Canadian Copyright Reform Legislation Introduced

The Canadian government introduced a long awaited copyright reform bill yesterday. Highlights of the proposed changes include:

  1. Prohibitions on breaking digital locks, even for personal use, with limited exceptions.
  2. Reduced fines for those who illegally download/upload pirated works on the Internet for non-commercial reasons (max. fine $5,000, as opposed to the current $20,000 maximum).
  3. Increased fines for pirate websites, with a separate penalty of up to $1 million for egregious cases where pirates crack digital locks for commercial purposes.
  4. Expanding the infringement exceptions to include parody/satire.
  5. Permitting video “mash ups” (i.e. blending one or more songs together).
  6. Legalizing common gray area practices such as backing up a music CD, home recording of TV shows for later viewing and copying legally acquired music to a digital music player.

Watch this space for a more detailed review of the proposed legislative changes.

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