First Government response to a batch of Petition signatures

I received scanned images (Page 1, Page 2 in JPEG format, both pages and text in OpenDocument format) from the Legislative Assistant to David McGuinty. After meeting with Mr McGuinty he asked the Private Members office if any response was received. The response is dated June 6, but the current assistant was not with the office at that time and can not comment on whether the office was notified at that time.

I will write my own response to this "response", which seems to have largely ignored our petition.

Petition No. 381-1037 By: Mr. McGuinty Date: May 6, 2005

Response by the Minister of Industry (Signed by D L Emerson)
Subject: Copyright Act.
Dated: June 6, 2005

Industry Canada

The Copyright Act is an important marketplace framework law and cultural policy instrument that supports creativity and innovation. As such, it is important that the law maintains an appropriate balance between the rights of copyright owners, and the needs of intermediaries and users.

To this end, on March 24, 2005 the government announced its intention to update the Act to ensure that Canada has a copyright framework that enables all copyright stakeholders to address the challenges and opportunities of the Internet and digital technologies. The government is working on a bill with a view to introducing it in Parliament later this spring which will:

  • enhance the protection of works in the on-line environment through implementation of the obligations set out in the two World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaties, both to address infringement and to enable the development of new business models;
  • help to enable the use of digital technology as it applies to certain limited applications in learning and research; and
  • clarify the copyright liability of Internet service providers.

The government has consulted extensively on these issues, starting in 2001. More than seven hundred submissions were received, and the issues were discussed at length before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in 2003 and 2004.

The Government of Canada also plans to launch public consultations after the tabling of the bill, on both the educational use of publicly available Internet material, and on the private copying regime. The Government looks forward to hearing the views of all interested stakeholders.

Copyright reform is an on-going process. The proposed package of amendments for the upcoming bill represents the Government's response to its short term priorities, as set out in the Government's report entitled Supporting Culture and Innovation: Report on the Provisions and Operations of the Copyright Act, tabled in Parliament on October 2002. Once the bill is tabled, the Government intends to turn its attention to its medium term priorities including the collective management of copyright and access issues not addressed in the bill.

The Government wishes to thank the petitioners for drawing attention to these important copyright issues and looks forward to hearing from all Canadians, whether rights holder, intermediary or user of copyright material, as it moves forward with its reform agenda.