Archive for the ‘copyright reform’ category

Budget Bill with copyright amendments tabled in House of Commons

May 7th, 2015

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;

Economic effects of term extension for sound recordings

April 30th, 2015

Last week the government announced an extension to the term of protection for performers and makers of sound recordings, increasing the term from 50 years to 70 years. In doing so, the Government exhibited respect for artists and their music and decided to act before their valuable recordings fell into the public domain.

Michael Geist was quick to criticize the announcement, claiming it could cost Canadian consumers “millions of dollars” and that it would result in fewer works entering the public domain. In support of his claims, Geist referred to several “studies”.

Term extension and respect for artists: a reply to Michael Geist

April 23rd, 2015

On Wednesday, the government announced an extension of the term of protection for performers and makers of sound recordings, increasing the term from 50 years to 70 years. The announcement was widely applauded by Canadian artists, such as Randy Bachman, Bruce Cockburn, Leonard Cohen, Cowboy Junkies, Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Kardinal Offishall, Serena Ryder, Tom Cochrane, Gordon Lightfoot, Loreena McKennitt, and Triumph, and by organizations representing artists and makers of sound recordings, including the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), Music Canada, and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).

Leonard Cohen expressed the sentiments of many artists in saying:

Canada ratifying WIPO Internet Treaties

May 24th, 2014

The Canadian Government has now deposited instruments of ratification as the final steps to ratifying the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) and the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT). Most of the amendments to implement the treaty provisions went into effect in November 2012 when The Copyright Modernization Act was proclaimed into force. Some of the provisions pertaining to the WPPT including the making available right for sound recordings will only come into effect when the treaty ratification process is final. This will occur on August 13, 2014, 90 days after the deposit of the WPPT instruments of ratification with WIPO.

Flexible exceptions to copyright have negative economic costs, says study

December 4th, 2012

For years, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA ), an organization that represents Google, Yahoo and other companies in the computer, Internet, information technology, and telecommunications industries, have advocated for broad copyright exceptions arguing that they substantially contribute to economic growth. In a series of studies culminating in a 2011 paper published by the CCIA titled Fair Use in the U.S. Economy, the claim was made that a group of identifiable industries called the “fair use industries” accounted, in 2008 and 2009, for an average of $4.6 billion in revenues in the U.S. In a similar paper published by the CCIA in 2010 titled Economic contribution of EU industries relying on exceptions and limitations to copyright, the claim was made that the value added generated by industries in the EU relying on exceptions and limitations to copyright amounted to $1.1 trillion or 9.3% of GDP in 2007.

Making European copyright fit for purpose in the age of the internet

November 9th, 2012

Earlier this week Michael Barnier, a Member of the European Commission responsible for Internal Market and Services, gave a speech, Making European copyright fit for purpose in the age of internet. In it he discussed whether the EU legal framework related to copyright was “fit for the digital age”.  He said that although “it remains largely valid today”, it does require some recallibration so that it remains “a modern and effective tool”.

He outlined four principles to be kept in mind in formulating changes that may be necessary.

First, the copyright framework must facilitate the access of all Europeans to their heritage.

Change and the Copyright Modernization Act

November 7th, 2012

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.

Copyright Modernization Act soon to be law in Canada

October 30th, 2012

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.

  1. 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.

The French Hadopi law, its history, operation, and effectiveness

October 10th, 2012

The French Hadopi graduated response law was passed in October 2009. A study by Professor Bret Danaher published earlier this year titled The Effect of Graduated Response Anti-Piracy Laws on Music Sales: Evidence from an Event Study in France found that it is effective in helping to reduce online copyright infringement and spur legitimate sales of music in France. He talked about the study earlier this year while in Toronto at the Canadian Music Week, Global Forum.

Earlier today, Anne-Sylvie Vassenaix-Paxton a lawyer with Heenan Blakie in Paris gave a speech at an ALAI meeting in Toronto. She described the history, operation, and effectiveness of the Hadopi graduated response law.

Upcoming IP/IT events you won’t want to miss

October 3rd, 2012

It’s the fall. After a long hot summer, you may be ready to attend a conference, roundtable, or panel discussion to learn about important developments or issues in IT/IP law. Here are few I am participating in that you may want to attend.

October 3-4, The 2012 Quorum Club. The Quorum Club brings together senior corporate counsel and senior private law firm practitioners in a setting where they can share ideas, opinions and network in a way that few gatherings in Canada offer. I am participating in the 2012 QC Roundtable: IP Playbook for the GC.