Canada’s copyright system is broken, but there are ways to fix it, a group of lawyers say.
It’s time to rethink the Copyright and Patent Act.
The Conservative government has announced plans to overhaul Canada’s Copyright Act, a law that has been a thorn in the side of some Canadians for decades.
The new bill would create a “digital commons” that would allow individuals and businesses to share information and make it available to others without a copyright or patent licence.
The proposed Copyright and Patents Act would create digital commons “that allow Canadians to share their ideas and knowledge, and build a digital community around the sharing of ideas and information,” says the group’s executive director, David McKeown.
Article Continued Below “The Copyright and the Patents act is a relic of a time before the internet,” he said in an interview.
“It’s a relic that’s been abused to stifle innovation.
It has become an impediment to innovation.”
The new law would create an online commons called the “information commons” and give the public and private sectors the power to create, share and control it.
In a statement, Industry Minister James Moore said the government is taking steps to protect Canadian creators and creators of content.
“The Copyright Act is outdated and should be repealed.
It is time to revisit it, and we have taken steps to change the law to make it a model for other countries around the world,” Moore said.
“Canada has an opportunity to take its digital commons to the next level and become a global hub for creative ideas and innovation.”
The Conservatives have promised to overhaul copyright law in order to “restore a balance between copyright and the innovation environment, ensuring that Canadians and other innovators can enjoy the benefits of the Internet while still protecting our intellectual property rights.”
In recent years, copyright laws have been a hot topic in Canadian politics.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to abolish the copyright law and replace it with a model that would give copyright holders more leeway to “extort” online content creators.
He has also promised to legalize online piracy and create a national digital commons.
In October, Trudeau told an audience in Ontario that “Canada is the world leader in innovation.
That means we’re the world’s number one innovator, the number one copyright holder.”
The Conservatives also promise to overhaul patent laws and bring back copyright protection for inventions.
They also plan to introduce a new law that would create “a digital commons” for the sharing and production of digital content.
McKeown says the Conservatives’ plan to create a new “information Commons” is a step in the right direction.
“The information commons is a great step forward in the digital economy, but it still needs to be strengthened,” he says.
“That’s why we’re calling for a rethink of the Copyright, Patent and Related Rights Act, and a return to a copyright regime that’s based on a strong copyright law.
It should not be a relic.”
With files from The Canadian Press and The Canadian Broadcasting Corp.