The process of revising copyright has been ongoing for many years. While most of the folks with the Digital Copyright Canada forum joined this process in the summer of 2001, some earlier developments will be documented. Each entry will indicate the type of participant: government (the bureaucracy), parliament (members of the elected parliament), senate, court, citizens, NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations), Corporation, etc.
It is important to realize that Canadian copyright law has been constantly changing (See: The same “old” line), with major changes in 1988, 1997, and 2012.
What Copyright regulates are technological acts, and thus Copyright law must continue to be updated to reflect technological change. Our policy question is never whether there should be change, but whether the changes embrace or try to delay inevitable changes brought by new technology.
Please send me a note with any updates.
Department of Canadian Heritage: FAQ which contains History of copyright revision
Department of Industry: Copyright Reform Process
- The Canadian Encyclopedia: Historical notes on Copyright
- Nineteenth-Century British and American Copyright Law by Philip V. Allingham, Faculty of Education, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario
- The Canadian Copyright Act 1921-2006: Historical, Cultural, Economic, Legal & Political Significance by Harry Hillman Chartrand
- Summary of Phase I (1988) and Phase II (1997) by Michael Best and Elizabeth Grove-White
- University of Alberta: Copyright
- William Patry blog article (Via Google Cache) on Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) project.
- 1872: Dominion of Canada bill
- Westminster refused to ratify an 1872 Dominion of Canada bill that enshrined a fixed-royalty principle for Canadian publishers to re-print British copyrighted works (Allingham). A 1875 bill was ratified which only allowd Canadian republishing of books that had gone out of print.
- Justice: Copyright Act ( R.S., 1985, c. C-42 )
While this act has been amended many times since 1985, this is the most recent rewrite that more recent bills revised.
- Parliament: C-32: An Act to amend the Copyright Act
- Government: A Framework for Copyright Reform
- Government: Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues
- Citizens: Response from Canadians (700 documents)
- Government: Summary of Written Stakeholder Submissions
- Citizens: Canada DMCA Opponents launches
This is the mailing list that later became the Digital Copyright Canada forum
- NGOs/Citizens: EFF/EFC joint submission to consultation
- Citizen: Russell McOrmond's submission
"In order for a correct balance on copyright to be achieved we need to investigate a number of different relationships between copyright and other related Canadian laws, the differing and often incompatible needs of different copyright holders, as well as the needs of different constituencies such as authors, publishers and readers."
- Citizen: Matthew Skala's multiple submission
"The most important point made in this submission is that digital rights management (DRM) technology should not and cannot be protected by Canadian law. DRM should not be protected because such protection would harm Canadian policy goals; and DRM cannot be protected because such protection would be contrary to the Constitution."
- Supreme Court of Canada: Théberge v. Galerie d'Art du Petit Champlain inc., 2002 SCC 34
- Government: Supporting Culture and Innovation: Report on the Provisions and Operation of the Copyright Act
- Citizen: Submission from Russell McOrmond This is a submission to House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in relation to their section 92 review of the copyright act.
- NGO: PIAC's submission Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has made a few submissions respecting the public interest in copyright reform.
- Government: Copyright and the Educational Use of Internet Content - December 8, 2003 working group report, follow-up to the December 11-12, 2002 Consultation.
- Parliament: C-11 An Act to amend the Copyright Act
Bill introduced in parliament on a fast-track on 9 October 2002 (deemed to have passed all stages at once), and received Royal Assent on 12 December 2002. The purpose was to create an exception to excluded Internet re-transmitters from the purview of the compulsory licence for retransmission, disallowing Internet re-transmitters the same rights as cable and satellite re-transmitters. This set the tone for many of us to understand the government as being opposed to new media, and willing to go out of their way to protect the anti-competative special economic interests of old-media companies.
- Court Case: CCH Canada Ltd v. Law Society of Canada 2004 SCC 13 (established that setting up the facilities that allow copying does not amount to authorizing infringement)
- Government: Status Report on Copyright Reform
- Court Case: BMG Canada Inc. and others v. Doe and others 2004 FC 488 (comments regarding the legality of Internet file sharing)
- Court Case: Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Canadian Association of Internet Providers 2004 SCC 45 (ISPs as common carriers. Status of caches)
- Appeal of previous Court Case: BMG Canada Inc. and others v. Doe and others 2005 FCA 193 (vacated previous comments regarding the legality of Internet file sharing, clarified path for future cases)
- Parliament: House Government Bills, link to C-60
- Citizens: Launch of KillBillC60.ca
- Citizens: "In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law" book launched on September 29.
- Citizen: A 1-page summary of Canadian copyright reform?
Russell McOrmond met with his MP, David McGuinty, on November 15 and then wrote a summary.
- Parliament: Opposition Motion--Confidence in the Government
- Supreme Court of Canada: Euro-Excellence Inc. v. Kraft Canada Inc., 2007 SCC 37
- Howard Knopf: Euro v . Kraft - Further Thoughts
As of June 2008, this bill remained on the order paper.
- Parliament: House Government Bills, link to C-27
- Michael Geist: The Copyright Lobby's Secret Pressure On the Anti-Spam Bill documents how some copyright holding special interest groups wanted to be exempted from the anti-malware components of the bill.
- Government: Launched http://copyrightconsultation.gc.ca
- Citizens: Additions to online discussions (Copyright and You, Test of Time, Innovation and Creativity, Competition and Investment, Digital Economy), Formal submissions, participation in 2 town hall meetings, with largely special interest groups invited to specific round table discussions.
- Parliament: Private Members Bills, link to C-499
- Federal Court of Appeal: Decision (CanLII)
From the decision:
" This application for judicial review challenges an aspect of the decision rendered by the Copyright Board (the Board) on October 18, 2007. In this decision, the Board applied the exception in section 29 of the Copyright Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-42 (the Act) to the application to certify a tariff submitted by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) in respect of the offer made to consumers to listen by way of a preview to excerpts of musical works."
- Courts and the Copyright Board relying on CCH for interpreting fair dealings. This case relating to whether a website, selling digital music files, can offer a 30 second clip for free to consumers as part of Fair dealings for research purposes. Copyright Board said it was, and SOCAN went to federal court for review of decision.
- Parliament: House Government Bills, link to C-32
- Citizens: Launch of *.billc32.ca redirect to C-32 specific page on this site
- CanLII: Entertainment Software Association v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada,
2012 SCC 34
- CanLII: Rogers Communications Inc. v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada,
2012 SCC 35
- CanLII: Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Bell Canada, 2012 SCC 36
- CanLII: Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2012 SCC 37
- CanLII: Re:Sound v. Motion Picture Theatre Associations of Canada, 2012 SCC 38