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Intellectual property law
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Canadian copyright law governs the legally enforceable rights to creative and artistic works under the laws of Canada. Canada passed its first colonial copyright statute in 1832 but was subject to imperial copyright law established by Britain until 1921. Current copyright law is established by the Copyright Act of Canada which was first passed in 1921 and substantially amended in 1988 and 1997. All powers to legislate copyright law are in the jurisdiction of the federal government by virtue of section 91(23) of the Constitution Act 1867.

Contents

History

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Colonial copyright law

It is unclear to what extent British copyright law, or imperial law, starting with the 1709 Statute of Anne applied to then colonies including Canada. The first Canadian colonial copyright statute was the 1832 Copyright Act, long title “An Act for the Protection of Copy Rights”, passed by the Parliament of the Province of Lower Canada, granting copyright to residence of the Province. The 1832 Copyright Act was short, and declared ambitions to encourage emergence of a literary and artistic nation and to encourage literature, bookshops and the local press. After the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec) were reunified to form the Province of Canada, the 1832 Copyright Act was repealed and with minor changes enacted as the 1841 Copyright Act, long title “An Act for the Protection of Copy Right in this Province”.[1]

The 1841 Copyright Act only granted copyright in books, maps, charts, musical compositions, prints, cuts and engravings. Copyright was only awarded if it was registered and a copy of the work deposited in the office of the registrar of the province before publication. The author or creator was required to be resident in the province in order to obtain copyright under the Act. Though the Act was unclear on whether the work needed to have been first published in the Province. The objective of the colonial copyright statutes was to encourage the printing of books in Canada, though this was not made explicit to avoid conflict with imperial copyright law, which was primarily designed to protect English publishers. Britain forcefully demanded guarantees that British and Irish subject were eligible for protection under Canadian colonial copyright law in the same way residence of the Canadian colony were.[2]

One year after Canada passed its colonial law on copyright, the UK Parliament passed a new imperial statute on copyright, the Copyright Act 1842. The statute explicitly applied to “all Parts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, all Parts of the East and West India, and all the Colonies, Settlements, and Possessions of the Crown which now are or thereafter may be acquired”. Any book published in London would therefore be protected by copyright law in the entire British Empire, including Canada, which was a young British colony.[3] The imperial Copyright Act 1842 had an immediate impact on Canada and became infamous because it effectively prohibited the importation and sale of reprints of any book under British copyright printed in other countries. Previously Canada had mostly imported books from the United States, but it was now unlawful for Canadian merchants to engage in this trade. Instead merchants were required to import books under British copyright from printers in Britain, though British market prices were unaffordable for most residents of Canada. As British publishers systematically refused to license books for printing to Canadian printers, the Canadian Government questioned the responsible self-government arrangement.[4] In a provocative move Canada passed “An Act to extend the Provincial Copyright Act to Persons Resident in the United Kingdom” in 1847, granting British authors protection only if their works had been printed and published in the Province of Canada. The 1841 and 1847 statutes were subject to minor revision in 1859 and the requirement for the works to be printed in Canada, buried in the text, was later noticed and denounced by the imperial British Government.[5]

June 1897 - "Music Pirates in Canada: American Publishers Say They Are Suffering by Copyright Violations There – Steps Taken for Redress. "Canadian pirates” is what the music dealers call publishing houses across the line who are flooding this country, they say, with spurious editions of the latest copyrighted popular songs. They use the mails to reach purchasers, so members of the American Music Publishers’ Association assert, and as a result the legitimate music publishing business of the United States has fallen off 50 per cent in the past twelve months.”]]

The British North America Act 1867 became Canada’s first constitution and granted the Federal Government power to legislate on matters such as copyright and patents. In 1868 the Canadian Federal Parliament passed “An Act respecting Copyrights” re-establishing the publication requirements of the 1847 statute, prompting demand from the British Government that Canada should revise its laws so as to respect imperial copyright law.[6] Under imperial copyright London printers had a monopoly and attracted most authors from the colonies to first publish with them because imperial copyright law granted protection in all colonies. London printers refused Canadian printers the license to print books first published in London and authors had little incentive to first publish in Canada, as colonial copyright law only granted protection in Canada. The Canadian Federal Government thought to further strengthen the Canadian print industry with a 1872 bill that would have introduced a projected licensing scheme that allowed for a reprinting of books under foreign copyright in exchange for a fixed royalty. The British Government opposed the bill and it never received Royal Assent.[7] In order to encourage the local printing and publishing industry Canada made a number of diplomatic and legislative efforts to limit the effects of the imperial Copyright Act 1842. In a compromise arrangement Canada passed the Copyright Act 1875 granting British authors protection under Canadian copyright law if they reprinted or republished their works in Canada. It received Royal Assent the same year and was subsequently amended in 1889, 1890, 1891, 1895, 1900 and 1906. The requirement of reprint and republication was always maintained. The Copyright Act 1921 eventually removed copyright from control of the UK Parliament.[8]

The Copyright Act of Canada

The first Copyright Act of Canada was passed in 1922 which came into force in 1924. Though Canada was no longer subject to imperial copyright law, it was closely modelled on the UK Copyright Act 1911. Until 1988 the Copyright Act of Canada saw only minor amendments while the Federal Government engaged in a number of studies on copyright reform. New technological developments and the emergence of computers, photocopiers and recording devices led to a recognition that copyright law needed to be updated. Between 1954 and 1960 the Royal Commission on Patents, Copyright, and Industrial Design, known as the Ilsley Commission, published a series of reports. Its brief was "to enquire as to whether federal legislation relating in any way to patents of invention, industrial designs, copyright and trademarks affords reasonable incentive to invention and research, to the development of literary and artistic talents, to creativeness, and to making available to the Canadian public scientific, technical, literary and artistic creations and other adaptations, applications and uses, in a manner and on terms adequately safeguarding the paramount public interest."[9][10]

In 1977 the Canadian department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (now Industry Canada) published the Keyes-Brunet Report, a working paper with the full title "Copyright in Canada: Proposals for Revision of the Law". In 1984 the Federal Government published "From Gutenberg to Telidon: A White Paper on Copyright" and in 1985 the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Communications and Culture published "A Charter of Rights for Creators - Report of the Subcommittee on the Revision of Copyright".[11]

Reform: Phase one 1988

Eventually a copyright reform process was initiated in two phases: Phase one was started in 1988 and saw several amendments to the original Copyright Act of Canada of 1922. Computer programs were included as works protected under copyright, the extend of moral rights was clarified, the provision for a compulsory license for the reproduction of musical works was removed, new licensing arrangements were established for orphan works in cases where the copyright owner could, and rules were enacted on the formation of copyright collecting societies and their supervision by a reformed Copyright Board of Canada.[12]

Reform: Phase two 1997

Phase two of the reform took place in 1997 and saw the Copyright Act of Canada amended with a new remuneration right for producers and performers of sound recordings when their work was broadcast or publicly performed by radio stations and public places such as bars. A levy was introduced on blank audio tapes used for private copying and exclusive book distributors were granted protection in Canada. New copyright exceptions were introduced for non profit educational institutions, libraries, museums, broadcasters, and people with disability, allowing them to copy copyrighted works in specific circumstances without the permission of the copyright owner or the need to pay royalties. Damages payable for copyright infringement and the power to grant injunctions were increased, and the 1997 reforms introduced a mandatory review of the Copyright Act of Canada.[13]

Bills to amend the Copyright Act

In June 2005, the government introduced Bill C-60 to amend the Copyright Act. The bill was never passed into law as Parliament was dissolved after a motion of non-confidence was passed in November 2005. In Summer 2008, the government introduced Bill C-61 in their continuing effort to update the Copyright Act, with many similarities to the previous Bill C-60 and the American DMCA. The bill dies before it passed into law when the Conservative government called an election in September 2008. On June 2nd, 2010, Bill C-32 was tabled.

Sources of law

Like most other common law countries there are no inherent rights to works, performances, or sound recording at the common law[clarification needed]. Copyright exists solely in statute. According to section 91(23) of the Constitution Act, 1867 the federal government is granted exclusive power to enact laws related to copyright. The evolution of copyright in Canada has been guided by international treaties signed by Canada that try to unify copyright laws across the globe.

Canada is a party to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 1886 and has signed but not yet ratified both the WIPO Copyright Treaty of 1996 and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty of 1996

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Gendrequ, Ysolde (2008). An emerging intellectual property paradigm: perspectives from Canada. Edward Elgar. pp. 110–111. ISBN 9781847205971. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V6guvIPozrEC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  2. ^ Gendrequ, Ysolde (2008). An emerging intellectual property paradigm: perspectives from Canada. Edward Elgar. pp. 111–112. ISBN 9781847205971. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V6guvIPozrEC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  3. ^ Gendrequ, Ysolde (2008). An emerging intellectual property paradigm: perspectives from Canada. Edward Elgar. pp. 110–111. ISBN 9781847205971. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V6guvIPozrEC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  4. ^ Gendrequ, Ysolde (2008). An emerging intellectual property paradigm: perspectives from Canada. Edward Elgar. pp. 108. ISBN 9781847205971. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V6guvIPozrEC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  5. ^ Gendrequ, Ysolde (2008). An emerging intellectual property paradigm: perspectives from Canada. Edward Elgar. pp. 111–112. ISBN 9781847205971. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V6guvIPozrEC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  6. ^ Gendrequ, Ysolde (2008). An emerging intellectual property paradigm: perspectives from Canada. Edward Elgar. pp. 113–114. ISBN 9781847205971. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V6guvIPozrEC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  7. ^ Gendrequ, Ysolde (2008). An emerging intellectual property paradigm: perspectives from Canada. Edward Elgar. pp. 114. ISBN 9781847205971. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V6guvIPozrEC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  8. ^ Gendrequ, Ysolde (2008). An emerging intellectual property paradigm: perspectives from Canada. Edward Elgar. pp. 114–115. ISBN 9781847205971. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=V6guvIPozrEC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  9. ^ Makarenko, Jay (13 March 2009). "Copyright Law in Canada: An Introduction to the Canadian Copyright Act". Judicial System & Legal Issues. Mapleleafweb. http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/copyright-law-canada-introduction-canadian-copyright-act#history. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Patents, Copyright and Industrial Designs, Royal Commission on". The Canadian Encyclopedi. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006135. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Makarenko, Jay (13 March 2009). "Copyright Law in Canada: An Introduction to the Canadian Copyright Act". Judicial System & Legal Issues. Mapleleafweb. http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/copyright-law-canada-introduction-canadian-copyright-act#history. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  12. ^ Makarenko, Jay (13 March 2009). "Copyright Law in Canada: An Introduction to the Canadian Copyright Act". Judicial System & Legal Issues. Mapleleafweb. http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/copyright-law-canada-introduction-canadian-copyright-act#history. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  13. ^ Makarenko, Jay (13 March 2009). "Copyright Law in Canada: An Introduction to the Canadian Copyright Act". Judicial System & Legal Issues. Mapleleafweb. http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/copyright-law-canada-introduction-canadian-copyright-act#history. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 

External links


Wikibooks

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

This text is intended to provide a overview of the core areas in Canadian Copyright law.

Contents

  • Moral Rights

Further Reading

  • Copyright Act
  • Roger T. Hughes, Hughes on Copyright and Industrial Design (Toronto: Butterworths) [looseleaf].
  • Normand Tamaro, Annotated Copyright Act (Toronto: Carswell, [annual]).
  • David Vaver, Intellectual Property Law: Copyright, Patents, Trademarks (Concord, Ont: Irwin Law, 1997).

See also


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