Remarks Announcing the Reintroduction of the Copyright Modernization Act
Honourable Christian Paradis, PC, MP
Minister of Industry
September 29, 2011
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Thank you all for joining us.
We are here today to announce the retabling of our Government's Copyright Modernization Act.
The reintroduction of this Bill today is the fulfillment of our commitment to introduce and seek swift passage of legislation to modernize Canada's copyright regime.
Our Government has diligently pursued an update to Canada's copyright legislation since coming to office. With the reintroduction of today's legislation, Canadians will soon have a modern and responsive copyright law for the digital age that protects and helps create jobs, promotes innovation, and attracts new investment to Canada.
This Bill is being introduced today alongside another important piece of legislation to modernize Canada's privacy regime — the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
Both of these Bills address the importance of having modern and effective laws in an increasingly digital economy — one that shows no signs of slowing.
Canadians, stakeholders, parliamentarians and our international partners have spoken loud and clear: Our laws need to be updated.
Simply put, the Copyright Act has not kept pace with the breakneck speed at which digital technologies are being developed and entering the market.
Our current law was designed years before smartphones became an everyday tool for most Canadians and before MP3 players changed the way we listen to our favourite artists.
It is older than most of the technologies we use today.
That fact alone, echoed by Canadians from all walks of life, tells us that change — measured, responsible, balanced change — is long overdue. The updated legislation will ensure that Canada's copyright laws are modern, flexible and in line with current international standards.
The Copyright Modernization Act will give Canadian businesses and creators the confidence they need to invest, knowing that their works will be protected. Knowing that those investments will translate into well-paying, highly skilled jobs for Canadians.
Our approach provides much-needed clarity on what is appropriate behaviour in the digital marketplace — something it has been lacking for too long.
We have designed this Bill not only to apply to the needs of today but also to be technologically neutral, which means that it will not be restricted to today's realities. It will remain adaptive and relevant for those technological discoveries yet to be made.
This Bill finally legitimizes the everyday activities that many Canadians have been doing for years.
Canadians will not be penalized for transferring their favourite novel or album onto their mobile device. They will now be able to upload the content they have created, like mashups, to Internet sites without facing punishment. Canadians will be able to download material from their online personal storage spaces without triggering a double payment.
Teachers will be able to deliver a modern and technology-driven education today, so their students can lead in the global economy of tomorrow.
The reintroduction of the Copyright Modernization Act represents a new balanced era for both artists and creators. Throughout our consultations with stakeholders and during last Parliament's committee hearings, we heard concerns about ensuring that this Bill would deliver what we had promised. And let me be clear: We listened. This Bill will protect consumers and encourage new ideas and innovations, while protecting the rights of Canadians whose research, development and artistic creativity contribute to the prosperity of all Canadians.
As the Minister of Industry, I am proud to say that, going forward, Canadian businesses and rights holders will have the confidence and protection they need to continue to invest in our digital economy and create jobs.
As a private citizen, I am happy to note that this Bill balances this protection with the recognition that Canadians ought to be able to access and enjoy the new technologies they use every day to their fullest potential.
We are confident that this Bill will make Canada's copyright laws forward-looking and responsive, stimulating job creation and encouraging the growth of our digital economy.
Thank you very much.
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