ARCHIVED — Speaking Points — Minister of Industry
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The Honourable Tony Clement, PC, MP
Minister of Industry
The Copyright Modernization Act
June 2, 2010
Check Against Delivery
Thank you for the introduction, and thanks to everyone for coming.
Just a short while ago, my colleague introduced a very important piece of legislation in Parliament.
The bill, entitled, the Copyright Modernization Act, addresses an increasingly relevant issue for Canadian consumers, families, artists, teachers, businesses, software companies and copyright owners. That issue is Canada's copyright law.
Simply put, our law governing copyright has not kept pace with the breakneck speed at which digital technologies are moving.
The popularity of Web 2.0, social media and new technologies have changed the way we create and make use of copyrighted material.
Our current law was designed years before the BlackBerry hit the market; before MP3 players changed the way we listen to our favourite artists; and before video games resembled real life.
It is older than most of the technologies we enjoy today.
Common sense tells us change — balanced change — is long overdue.
That's why our government is committed to taking a common-sense, balanced approach to modernizing our copyright law. We are doing so by, among other things:
- legitimizing everyday behaviour of Canadians, such as recording TV shows on PVRs and uploading legally purchased songs to MP3 players;
- promoting innovation by introducing targeted provisions that support education and business innovation; and
- ensuring that the work of Canadians who create video games, music, films and other creative works is protected.
Canada's place in the global digital economy is at stake.
Our approach is technology neutral, which means this Bill will not be restricted to today's realities, but will remain relevant to the technologies of tomorrow.
Our approach provides much-needed clarity to the online marketplace — something it has been lacking for too long.
All this might not resonate with my teenager at home, but I can tell you it will mean something to him by the time he's ready to enter the job market. Because from today forward, businesses will be more confident investing in Canada. And that investment will translate into well-paying, highly skilled jobs for Canadians.
Also important to me as the Minister of Industry is the fact that this legislation equips businesses with the necessary tools to allow them to protect their intellectual property. For those companies that choose to use digital locks as part of their business model, they will have the protection of the law.
Now I want to point out that, in response to demands for stronger consumer provisions, this Bill legitimizes — as I said earlier — the everyday activities of Canadians.
It recognizes that people who transfer their favourite novel or their favourite movie onto their mobile device, should not be liable for copyright infringement if they are doing so for private use. It also protects the uploading of user-generated content that includes copyrighted work — mash-ups come to mind there.
New exceptions for schools and universities educators — and I think this is essential — will help protect students' right to learn and teachers' right to impart knowledge in new and creative ways, using the latest technologies.
Under this bill, innovative software companies will be given an environment that encourages them to create new products and adapt existing ones for use on cutting-edge platforms and technologies.
Ladies and gentlemen, all of these things are absolutely critical if Canada is to realize its potential and take a leadership role in the digital economy.
What we have sought here is a solution that balances the ability of Canadians to access and enjoy new technologies, with the rights of Canadian creators, who are the bedrock of our culture and economy.
I thank you very much for your time, and following Minister Moore's speech, I welcome your questions.
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