Canada Also Getting Pushed By EU On Ridiculous Copyright Policies
from the make-it-stop dept
- Copyright term extension. The current term of copyright law in Canada is life of the author plus 50 years. This is consistent with the term requirements under the Berne Convention. The EU is demanding that Canada add an additional 20 years by making the term life plus 70 years.
- WIPO ratification. The EU is demanding that Canada respect the rights and obligations under the WIPO Internet treaties. The EU only formally ratified those treaties this week.
- Anti-circumvention provisions. The EU is demanding that Canada implement anti-circumvention provisions that include a ban on the distribution of circumvention devices. There is no such requirement in the WIPO Internet treaties.
- ISP Liability provisions. The EU is demanding statutory provisions on ISP liability where they act as mere conduits, cache content, or host content. ISPs would qualify for a statutory safe harbour in appropriate circumstances. There is no three-strikes and you're out language (which presumably originates with the U.S.).
- Enforcement provisions. The EU is demanding that Canada establish a host of new enforcement provisions including measures to preserve evidence, ordering alleged infringers to disclose information on a wide range of issue, mandate disclosure of banking information in commercial infringement cases, allow for injunctive relief, and destruction of goods. There is also a full section on new border measures requirements.
- Resale rights. The EU is demanding that Canada implement a new resale right that would provide artists with a royalty based on any resales of their works (subsequent to the first sale).
- Making available or distribution rights. The EU is demanding that Canada implement a distribution or making available right to copyright owners.
Resale rights are another huge problem. We were just discussing how Australia just added these. They're officially to "help" up-and-coming artists, but they do the opposite. They basically give fewer reasons for buyers to purchase art from up-and-coming artists (knowing that selling them for profit will be that much more difficult) and really only help the well-established artists who can easily make more money by creating new art and selling it at much higher prices. It, again, is a welfare system designed mainly to give more money to successful artists at the expense of up-and-coming artists.
But the bigger issue here, as pointed out by Geist, is that between both of these treaty negotiations, you're left wondering how come no one will let Canada create their own copyright laws? These treaties aren't about "harmonization" (the buzz word you hear), but about having global copyright law in a position where a single change in one country forces pretty much every other country to ratchet the levels up (and, yes, they do always go up).
Allowing countries to set their own copyright laws and policies is important. Because we've never had an evidence based copyright, and because there's growing evidence that draconian copyright laws can harm creative output, it would seem like a better solution would be to let different countries experiment with different copyright laws (or none at all...) to see what happens and what works best. Forcing all countries to align under identical copyright laws, entirely at the behest of a single industry, with provisions to regularly ratchet things up with no real review of the evidence seems immensely problematic.