Canada Enacts Copyright Reform Legislation

Late last week, after a number of years of debate and consideration, Canada’s copyright reform bill was granted Royal Assent and enacted into law. Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, takes important steps toward updating Canada’s copyright system with the aim of implementing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty and the WIPO Copyright Treaty. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pleased that the Canadian government has enacted the copyright reform bill and believes the passage of Bill C-11 is a positive step forward in ensuring that important intellectual property (IP) rights for Canadian creators and innovators are protected.

In U.S. Chamber’s 2012 Special 301 Submission, it was noted that Canada had yet to enact modern-day copyright legislation that addressed online piracy effectively.  While Bill C-11 does not take all the steps urged by the Chamber to protect IP rights, it is a positive step forward in responding to these concerns. There are still a number of outstanding IP issues that the Canadian government must deal with to ensure that IP is properly protected and enforced, including further copyright reforms as well as matters beyond substantive copyright protection, such as providing customs officials with ex officio authority and clarifying certain restrictions in its data protection regulations for innovative pharmaceuticals. The Chamber looks forward to continued progress on IP matters in Canada, including in the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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