ARCHIVED — Copyright Coalition of Creators and Producers
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COPYRIGHT REFORM PROCESS
SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED REGARDING THE CONSULTATION PAPERS
Documents received have been posted in the official language in which they were submitted. All are posted as received by the departments, however all address information has been removed.
Submission from Copyright Coalition of Creators and Producers received in both official languages on September 14, 2001 via e-mail
Subject: Government Consultation Papers - A Framework for Coyright Reform and Digital Copyright IssuesPDF Version
Submission of the Copyright Coalition of Creators and Producers on the Government Consultation Papers: A Framework for Copyright Reform and Digital Copyright Issues
The Copyright Coalition of Creators and Producers represents 29 national organizations whose members work in Canada's cultural industries. Cultural industries are founded on copyright, which provides those who work in these industries with the incentives to create and produce intellectual property. These incentives are both cultural and economic: copyright law protects local and national cultural expression and makes it possible for creative people to innovate, and to receive compensation for their efforts. As digitization and globalization now challenge our cultural industries, protection and adaptation of copyright in this new environment are critical to the survival and prosperity of our cultural community. Our industries must both successfully develop electronic commerce and combat piracy in our copyright works.
Need for Continual, Prioritized Copyright Reform
In its document, A Framework for Copyright Reform, (the "Framework Document") the Government has accurately pointed out that changes will be required continually to adapt our copyright laws to the changing economic, social, technological and international environment. The Framework Document commences with the important recognition that "Copyright is a work in progress".
With this recognition comes the responsibility to ensure that the work of copyright reform does indeed progress, a responsibility which the cultural industries and user communities share with the Government. We are pleased that the Government, with this consultation, has started the challenging process of crafting Canadian solutions to digital issues. Implementation and ratification of both the WIPO Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty is our most pressing concern with regard to copyright reform and would be a critical step forward.
WIPO Implementation is Essential
It is essential for the growth and competitiveness of the Canadian cultural sector that the Government proceed quickly with ratification of both WIPO Treaties. We are deeply disappointed that, almost five years following conclusion of the Diplomatic Conference that produced these treaties and almost four years after they were signed by Canada, Canada is not in a position to ratify. Until Canadian legislation can ensure the effective application of the principles of the WIPO Treaties, it will be unable to ratify them.
The Government's Digital Copyright Paper deals with three key issues, necessary from the perspective of implementing WIPO and the practical perspective of making it clear to Canadians and the world at large that copyright law is as applicable to online copyright material as to the traditional, pre-digital environments. These issues are critical to the ability of creators, performers and producers to survive and flourish in a digital environment.
The "making available right" is a prerequisite to making more copyright material accessible through online business models. Canada should introduce this right into the Copyright Act for performers and makers of sound recordings and clarify it for authors. The WIPO Treaties also expressly require national laws that provide effective, expeditious remedies to prevent infringements and remedies sufficient to constitute a real deterrent to further infringements. Such remedies must include remedies with respect to the new obligations concerning technological measures and rights management information designed to assist rightsholders in restricting and deterring infringement of their copyright material.
The Coalition is pleased that the Government is addressing all of these issues in its current consultation.
Framework for Reform
The work of copyright reform is by no means easy. We support the Government's position that issues must be prioritized and reforms initiated in manageable packages.
The digital issues are clearly complex, challenging and urgent. However, we urge the Government to address concurrently the few additional remaining issues that must be addressed to put Canada's copyright law in compliance with the WIPO Treaties, these being primarily moral rights for performers and corporate ownership and term of protection in photographs.
The enormous benefits of WIPO ratification for electronic commerce in Canadian works should not be delayed by failure to address these remaining WIPO-driven issues now.
International Trend to WIPO Ratification Accelerating
Thirty countries must deposit instruments of ratification before the WIPO Treaties come into force as international treaties. As of July 31st, 2001, 27 countries had ratified the WIPO Copyright Treaty and 24 had ratified the WIPO Performances and Phonogram Treaty. The United States has ratified both treaties. The European Union's Copyright Directive requires its 15 members to ratify both treaties within 18 months of the Directive's coming into force in May, 2001. As a result, the WIPO Treaties will come into force very soon and will become the new standard for intellectual property protection in future trade treaties.
Canada Must Participate
The Government's Framework Document recognizes the importance of meeting the developing standards of international protection at the international treaty level:
In an increasingly interconnected world where the borders between markets are rapidly diminishing, Canada must ensure that its copyright law promotes appropriate availability of copyright works by taking into account the level of protection as defined by international agreements.
The Canadian government signed the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty in 1997, signalling to the world and to Canadians its commitment to implementation.
Although the Government is embarking now on a process intended to result in legislation on digital issues, domestic protection alone of copyright works on-line is not by itself enough to support and promote electronic commerce dependent on intellectual property in the interconnected, international world of digital networks. Canada will be left outside the extensive community of contracting countries who extend the protection of their digital copyright laws to each other. Canadian creators, performers and producers will not have all of the benefits available to copyright owners in those countries, and Canadian industries will be left behind their competitors elsewhere. Thus the fact that the Consultation Papers appear to question the very need to ratify the Treaties surprises and distresses our members.
We urge the Government to include in the current round of copyright reform all of the remaining issues required to bring our law into conformity with the WIPO Treaties, and to move assuredly towards their ratification.
ACTRA Performers Guild
American Federation of Musicians (A.F. of M)
Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)
Audio-Video Licensing Agency (AVLA)
Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications (CAPIC)
Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA)
The Canadian Copyright Institute
Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (CANCOPY)
Canadian Country Music Association (CCMC)
Canadian Film and Television producers Association (CFTPA)
Canadian Independent Record Producers Association (CIRPA)
Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA)
Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA)
Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association (CMPDA)
Canadian Publishers Council (CPC)
Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA)
Canadian Retransmission Collective (CRC)
Directors Guild of Canada
League of Canadian Poets
Periodical Writers Association of Canada
Playwrights Union of Canada
Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC)
Recording Artists Association of Canada
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
Songwriters Association of Canada
Union des Artistes
Union des écrivaines et écrivans quebecois
Writers Guild of Canada
The Writers Union of Canada
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