When the Act was last amended in 1997, a new section 92 ensured
that, within five years after its coming into force, the Minister
(Canadian Heritage) would report to both Houses of Parliament on
the operation of the Act and on recommendations for further
amendments. The Section 92 Report was therefore tabled on October
3, 2002 ("Supporting Culture and Innovation: Report on the
Provisions and Operation of the Copyright Act"). It identified
many areas where the Act needed to be amended further. Since then,
there have been four attempts at revising the Act: bill C-60 in
2005, bill C-61 in 2008, bill C-32 in 2010 and bill C-11 in 2011.
The first three bills died on the Order Paper as federal elections
were being called.
On March 15, 2012, a Special Legislative Committee reported bill
C-11 with amendments back to the House of Commons where it received
its Third Reading on June 18, 2012. It was immediately sent to the
Senate where it received its Second Reading on June 20 and was sent
to the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce committee. The
Senate's committee closed its deliberations on June 26 and the
bill was reported back to the Senate on June 27. In spite of last
ditch efforts by Canada's cultural industries to bring the
committee to amend its most grievous provisions, the bill that was
reported back to the Senate was identical to the bill passed by the
House of Commons.
The controversial bill received its Third Reading and received
Royal Assent on June 29.
Section 63 of the Act as amended provides that the Act will come
into force on a date fixed by order of the Governor in Council. It
is expected to become law in September. Corresponding regulations
are expected to come into force at the same time.
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The amendments will increase uncertainty, and will result in costly investigations associated with trademark clearance searches as well as risk analysis relating to opposition proceedings and infringement actions.