(AFP) – Jun 2, 2010
OTTAWA — Canada unveiled new copyright legislation on Wednesday, two weeks after US lawmakers condemned Ottawa for failing to crack down on piracy of movies, music, videogames and other copyrighted works.
The new bill to bring Canada into the digital age will "legitimize behavior such as recording TV shows on PVRs (personal video recorders) and uploading songs," Industry Minister Tony Clement told reporters.
As well, it will ensure that "the work of Canadians who create video games, music, films and other creative works, is protected."
The amended law would make breaking a digital lock illegal, but enshrine into law the ability of consumers to record television shows to watch later, and copy music from a CD to their MP3 player.
As well, it would reduce an individual's exposure if sued for illegal downloading of music files from the current 500-20,000 Canadian dollars per song to a one-time payment of up to 5,000 Canadian dollars (4,800 US) for "all infringements" that occurred prior to the lawsuit.
"Today Canadians buy music, go to exhibitions and do a lot of things online. They use different formats and new technologies. Unfortunately, our laws have not kept pace," commented Heritage Minister James Moore.
"The last time that the copyright act was modernized we were still talking about video cassettes... (But) times have changed and the time has come to change our legislation as well," he said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government twice tried to strengthen Canada's current copyright legislation in 2007 and 2008, but both times the bills drew protests and failed to be passed by parliament.
Last month, Canada was lumped in with China, Mexico, Russia and Spain on a list of nations the United States considers to be the worst copyright violators.
Theft of intellectual property in the five nations was at "alarming levels," the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus said, placing them at the top of the "2010 International Piracy Watch List" for the second year in a row.
The new law, said the industry ministry, will bring Canada in line with international standards.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »