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Canada consults on copyright reform

April 15, 2021

By Colin Mann

The Government of Canada is consulting with Canadians and stakeholders to ensure Canada’s copyright framework for online intermediaries reflects the evolving digital world.

Building on the stakeholder engagement and committee reports from the 2019 Parliamentary Review of the Copyright Act and other research, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, are launching the consultation.

As the distribution and use of copyright-protected content online have expanded and the services of online intermediaries have grown and diversified, it is important to ensure that Canada’s copyright framework for online intermediaries still achieves its underlying objectives. The Copyright Act must adapt to ensure that the use of copyright-protected content online is protected and individual rights and freedoms in an open Internet are safeguarded, while facilitating an environment where the digital market can thrive.

The Government is publishing a consultation paper that outlines potential options for stakeholder and public consideration. These options relate to intermediaries’ protections against liability for copyright infringement, rights holder remuneration models, transparency obligations and the effective enforcement of copyright.

The Government welcomes all comments providing additional perspectives or evidence concerning these issues and potential options. Participants have until May 31st, 2021, to share their input.

Responses received will be made available following the consultation period and will help inform the Government’s policy development process as the Government considers how the Copyright Act needs to evolve and how the revenues of web giants can be shared more fairly with Canadian creators.

“Our Government is committed to meaningful platform governance, including the modernisation of the Broadcasting Act, a new framework for online harms, news media remuneration and copyright reform,” stated Guilbeault. “These efforts will contribute to a healthier online environment for Canadians, creators and media. In the area of copyright, we need a more up-to-date framework to ensure more accountability and better remuneration and transparency.”

“For Canada to have an innovative and flourishing digital economy, we must protect copyright online,” declared Champagne. “With this consultation, we aim to strike the balance between facilitating broad, lawful access to copyright-protected content, and safeguarding individual rights and freedoms in an open Internet. We have launched this process to hear the diverse perspectives of stakeholders, from online intermediaries to those holding copyrights, as well as any Canadian who wants to share input, to make sure Canada maintains a balanced copyright framework.”



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