Canada Launches Consultation on a Modern Copyright Framework for Online Intermediaries

From: Canadian Heritage

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the Copyright Act remains consistent with modern realities and that revenues of web giants are shared fairly with Canadian creators.

Building on the stakeholder engagement and committee reports from the 2019 Parliamentary Review of the Copyright Act and other research, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, are launching a public consultation today on Canada’s copyright framework for online intermediaries to make sure it reflects the evolving digital world.

As the distribution and use of copyright-protected content online have expanded and the services of online intermediaries have grown and diversified, it is important to ensure that Canada’s copyright framework for online intermediaries still achieves its underlying objectives. The Copyright Act must adapt to ensure that the use of copyright-protected content online is protected and individual rights and freedoms in an open Internet are safeguarded, while facilitating an environment where the digital market can thrive.

The Government is publishing a consultation paper that outlines potential options for stakeholder and public consideration. These options relate to intermediaries’ protections against liability for copyright infringement, rights holder remuneration models, transparency obligations and the effective enforcement of copyright.

The Government welcomes all comments providing additional perspectives or evidence concerning these issues and potential options. Participants have until May 31, 2021, to share their input.

Responses received will be made available following the consultation period and will help inform the Government’s policy development process as the Government considers how the Copyright Act needs to evolve and how the revenues of web giants can be shared more fairly with Canadian creators.

Quotes

“Our Government is committed to meaningful platform governance, including the modernization of the Broadcasting Act, a new framework for online harms, news media remuneration and copyright reform. These efforts will contribute to a healthier online environment for Canadians, creators and media. In the area of copyright, we need a more up-to-date framework to ensure more accountability and better remuneration and transparency.”

-The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“For Canada to have an innovative and flourishing digital economy, we must protect copyright online. With this consultation, we aim to strike the balance between facilitating broad, lawful access to copyright-protected content, and safeguarding individual rights and freedoms in an open Internet. We have launched this process to hear the diverse perspectives of stakeholders, from online intermediaries to those holding copyrights, as well as any Canadian who wants to share input, to make sure Canada maintains a balanced copyright framework.”

-The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • The Government is taking a phased approach to the review of the Copyright Act while considering the recommendations from the Parliamentary committees. From February 11 to March 31, 2021, the ministers consulted on how to implement Canada’s commitment under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement to extend the general term of copyright protection. An additional consultation on a modern framework for artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will be launched by summer 2021.

  • Online Intermediaries:

    Online intermediaries are entities that facilitate access to online content, including copyright-protected content, which vary widely in the services they offer as well as their size (for example, Internet service providers, “cloud” storage services, web hosts, social media and other public content-sharing platforms and search engines).

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things:

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology intended to replicate human thought by analyzing, learning and reacting to challenges without human direction. AI serves a role in software and technologies by customizing the user experience, simplifying the analysis of data or reducing the costs of human labour.

    Internet of Things (IoT) refers to networks of devices equipped with software and sensors that connect and exchange data with other devices using the Internet. Common IoT devices include smartphones, televisions and vacuums. IoT is also significant for the medical, agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

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