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July 20, 2009
Vancouver Public Library
Date: July 20, 2009 1:00 p.m.
Vancouver Public Library
Vancouver, British Columbia
The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry;
The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Minister of Industry Tony Clement and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore Hold a News Conference Following the First Round Table and the Launch of Public Consultations on Copyright.
Hon. Tony Clement: Well, good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for being here. My colleague James Moore and I are going to do a little bit of a presentation. My colleague James Moore can also respond to your questions in French.
Today we're of course confirming and announcing that we just launched an eight-week national consultation period for modernizing Canada's copyright legislation and regime. Our goal is to hear from Canadians from across the country on how we should approach this subject of copyright and indeed enlisting them to help us draft a new piece of flexible legislation for Canada that works for Canada in the 21st century.
It's no surprise I'm sure to people who've been following this issue that things have changed a great deal since that original piece of copyright legislation was passed by a previous parliament, and indeed things have changed since the last attempt at copyright reform occurred a year ago under Bill C-61.
So James and I are going to be conducting round tables and town hall meetings across the country. Those will be posted and of course advertised. We are also inviting the public to comment online at www.copyrightconsultation.ca. We also have a Twitter site at "Copyrightcanada" or "Droitdauteurcda" and of course we're inviting people to give us their views between now and September 13th or thereabouts. I will be following today's round table discussion that we just completed with another round table discussion in Calgary tomorrow and I know James has a full schedule as well.
Today we heard about a number of different topics. The key theme that we heard from all the presenters was achieving the right balance in our copyright legislation for authors and artists, for enablers of creativity, for consumers of course as well. We talked about specific issues whether it was DRM management, fair dealing issues, compensation for authors or artists. These are topics that we expect to hear more about in the weeks ahead as well. And of course we found it to be a great start. Vancouver happened to be a great location to start this kind of consultation.
I believe James will now have some comments in French and of course we'll be happy to take your questions in a moment. James.
Hon. James Moore: Thank you. Minister Clement and I have just spent a very interesting hour and a half at our first round table on modernizing copyright. This was an excellent opportunity to hear the different viewpoints of those who are directly affected by the issue of copyright. Our Government is determined, as stated in our Throne Speech, we are determined to modernize copyright legislation, and the discussions this morning kick off a series of Canada-wide consultations. During the summer, Canadians throughout the country will be able to express their viewpoint on the changes to be made to the copyright regime.
To give as many people and organizations as possible access to this important consultation process, we have planned two open discussion sessions that will be broadcast on-line, as well as an on-line forum for discussions and comments.
We are eager to hear the opinions of Canadians over the coming weeks, and we encourage everyone interested in copyright to visit our Web site in both French and English. We have a Web site, www.copyrightconsultation.ca, and we hope that all Canadians who are concerned about this issue, who have a viewpoint on it, will get involved in our process on-line, in person or by writing me or Minister Clement or members of Parliament to get involved in this very important issue.
And I would just say in English, in Vancouver today we had a great – great conversation. I think our conversation is available, will be available online, the transcript of it. It'll be available as well in audio format on the website that you see here. This website will be available of course in both French and English.
We want to make sure that all Canadians are engaged in this debate — just with the size and our country and the relative thinness of our population compared to our size we want to make sure that Canadians across this country not only in large urban centres have access to this conversation. We are going to be – Tony is having another round table discussion tomorrow in Calgary. Next week we're going to be in Gatineau in Quebec. I'm going to have the first town hall in Montréal at the end of next week. We have other – the next one after that will be in Winnipeg and we'll be going across this country from now until the second week of September and these – the input that we're getting from these groups across the country, the diversity of voices that we're going to be hearing from will be incredibly valuable to us as we draft legislation to go forward to ensuring that Canada's new copyright regime will serve the best interests of all Canadians.