Canadian Government Launches National Copyright Consultation

Canada’s federal government announced national consultations on modernizing Canada’s Copyright Act, in advance of plans to introduce new copyright legislation this fall.

The consultation ends September 13, 2009. Those who wish to participate in the consultation have three (3) options, outlined in greater detail at the consultation’s website, www.copyrightconsultation.ca. Participation is restricted to Canadians.

Option 1: Responding to specific questions, submitting a paper or report via the consultation’s online submission centre.

Option 2: An online discussion forum, where participants can talk to the government and each other.

Option 3: Town hall meetings and round tables to be held in major Canadian cities. Participants can attend the town hall meetings in person (space permitting) or online. Recordings of the town hall meetings and round tables will be available at www.copyrightconsultation.ca for download in English and French.

There is skepticism as to whether the Canadian government will follow through on its plans to introduce copyright legislation this fall, as the last two copyright reform bills have died in parliament due to elections. There is speculation that there may be another election this fall.  Predictably, some welcome the consultation, while others believe that the government should skip the consultation and introduce copyright reform legislation. Canada’s Copyright Act was last revised in 2001.

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