The Liberal Digital Canada Plan and Copyright

April 11th, 2011 by Barry Sookman Leave a reply »

Earlier today, Marc Garneau and guest commentators Michael Geist and Steve Anderson had a live online chat about the Liberal Digital Canada Plan.  A transcription of the chat is available here.

The Liberal Digital Plan says the following about copyright:

Fair balance Between Creators and Consumers.

Digital technology offers many new opportunities, but enjoying content without compensating its creators shouldn’t be among them. At the same time, consumers should have freedom for personal use of digital content they rightfully possess. Liberals have worked to pass effective copyright legislation, including a private copying compensation fund instead of any new tax on consumers.

Flourishing Canadian Content, Culture and Identity in Digital Media.

Canadians should continue to have access to ever more Canadian stories and Canadian content in the Digital Canada of the future. New media should provide vibrant and rewarding new avenues for expression by Canadian artists. The public broadcasters, Radio Canada and the CBC have crucial roles to play in achieving these objectives.

On top of existing investments of $100 million per year for the Canada Media Fund, a Liberal government will support more creation of Canadian content by doubling the annual budget of the Canada Council for the Arts, from $180 million to $360 million over the next four years, and restore the Promart and Trade Routes international cultural promotion programs, increasing their funding to $25 million per year.

During the online chat, Mr. Garneau made a few additional remarks concerning the Liberal party’s position on copyright:

Would the Liberals exclude copyright from any EU trade deal?

No: we would exclude it from the EU deal if not in best interest of Canadians”.

Would the Liberals enshrine the controversial six factor test for defining fairness adopted by the Supreme Court in CCH in a new Bill?

The Liberals are willing to explore options: “Sure that is definitely a good option but we are still open to other options”.

Do the Liberals support a digital lock exception that permits circumvention for fair dealing purposes such as research and private study?

The Liberals “oppose the digital lock provisions as currently written in C-32” and “support an exception for people using the material they bought for non infringing purposes”.

Do the Liberals support notice and notice or are they open to other options?

The Liberals currently support notice and notice: “At this point we are with N&N”.

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