Copyright Law

Paradigm shift: Recommended changes to Canadian copyright law announced

On May 15, 2019, Parliament’s Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage launched a report entitled Shifting Paradigms containing a fixed of twenty-two exceptional and varied recommended amendments to Canada’s Copyright Act. The Committee’s record follows a look at remuneration fashions for artists and creative industries and the demanding situations and possibilities of new access points for the innovative content material. Before issuing its record, the Committee held 19 conferences, heard testimony from 115 witnesses, and acquired 75 written briefs. Witnesses protected representatives from numerous cultural industries in addition to government officers, teachers, and other fascinated events.

The Committee’s mandate was to recognize the everyday scenario of Canadian artists and the modern-day surroundings in which they work and how it has transformed in recent years. The Committee identified several themes or challenges from the testimony it heard and representations it acquired, such as that: There is a disparity or “price gap” between the fee of creative content material enjoyed by way of customers and the sales that are received by way of artists and the innovative industries. That there was an extreme decline within the capacity of Canadian artists to earn “middle-magnificence” profits. That remuneration has now not stored tempo with the upward push of virtual entry to points for creative content.


In reaction to those demanding situations facing the innovative industries, the Committee issued some of the fashion tips that the Government of Canada improve attention of copyright regulation and artist remuneration, growth assists for creators and innovative industries in adapting to new virtual markets, and boom efforts to combat piracy and put in force copyright. The Committee also endorsed a chain of specific legislative changes to Canada’s Copyright Act, consisting of that the Government of Canada:
Extend the term of copyright from 50 to 70 years from the writer’s death. Extend moral and monetary rights to audiovisual performers.

Amend s. 34.1 of the Act to deem the screenwriter and director the co-owners of copyright and co-authors of television or cinematographic paintings. Amend the Act to clarify that honest dealing must not observe instructional establishments while the paintings are commercially available. Harmonize and enhance the enforcement of statutory damages for infringement. Establish an artist’s resale right.

A range of these recommendations is just like previously introduced or promised adjustments to the Act. For example, the extension of copyright in Canada to 70 years has been previously promised by the Government. The brand new Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement (supposed to update NAFTA) would require Canada to increase copyright safety in this manner. Similarly, the Committee heard testimony from many witnesses speaking to the want for reform to the practices and procedures of the Copyright Board, which sets numerous compulsory licensing price lists in Canada.

Following the Committee’s listening to, reform of the Copyright Board changed into introduced within the latest finances implementation bill. However, at the prevailing time, those legislative modifications have now not but been adopted. Other advocated changes, together with the advent of an artist’s resale proper to generate royalties for visual artists who, in any other case simplest derive revenue from the preliminary sale of their works, would represent an extraradical departure from present Canadian copyright law.

At this time, it’s miles doubtful while and in what shape these recommendations might also provide upward thrust to precise legislative changes to the Copyright Act. Parliament is scheduled to adjourn in overdue June 2019 and will not resume till after the Federal election scheduled for October of this year. Nonetheless, the Committee’s suggestions in this file maintain and improve an ongoing trend in Canada towards numerous discrete adjustments in Canadian copyright regulation, including the important issues of term extension and reform of the Copyright Board.

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