The Government Of Canada Announces Upcoming Amendments To The Copyright Act
Minister of Industry David L. Emerson and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla released a Statement, on behalf of the Government of Canada, outlining proposed amendments to the Copyright Act that will address the challenges and opportunities of the Internet. These amendments will fulfill the Government's commitment to address the short-term group of copyright reform issues.
The Government also tabled its Response to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage with respect to its May 2004 Interim Report on Copyright Reform. The Response includes the Government's statement.
"We are pleased to have this opportunity to show Canadians how we intend to build a copyright framework for the 21st century," said Minister Frulla. "We must strengthen the hand of our creators and cultural industries against the unauthorized use of their works on the Internet."
"The Internet provides an incredibly powerful new means of communications, research, education, innovation and entertainment," said Minister Emerson. "A balanced copyright framework will help to support the use of the Internet to foster innovation and learning, while establishing stable and predictable marketplace rules."
The Government intends to introduce legislation later this spring that will implement the provisions of the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaties, clarify liability for Internet service providers, facilitate the use of the Internet for educational and research purposes, and harmonize the treatment of photographers with that of other creators.
The Government recognizes the significance of the Internet as a learning tool for teachers and students as well as a platform for creators to disseminate content. Enabling the educational use of publicly available Internet material has proven to be a complex and contentious issue, however. Soon after tabling of the bill, the Government will open consultations on this issue for additional public input and consideration.
Updating copyright law is an ongoing process. The proposed amendments represent a significant step in this regard, but consultations on additional issues of concern will take place as soon as possible after the bill is tabled.
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