Canada: Amendments To The Copyright Act Proclaimed Into Force

On November 7, 2012, the majority of the provisions of the Copyright Modernization Act were proclaimed into force. The amendments are wide-ranging and represent the first major changes to the Copyright Act since 1997. The most significant changes to the Copyright Act now in force are as follows:

Technological Protection Measures

One of the cornerstones of the amendments to the Copyright Act is the introduction of provisions that prohibit the circumvention of technological protection measures ("TPM") or "digital locks", i.e. unauthorized descrambling, decryption, avoidance, bypassing, removal, deactivation and impairment of a TPM. This prohibition is a general and overriding provision that trumps many of the other exemptions provided for under the amendments. The prohibition on circumventing TPMs also encompasses offering services and providing any device designed primarily for the purpose of circumventing a TPM.

Where there is a breach of the anti-circumvention of TPM provisions, the owner of copyright is entitled to all remedies available in situations of infringement, except in limited circumstances such as statutory damages where the contravention was only for private purposes. In addition, the circumvention of a TPM triggers criminal sanctions for individuals who are found guilty of infringement in commercial contexts.

There are only limited exceptions to the prohibition on the circumvention of a TPM:

  • investigations related to law enforcement and national security
  • acts related to the interoperability of computer programs
  • encryption research
  • assessing the vulnerability of security of a computer, computer system or network
  • making a work perceptible to persons with perceptual disabilities
  • broadcasting undertakings
  • gaining access to a telecommunication service by means of the radio apparatus (i.e. "unlocking" cell phones)
  • verifying and preventing a TPM from collecting and communicating personal information about the user where the TPM was not accompanied by a notice of that fact and where the user was not provided with the option to prevent the collection and communication of his or her personal information.

Prohibition on File Sharing and Expan ded Rights for Performers and Sound Recording Makers

The amendments to the Copyright Act provide performers and sound recording makers with expanded rights, including the sole right to authorize the making available and communication of sound recordings to the public over the Internet. These amendments have the impact of prohibiting individuals from sharing digital music online.

The Copyright Act has also been amended to expand the scope of moral rights of performers in respect of the above rights while extending the term of copyright protection for performers in a sound recording to 50 years from the first publication of the sound recording or 99 years from the musical performance, whichever is earlier. For sound recording makers, the term of copyright protection in a sound recording is extended to 50 years from the first fixation or first publication of the sound recording. Copyright in a communication signal subsists for 50 years from when the communication signal is broadcast.

Statutory Damages for Copyright Infringement

The statutory damages provisions under the Copyright Act have been amended to make distinctions between commercial and non commercial infringements and provide copyright owners with the ability to elect statutory damages of: (1) $500 to $20,000 if all of the infringements are for commercial purposes; and (2) $100 to $5,000 if all of the infringements are for non-commercial purposes.

These amendments decrease the scope of statutory damages available to copyright owners against infringers since the prior version of the Copyright Act provided that a copyright owner could elect for statutory damages of between $500 to $20,000 per work infringed. The amendments limit such statutory damages in the case of non-commercial infringements from between $100 to $5,000 for all infringements in a single proceeding for all works infringed.

Anti-Piracy Provisions

The amendments make it an infringement of copyright for any person to provide a service that is designed primarily for the purpose of enabling acts of copyright infringement over the Internet, e.g. peer-to-peer (P2P) distribution.

Expanded Exceptions to the Infringement of Copyright

The amendments have introduced several new exceptions to the infringement of copyright: Expansion of the "Fair Dealing" Exception - By adding education, parody, and satire to the existing "fair dealing" exceptions for research, criticism, review or news reporting, and private study, the amendments have expanded the scope of the fair dealing exception to the infringement of copyright.

Non-Commercial User-Generated Content - "Mashups" - A new exception to the infringement of copyright now exists for non-commercial user-generated content, which permits an individual to use an existing copyright protected work in the creation of a new work in certain circumstances. This new exception exempts from infringement the creation, use, and dissemination of "mash-ups", i.e. a work created by combining or remixing two or more distinct works that are commonly found in the form of videos available on websites such as YouTube.

Reproduction for Private Purposes - "Format Shifting" - An individual may now reproduce a work for private purposes that amounts to "format shifting" under certain circumstances. However, this exception does not apply to reproductions of musical works onto an "audio recording medium", such as a CD, or if the reproductions are not later destroyed. There are also a number of uses that do not fall under the exception and are infringements of copyright, e.g. borrowing a CD and transferring the content from the CD to an iPod.

Reproduction for Later Listening or Viewing - "Time Shifting" - An individual may now under certain circumstances record using any recording device a broadcast television, radio or Internet program for the purpose of listening or viewing that program later. While the amendments allow for "time shifting", the exception does not apply to on-demand services where the user can receive the work, performance, and sound recording at a time of their choosing.

Backup Copies - An individual who owns or has a license to use a "source copy" of a work may now reproduce that source copy under certain circumstances. Where a backup is made in such cases, the backup copy becomes the source copy and the user is required to destroy all reproductions made.

Network Services - Limitation of Liability for ISPs - Essentially codifying the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in SOCAN v. CAIP, 2004 SCC 45, an ISP is exempted from the infringement of copyright when it acts solely as intermediaries in providing services related to the operation of the Internet and other digital networks, including communicating, hosting and caching activities, provided that the ISP does not modify the content in the process.

Temporary Reproductions for Technological Processes - An exception from infringement now exists for temporary reproductions of a work for technological processes if: (1) the reproduction forms an essential part of the technological process; (2) the reproduction's only purpose is to facilitate a use that is not an infringement of copyright; and (3) the reproduction only exists for the duration of the technological process.

Expanded Exceptions for Educational Institutions

The amendments also expanded the limited exception to infringement provisions applicable for educational institutions, such as:

Works Not Commercially Available - The amendments create an expanded exception to the infringement of copyright for an education institutions to reproduce a work provided that the work is not otherwise commercially available and that reproduction is done for the purposes of education or training on its premises.

Distance Education - Subject to certain conditions, an educational institution will now be permitted to disseminate over the Internet a "lesson" (i.e. all or part of a lesson, test, or examination) to students enrolled in a course provided by the educational institution. Students who have received such a lesson over the Internet are permitted to reproduce that lesson in order to listen or view it at another time, provided that the copy is destroyed 30-days after the student receives their final grades and provided no TPM is circumvented in the process.

Digital Reproduction - Subject to certain conditions, an educational institution that has a reprographic reproduction (i.e. photocopying) license with a collective society will be permitted to make a digital reproduction of the paper form and to communicate that digital reproduction over the Internet. The amendments include detailed provisions governing the application of this exception.

Works Available Online - Finally, the amendments allow educational institutions who, for educational or training purposes, reproduces, communicates or performs in public a work that is available through the Internet, provided that: (1) such acts are made in respect of services offered to students; (2) the source of the work is cited by the educational institution; (3) the work is not protected by a TPM and the Internet site does not feature a notice prohibiting such acts; and (4) the work was made available online without the consent of the author.

Expanded Exceptions for Libraries, Archives, and Museums

The amendments also expand on the limited exception to infringement provisions applicable to libraries, archives, and museums ("LAMs"). In particular, the amendments create an exception to the infringement of copyright for LAMs in respect of photocopies made for patrons on the basis of research or private study. These amendments require that the LAM limit the reproduction to a single work and require that the LAM inform the patron that the copy is only to be used for research or private study and that any other use may require authorization from the copyright owner.

While LAMs are permitted to make digital copies for a requesting patron who made the request from another LAM, the providing LAM is required to take measures to prevent the printing of more than one copy, communicating the digital copy to another person, and using the digital copy for more than 5 business days from the request.

Ownership of Copyright in Engravings, Photo graphs and Portrait s

The amendments repeal the provision under the previous regime, which provided that it is the person who commissions an engraving, photograph or portrait who is the first owner of copyright. The previous provision is replaced with the general provision that the author of a work is the first owner of copyright. The effect of this provision brings engravings, photographs and portraits in line with other works under the Copyright Act.

Private Copying Exemption for MicroSD Cards

On November 7, 2012, the government also enacted the MicroSD Cards Exclusion Regulations (Copyright Act), which will exclude MicroSD cards from the "private copying levy". MicroSD memory cards will now be exempt from the private copying levy since, as noted in the government's Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement that accompanied the Regulations, the government feared a negative impact on e-commerce business in Canada if such a levy was allowed.

Review of the Copyright Act by Parliament

The Copyright Act is to be reviewed by Parliament every five years.

Provisions Not Yet Proclaimed Into Force

As part of the Governor in Council's two-staged approach to bringing the amendments to the Copyright Act into force, there are certain provisions of the new law that are to be enacted at a later time, including:

Notice-and-Notice System for Claimed Infringement

This amendment, once introduced, will bring into force a "notice-and-notice" system that allows copyright owners to send a notice of claimed infringement in a specified format to an Internet services provider ("ISP").

Once a notice of claimed infringement is received, the ISP will then be required to forward that notice to the alleged infringer. Should an ISP fail to comply under this "notice-and-notice" system, the copyright owner is entitled to claim statutory damages against the ISP of between $5,000 to $10,000. This enactment will essentially bring into law what is already considered industry practice; however, the government is currently in the process of consulting stakeholders to prepare the accompanying Regulations, and no date for enactment has been specified.

Provisions Related to International Copyright Treaties

The amendments have delayed the coming into force of the provisions referring to the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) until the date that those treaties come into force in Canada.

About BLG

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Gowling WLG
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Gowling WLG
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions