July 1, 2012 @ 22:00:00
Copyright Modernization Act Receives Royal Assent
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On June 29, 2012, Copyright Modernization Act finally received Royal Assent. It is expected to come into force in the next few months by order of the Governor in Council.

I have also created a revised version of the Copyright Act consolidated with all amendments.

I have consciously refrained from commenting its provisions before it became final. In my opinion, the biggest problem with the Copyright Modernization Act is that it never answered the question of why we have copyright laws at all. I wrote about it in more detail in my article Modernization of the Inconceivable.

The current reform is hardly more than a spineless compromise. To me, it looks like it was borne out of a discussion went like this: “Let’s take this right from this group of people and give it to that group of people. But in order for us to be able to do it without creating too much of a stir, let’s also take this right from that group of people and give it to this group of people. Nobody’s going to be happy, but we have a chance of finally pushing this through the Parliament.”

The resulting Act is even more unreadable than the current one. The order of provisions and their numbering was and remains highly illogical. Only now it is even more so.

Some of the provisions are horrible from the linguistic point of view. For example, s. 19(1) now reads as follows:

    (1) Right to remuneration – Canada

      If a sound recording has been published, the performer and maker are entitled, subject to subsection 20(1), to be paid equitable remuneration for its performance in public or its communication to the public by telecommunication, except for

      (a) a communication in the circumstances referred to in paragraph 15(1.1)(d) or 18(1.1)(a), if the person entitled to the equitable remuneration is entitled to the right referred to in those paragraphs for that communication; and

      (b) any retransmission.

Who’s entitled to what?

Unfortunately, regardless of what I or anybody else thinks about the new law, creators, businesses and lawyers will have to live by it.

This is why, having been silent on the changes to the Copyright Act before, I will now be publishing a series of blog posts explaining my position on each and every amendment, as to whether it makes the Act better or worse.

Categories:Intellectual Property:Copyright
Additional Tags:New Copyright Act
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