Canada's copyright reform process took a significant step
forward this week as the House of Commons passed Bill C-11, An
Act to Amend the Copyright Act (also referred to as the
Copyright Modernization Act). After passing the Bill on
Monday evening with 158 votes, the House promptly sent it to the
Senate for consideration. Interestingly, the Senate sat late into
the night to give C-11 an immediate first review (known as First
Reading) and ordered that it undergo Second Reading today.
While it is difficult to predict with certainty exactly when the
Bill will become law, its passage yesterday by the House and the
swift actions by the Senate suggest that the remaining steps of the
legislative process should move very quickly. Once the Bill
receives Second Reading, it will be referred to the Senate Banking,
Trade and Commerce Committee for further review. However, it is not
clear whether the Committee will entertain material amendments to
the Bill. Current indications suggest that the Bill is likely to
receive Third Reading and be passed before the Senate rises for the
summer recess on June 29. If so, Bill C-11 could have Royal Assent
before the end of the month and come into force shortly
The passage of Bill C-11 by the House is an important milestone
in a process intended to bring Canada's Copyright Act,
which has not been significantly updated since 1997, into
compliance with international standards and treaties. Among other
things, the Bill would introduce a "making available"
right for works, performances and sound recordings, new remedies
against services that enable online copyright infringement online,
and new prohibitions on the circumvention of technological
protection measures. It would also expand the existing fair dealing
exception to include parody, satire and education and create new
exceptions for uses ranging from reproduction for private purposes
to the non-commercial creation and dissemination of user-generated
For the full text of Bill C-11 as passed by the House this week,
click here. Previous Cassels Brock coverage of
Canada's copyright reform process can be found
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A recent Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench decision allowed a court-appointed receiver to sell and transfer intellectual property rights free and clear of encumbrances, finding that a license to use improvements of an invention was a contractual interest and not a property interest.
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