The Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce which examined the operations of the Copyright Board is now available. I reported on the hearing in a prior post. The recommendations are clear: a thorough in depth examination is needed because the Board is in need of reform.
The Copyright Board of Canada plays a pivotal role in Canada’s cultural sector. Yet, from what the committee heard, the Board is dated, dysfunctional and in dire need of reform. Whether the reasons are statutory, structural or otherwise, the Board did not – or could not – provide the committee with solutions to the problems that were identified by witnesses. The concerns outlined in this report require further investigation and timely action.
The next statutory review of the Copyright Act will take place in 2017, as stipulated in the legislation. That same legislation also requires the review to be conducted by a committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both. The committee therefore recommends that:
The forthcoming, five-year statutory review of the Copyright Act should include a thorough, in-depth examination of the Copyright Board of Canada’s mandate, practices and resources.