FAQ on privacy and copyright issues raised by photography-related activities.
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In 2002, the European Commission and the Government of Canada agreed
to “design a new type of forward-looking, wide-ranging bilateral trade agreement covering…new generation issues and outstanding trade barriers.”
On May 6, 2009, Canada and the European Union (EU) announced the launch of formal negotiations towards the new trade and investment agreement, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
CETA is intended to build upon previous economic cooperation agreements between Canada and the EU, starting with the 1976 Framework Agreement for Commercial and Economic Co-operation, as well as the 1998 EU-Canada Trade Initiative.
While the scope of CETA is broad, this F.A.Q. will focus on intellectual property issues.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or "ACTA", is a controversial trade agreement negotiated by a number of nations, including Canada. ACTA addresses standards of enforcement of intellectual property rights. ACTA's content has the potential to impact civil liberties and divert public resources towards the enforcement of private rights.
Bill C-61 was a bill to amend Canada's Copyright Act. The bill died on the order paper with the election of 2008. However, the present government has indicated in its Throne Speech that it intends again to introduce legislation to amend the Copyright Act. Accordingly, we keep this FAQ available to the public.
Over the past few years, file-sharing - i.e., the sharing of files over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks - has become a popular way for music lovers to sample and gather music from a wide range of performers. However, most of the music downloaded and shared by consumers is copyrighted and hence, subject to laws limiting the rights of consumers to reproduce and distribute it.
Digital Rights Management (DRM), also sometimes called ECMS, or electronic copyright management systems, are technologies designed to automatically manage rights in relation to information. This can include preventing copyright works and other information from being accessed or copied without authorization and establishing and enforcing license terms with individuals.
Copyright is a system of laws for promoting both the creation of and access to artistic, literary, musical, dramatic and other creative works. It is usually presented as a balance between promoting the public interest in the encouragement of the creation and dissemination of works of the arts and intellect, and obtaining a just reward for the copyright holder
Bill C-60 was a proposal to amend Canada's Copyright Act. The Bill died on the order paper with the fall of the Martin government in 2005. However, the issues that motivated the government to table this Bill remain with us.
On March 4, 2004 the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the case of Law Society of Upper Canada v. CCH Limited  S.C.J. No. 12, (2004) 236 D.L.R. (4th) 395 holding (i) that the Copyright Act's fair dealing exception should be liberally interpreted to prevent undue restraint of users' rights and (ii) that the provision of self-service photocopiers does not equal an infringement of copyright.
The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments on Dec.3, 2003 from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and music industry representatives in an important case that will decide, among other things, the extent to which Canadian ISPs are liable for content flowing through their networks, and the extent to which foreign actors who target communications to Canadians may be liable under the Canadian Copyright Act.
CIPPIC is seeking leave to intervene is SOCAN v. Bell, a copyright case that will consider the scope of fair dealing for research purposes. Also known as the Apple iTunes case, it is specifically about whether listening to short music previews is a research activity protected as fair dealing under the Copyright Act. CIPPIC is of the opinion that it is consumer research protected by fair dealing, as well as by the interaction of fair dealing with freedom of speech under the Charter.
Following through on its threat, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) launched a lawsuit in the Federal Court (Trial Division), in Toronto Ontario, on February 10, 2004 against 29 unnamed alleged music file-sharers.
To better understand the basics of copyright law, Prof. Samuel E. Trosow (Western Ontario University)
presents to us his master class: Introduction to Copyright Law and prospects for new legislation.
In 2005, parliament considered revisions to the Copyright Act
in order to ensure that Canada's copyright framework remained relevant in the rapidly changing digital environment. The Canadian government introduced a long-awaited bill to amend the Copyright Act on June 20, 2005.
As Parliament considers legislated protection of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies (designed to detect and stop copying of digital works), the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has indicated her intent to "initiate a dialogue" with the departments of Heritage Canada and Industry Canada "to ensure that privacy risks" associated with any copyright legislation "are addressed." Some of the Commissioner's provincial counterparts have signaled their support of her initiative.
On May 12, 2004 the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, chaired by Sarmite D. Bulte, M.P. released an interim report listing a number of recommended reforms to Canadian copyright law. The first round of hearings for the report were launched in October 2003 where the Committee heard from a panel of invited witnesses including representatives from Canadian Heritage, Industry Canada, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, the Canadian Association of Internet Providers and the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association among others. As a result of these consultations, the Committee came up with a number of recommendations.
In September 2003, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage ("Heritage Committee") began its review of the Section 92 report published by Industry Canadain October 2002.