In the ESA v. SOCAN, 2012 SCC 34 case, the Supreme Court decided by a 5 to 4 majority that the transmission of a copy of a musical work to members of the public is not a communication to the public within the meaning of Section 3(1)(f) of the Copyright Act. When the Copyright Modernization Act was enacted the communication to the public right was expanded to expressly confer on copyright holders making available rights required by the WIPO Treaties. This was accomplished, inter alia, by the inclusion of Section 2.4(1.1) which provides that:
Archive for the ‘C-11’ category
Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, with a few exceptions, is now law with the publication of the Governor General Order in Council. The fourth attempt to amend the Copyright Act since 2005 succeeded where Bills C-60 (2005), C-61 (2008), and C-32 (2010) did not.
A lot has changed since 2005 when Bill C-60 was first introduced. That Bill would have made a limited, but important, set of amendments. Its summary reminds us that it would have amended the “Copyright Act to implement the provisions of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, to clarify the liability of network service providers, to facilitate technology-enhanced learning and interlibrary loans, and to update certain other provisions of the Act.” Bill C-11 addresses far more than this.
The Privy Council has released a copy of notice dated October 25, 2012 (P.C. 2012-1392) setting out when the amendments to the Copyright Act will come into force. The information in the notice, which has been published by some law libraries, provides for the amendments to come into force in three stages.
- Most amendments will come into force when the notice is officially published in the Canada Gazette Part II which is expected to take place soon and perhaps as early as November 7, 2012.
My mother warned me to be suspicious when people give gratuitous compliments. So, I read with some suspicion the recent blog post by Ariel Katz, who responded to my post Did the Supreme Court eviscerate Access Copyright’s business model? A reply to Michael Geist, generously calling me a “well experienced lawyer” and a “smart well-trained lawyer”.[]
In that post I argued that Michael Geist’s claim that the Supreme Court’s decision eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model did not stand up to scrutiny. I pointed out that his assertions completely ignored the teachings of the Supreme Court that whether something is a fair dealing is a question of fact and that his claims were not based on any analysis to demonstrate why the Supreme Court decision had the effects he claimed.
Last week, The US Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus published its 2012 International Anti-Piracy Caucus Country Watch List. Canada, which had previously been on the watch list, has now been reclassified along with Spain as a country “in transition”. According to the report, “Both Canada and Spain have taken positive steps towards putting in place a stronger legal framework for the protection of copyright, and as such we have included them this year as countries in transition to acknowledge the progress made, while urging both to follow through strongly on their commitments.”
Canada’s progress was described by our most important trading partner as follows:
In a series of recent blogs Michael Geist claims that the decisions of the Supreme Court in the SOCAN v. Bell Canada, 2012 SCC 36 (SOCAN v Bell) and Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2012 SCC 37 (Access Copyright) cases eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model. He asserts that the cases make all copying that would be subject to a license from Access Copyright fair dealings. Moreover, he claims that publishers would not suffer significant economic harm if all copying permitted under Access Copyright licenses or model licenses were fair dealings and no educational institution, whether elementary, secondary, or post-secondary, paid a penny for all such uses.
Earlier this week, the Australian Law Reform Commission published an Issues Paper titled Copyright and the Digital Economy. The paper asked 55 questions about copyright and possible reforms to Australia’s copyright laws. The paper discusses many reforms debated in Canada during the 2009 Copyright Consultations and more recently during the debates and examination of The Copyright Modernization Act (Bills C-32 and C-11) in the House of Commons Special Legislation Committee. These include new exceptions to permit copying for private uses such as format and time shifting, online uses for social media, uses by libraries, archives and for education, and safe harbours for Internet intermediaries.
In 2006, the highly regarded economics professor Prof. Liebowitz, Director of the Center for Economic Analysis of Property Rights and Innovation at University of Texas, surveyed the entire field of econometric studies on file sharing. On the basis of his comprehensive review (which displayed a remarkable consensus on the issue), he concluded that “file-sharing has brought significant harm to the recording industry”. Prior to that in a comprehensive article published in 2005 Prof. Liebowitz criticized the theory that unlicensed file sharing helps copyright owners. He said those that professed this view saw “gains from copying in every nook and cranny of the economy, when in reality the instances of such gains are likely to be rather limited.”
Bill C-11, The Copyright Modernization Act passed Third Reading in the House of commons and was given First Reading in the Senate on June 18, 2012. On June 26, 2012, the Bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. On June 27, 2012 the Senate Banking Committee reported C-11 back to the Senate without amendment. Earlier today, June 29, 2012, the Bill was passed by the Senate and given Royal Assent. It will come into force in the next few months through an order-in-council process.
The following are my opening remarks to the Senate Committee studying Bill C-11 earlier today. The link to the webcast can be found here.
I would like to thank the committee for inviting me to appear today to provide input on Bill C-11.
Before starting my remarks, I would like to give you some background about myself.
- I am a senior partner with the law firm McCarthy Tétrault.
- I am an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where I teach IP law.
- I am the author of 5 books including the leading 6 volume treatise on Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law.