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2011 Copyright Reform?

September 9, 2011

With Parliament set to resume soon, Heritage Minister James Moore says he is prepared to reintroduce amendments to the Copyright Reform Act, the previously called Bill C-32, before Christmas 2011. However, the Supreme Court of Canada has said that it will hear a series of cases about copyright, which could either directly impact the proposed legislation, or delay its re-introduction.  One of the issues that will be heard by the SC emantes from educators, in a consideration over whether grade school teachers who make copies of textbooks should be shielded from paying tariffs. According to a CP report, “NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus said the government should be listening to criticism of the bill and making changes before it is forced to by the courts”.

Moore says that there will be no more consultation on the proposed legislation, and a legislative committee will be struck to review the material.

Bill C-32 has been heavily criticized for its strong digital locks provisions, a direct submission to the US copyright legislation.  Michael Geist released information wherein US government cables released by Wikileaks  

show a stunning willingness by senior Canadian officials to appease American demands for a U.S.-style copyright law here.

The documents describe Canadian officials as encouraging American lobbying efforts. They also cite cabinet minister Maxime Bernier raising the possibility of showing U.S. officials a draft bill before tabling it in Parliament.

The cables, from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, even have a policy director for then industry minister Tony Clement suggesting it might help U.S. demands for a tough copyright law if Canada were placed among the worst offenders on an international piracy watch list. Days later, the U.S. placed Canada alongside China and Russia on the list.

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