benefit of educational material that is adapted and interesting. This is an issue that causes considerable concern as well.

Similarly, every time anyone purchased a blank CD, which was used to store music, for instance, a certain amount from each CD was sent to a big, central piggy bank, and the money was then distributed to music producers. Why not adapt that principle—which worked very well and allowed for the distribution of millions of dollars to music producers—to new materials like iTunes and new tools that are used to copy music? Why not allow authors, musicians and artists to receive a royalty on what they produce? There are many such examples that demonstrate how out of touch this bill is.

In closing, I would like to say that, of course, we will vote against Bill C-11. I am sure we will hear the familiar refrain that the NDP is against artists. There is an important distinction to be made. We are in favour of protecting artists and the rights of consumers, and in favour of adapting the Copyright Act, but not to replace it with just about anything, and not just haphazardly.

What we have before us needs some serious reworking, which I hope will take into account the concerns of the people working in the field and all the amendments and suggestions made by other parties.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the question to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment is as follows: the hon. member for Scarborough—Rouge River, Post-Secondary Education; the hon. member for Scarborough—Guildwood, Libya.

The hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Dionne Labelle NDP Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to congratulate my dear colleague for her very vibrant and inspiring speech.

At a certain point in my life, I was a songwriter and three of my songs were in the top ten on the charts at the same time. I automatically received my royalties, which were just crumbs, insignificant amounts. These songs were also played in Europe, and I received a lot of money. When I heard that the Copyright Act would be modernized I said to myself that we would finally get a little bit more money and that it would be an incentive to write songs. What I have learned is that artists and creators will lose $126 million.

That is very disappointing and depressing and I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about it.