Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but if 61% of the population is not allowed to speak and propose amendments, and if the government refuses to debate, I have to wonder where democracy is in this 41st Parliament. We are supposed to have the right to propose amendments. This means debating and sharing ideas with the governing party—the Government of Canada, I should point out.
We have heard that the Copyright Act is very important for the market and that it is indispensable to cultural policy. Through clear, predictable and fair rules, it can promote creativity and innovation. There will be no innovation here if we are not able to propose any amendments, that is for sure.
Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, introduced by the Minister of Industry and member for Mégantic—L'Érable, will create years of confusion in the court system and in appeals courts, and will also delay the existing processes for recognizing certain contested copyrights.
It seems that, in this era of new technologies, creators' and inventors' copyrights are being violated more and more every day. These people, who often spend their entire lives creating, developing, composing and fine-tuning their work, will end up seeing their vital right violated. It is often vital for them, since this is sometimes referred to as giving birth. This is a lifelong process. All of this will simply be ignored because the government refuses to listen to 61% of the population when it comes to this bill.
The question here is: what is copyright? Copyright ensures that creators have the right to receive royalties, but fundamentally, it recognizes the property of the tangible or intangible heritage of a country or region, or even of the entire planet.
Since section 6 of Bill C-42 passed in 1985, copyright continues to apply for up to 50 years after the death of the creator. Many sovereign states have since decided to extend that time limit in order to better reflect reality and to recognize the contribution that these creators made to the heritage of their country. Copyright extends as long as 70 years in some countries, when the work is not declared part of the national heritage, in which case, the copyright is simply eternal. When we think of Beethoven or Mozart, clearly, some creations are eternal.
I would like to talk more about music. I have been working in the industry for 30 years. I have known some creators. I have known many young people, and many not so young, who have spent their lives practically starving because they never got the recognition and the royalties they really should have received.
These days, new communication and technical support technologies allow pirating to happen in many ways. This is especially true of music, but also of books and photographs. I do not think that the bill address this issue well enough. If the Conservatives would listen to these artists and creators a little more, they would understand what is at stake for these Canadians, the people of my country, Canada.
The penalties for copyright infringement are so inappropriate and so ridiculously biased that they completely miss the mark in terms of this legislation's objective, which is to protect real people who spend their entire lives creating, entrepreneurs who create jobs and generate revenue.
The copyright bill also does not define what is meant by “fair”. This is a question of fact that must be decided based on the circumstances of the case. Lord Denning explained this in Hubbard v. Vosper in 1972 in an appeal court decision:
It is impossible to define what is ‘fair dealing'. It must be a question of degree. You must consider first the number and extent of the quotations and extracts [whether they are music or print]. Are they altogether too many and too long to be fair? Then you must consider the use made of them. If they are used as a basis for comment, criticism or review, that may be a fair dealing. If they are used to convey the same information as the author, for a rival purpose, that may be unfair. Next, you must consider the proportions. To take long extracts and attach short comments may be unfair. But, short extracts and long comments may be fair. [It is always subjective]. Other considerations may come to mind also. But, after all is said and done, it must be a matter of impression. As with fair comment in the law of libel, so with fair dealing in the law of copyright. The tribunal of fact must decide.
Justice Linden of the Supreme Court of Canada, in CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada, set out factors to assess fair dealing as follows:
(i) The Purpose of the Dealing
In Canada, the purpose of the dealing will be fair if it is for one of the allowable purposes under the Copyright Act, namely research, private study, criticism, review or news reporting: see ss. 29, 29.1 and 29.2 of the Copyright Act [which will be affected by the reform]. As discussed, these allowable purposes should not be given a restrictive interpretation or this could result in the undue restriction of users’ rights. This said, courts should attempt to make an objective assessment of the user/defendant’s real purpose or motive in using the copyrighted work...Moreover, as the Court of Appeal explained, some dealings, even if for an allowable purpose, may be more or less fair than others; research done for commercial purposes may not be as fair as research done for charitable purposes.
We all agree on that. Let us continue with the ruling.
(ii) The Character of the Dealing
In assessing the character of a dealing, courts must examine how the works were dealt with...
(iii) The Amount of the Dealing
Both the amount of the dealing and importance of the work allegedly infringed should be considered...
(iv) Alternatives to the Dealing
(v) The Nature of the Work...
And I will finish with the following:
(vi) Effect of the Dealing on the Work
Finally, the effect of the dealing on the work is another factor [one of the most important and vital] warranting consideration when courts are determining whether a dealing is fair. If the reproduced work is likely to compete with the market of the original work, this may suggest that the dealing is not fair.
In this regard, I would like to point out that different types of “marketplaces” have been established in our society where counterfeit goods are commonplace and difficult to control. Even if the effect of the dealing on the market is an important factor, it is not the only nor the most important consideration when the time comes to complete the analysis of fair dealing.
The amendment proposed in clause 29 would extend copyright to education, parody and satyr. I hope that we will not bear witness to parody or satyr here today.