As part of the proposed 2015 federal budget, tabled yesterday,
the Canadian government announced that it intends to extend the
term of copyright protection for sound recordings and
performers' performances to 70 years. The announcement was
worded as follows:
Protection of Sound Recordings and Performances
Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to amend the Copyright Act
so that the term of protection of performances and sound recordings
is extended from 50 years to 70 years following the date of the
release of the sound recordings.
The mid-1960s were an exciting time in Canadian music, producing
many iconic Canadian performers and recordings. While songwriters
enjoy the benefits flowing from their copyright throughout their
lives, some performers are starting to lose copyright protection
for their early recordings and performances because copyright
protection for song recordings and performances following the first
release of the sound recording is currently provided for only 50
Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to amend the Copyright
Act to extend the term of protection of sound recordings and
performances from 50 to 70 years following the first release of the
sound recording. This will ensure that performers and record labels
are fairly compensated for the use of their music for an additional
The government has not yet indicated how it intends to implement
the proposed amendments, including whether protection will be
extended retroactively to recordings or performances that have
already fallen into the public domain. There appears to be no plan
to extend the term of protection for literary, dramatic, musical,
and artistic works, for which the existing term of protection
– the life of the author plus 50 years – is generally
much longer than for sound recordings and performers'
When enacted, the proposed amendments will bring the term of
protection for recordings and performances in Canada in line with
most of its major trading partners. This will help ensure that
performers and record labels continue to be compensated for the use
of their recordings not only in Canada but also in many other
countries where the benefit of a 70-year term of protection is only
extended to rightsholders whose home countries provide for at least
the same term.
The government also announced its intention to amend the Copyright
Act to implement and accede to the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty, which is
designed to facilitate access to published works for people who are
blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled. While Canada
has not yet signed the treaty, which was adopted in 2013, it stands
to become one of the first countries to ratify it once the planned
amendments are implemented.
The proposed changes come in the wake of two other major rounds of
amendments to the Copyright Act in recent years: the
Copyright Modernization Act, enacted in 2012, and the
Combating Counterfeit Products Act, enacted in 2014.
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.
The Federal Court dismissed a motion by Apotex seeking particulars from Allergan's pleading relating to the prior art, inventive concept, promised utility and sound prediction of utility of the patents at issue.
Last year we saw the Canadian Courts release trademark decisions that granted a rare interlocutory injunction, issued jailed sentences for failure to comply with injunctive relief, grappled with trademark and internet issues...
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).