4 Intell. Prop. Brief [i] (2012-2013)

handle is hein.journals/inprobr4 and id is 1 raw text is: OVERDUE NORTH: CANADA FINALLY PASSES NEW COPYRIGHT LAW
by Carrie Sager
The following blog post was originally published on www.ipbrief.net on June 23, 2012.

After fifteen years of stalled talks and
failed legislation, Canada's House of Commons
passed Bill C-11 on June 18, leaving only an
expected quick passage in the Senate standing
between Canada and its new copyright law. The
new law's primary effect is to amend Canada's
copyright code to cover digital content, much
of which wasn't even in use when the last
copyright law was passed in 1997. The long
lull in copyright reform was harming Canada's
international trade, with the U.S. and European
Union both pushing for updates as a condition of
trade agreement negotiations.
C-1i's digital lock provisions are
probably the most controversial aspect of the
bill. They make it illegal to break a digital
lock even for a lawful use such as ripping
a CD in order to play it on a personal MP3
player. Despite strong public opposition to the
provisions, the government, possibly in response
to pressure from the U.S., refused to allow even
minor exceptions, including a proposal to allow
blind Canadians to break the locks on eBooks in
order to transfer the content to braille, or to allow
Deaf Canadians to break the locks on DVDs to
add closed captioning to movies.
However, other provisions created
greater consumer rights, at least compared to
earlier versions of the bill. Bill C-11 provides
fair dealing exceptions for parody, satire, and
educational purposes (the last of which was a
matter of major contention for rights holders),
a cap of $5000 on non-commercial statutory
damages, and allows format shifting, time
shifting, backup copies, exceptions for user-
generated content, and a notice-and-notice
system instead of notice-and-takedown like the
DMCA.
Canada didn't have to wait long to
get a response from the U.S. On June 19,
President Obama announced that Canada would

be allowed to join the talks for the Trans-
Pacific Partnership, albeit on a limited basis.
Unfortunately for Canada, one of the limits
on its participation is that it won't have veto
power, meaning that it could be held to enforce
provisions agreed upon by the other countries.
Last spring I compared the leaked draft of the
TPP chapter on IP to C-11 and found that there
were significant differences; if Canada signs on
to the TPP, C-1i 's days may be numbered.

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BRIEF

63

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