Budget Bill with copyright amendments tabled in House of Commons

May 7th, 2015 by Barry Sookman Leave a reply »

The Government tabled legislation in Parliament today to implement certain provisions of the budget. The Bill summarizes the following key legislative provisions of interest to readers of this blog as follows:

  • amends the Copyright Act to extend the term of copyright protection for a published sound recording and a performer’s performance fixed in a published sound recording from 50 years to 70 years after publication; it caps the term at 100 years after the first fixation of, respectively, the sound recording or the performer’s performance in a sound recording;
  • amends the Industrial Design Act, the Patent Act and the Trade-marks Act to, among other things, provide for extensions of time limits in unforeseen circumstances and provide the authority to make regulations respecting the correction of obvious errors;
  • amends the Patent Act and the Trade-marks Act to protect communications between patent or trademark agents and their clients in the same way as communications that are subject to solicitor-client privilege;
  • amends the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act to extend the application of that Act to the World Anti-Doping Agency in respect of Personal information that the organization collects, uses or discloses in the course of its interprovincial or international activities.

The amendments to the Copyright Act were announced previously. The rationale for the term extension amendments was explained by Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, in the Toronto Star earlier this week in a letter to the editor responding to an article written by Michael Geist:

Last week’s Economic Action Plan 2015 announced our government’s plan to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years. This change will mean that Canadian icons like Anne Murray will continue to be compensated for the commercial use of her early songs. It also means today’s chart toppers will have their artistic creations protected further.

Canadian artists have responded positively to this proposal and have filled social media with quotes thanking the Prime Minister and our government for understanding their needs.

Michael Geist chose not to write about this or that this change is consistent with our trading partners or that this brings performers’ rights closer to the rights enjoyed by writers and composers.

But your readers don’t need to rely on his views. Here is what Randy Bachman said, “Thanks for term extension PM Harper, you really are taking care of business.”

For more information about the term extension, see, Term extension and respect for artists: a reply to Michael Geist, Canada to extend copyright term for artists and record producers, and Economic effects of term extension for sound recordings,

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