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Canada’s new copyright rules get royal assent

By | Published on Friday 6 July 2012


Canada’s brand new copyright laws received royal assent this week, finally bringing the country’s copyright system into closer sync with the US and much of Europe.

As previously reported, copyright laws in Canada have come under increased criticism by the rights industries in recent years, especially regarding the existing system’s weaknesses when it came to online piracy. So much so, the US routinely listed Canada amongst its list of worst offenders when assessing the degree of intellectual property protection in each country around the world.

Efforts to reform the country’s copyright rules have been ongoing for over a decade. Significant progress was made on the so called Bill C-32 until a General Election stopped it in its tracks in March 2011. But a similar Bill C-11 was then developed, and was passed by the country’s legislature last month. Royal assent followed this week.

As with any copyright reform, the changes were not without their critics, though the content industries obviously welcomed them.

Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada, told reporters earlier this week: “We never doubted that we would see this day but it has been a long road, in particular for creators, whose livelihoods have been deeply eroded by piracy. We commend the government and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore in particular, for their tenacity in pursuing a modern copyright framework and legislation that will enable Canada to ratify the World Intellectual Property Organization Internet Treaties”.

He added: “Utilising the tools provided by this legislation, in conjunction with our efforts to ensure consumers have various legal digital services to choose from in Canada, we will now turn our attention to rebuilding the marketplace for recorded music”.