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Bill C-32 Update: Canadian Content – free today, gone tomorrow

November 5, 2010 – We all want to be able to access content when and where we want. But it can’t be for free. In an ideal world, content would be easy to access and creators would get paid.

Unfortunately the Conservative government’s proposed new copyright laws, Bill C-32, is less than ideal. It gives consumers new access to content by legalizing things like format, time-shifting and private copying, but fails to compensate creators for copying or other new uses.

As a result, Bill C-32 will weaken copyright for creators and eliminate the tools that many artists rely on to protect their work and make a living like the private copying levy. Copies have value, they shouldn’t be free. Bill C-32 eliminates millions of dollars currently being paid to artists whenever their work is copied. And if creators can’t make a living, they can’t keep making the content we enjoy.

In an increasingly borderless world with almost unlimited access to content from around the world, it is critical that Canadians be able to share our own stories and artistic creations to preserve our unique cultural identity and understand what is going on in our communities.

Canadian content is the future; it’s up to you to help protect it. Let’s work together to amend Bill C-32 for Canadians AND creators.

ACTRA’s Proposed Amendments to Bill C-32:

Extend the private copying levy to digital audio recorders
Bill C-32 is not truly technologically neutral as it fails to extend the private copying levy to digital audio recorders. As blank CDs and cassettes become obsolete the levy will cease to exist, eliminating millions of dollars in revenue artists currently rely on to innovate and create new content.

Remove the ‘mash-up’ provision from the bill.
Bill C-32 makes it legal for Canadians to remix creative content into new works. This mash-up provision could allow third party providers, such as Youtube, to benefit financially from these creations but fails to compensate creators, all the while trampling on their economic and moral rights. No other country in the world has a law like this that gives away creators’ rights – let’s make sure Canada doesn’t either.

Put the brakes on the fair dealing expansion
The Bill says any material used for education should be free, without defining ‘education’. Institutions pay the full cost of desks, computers and teacher salaries, why would they not pay for the content deemed valuable enough to use in their classrooms?

Make those who enable online theft pay
Bill C-32 exempts illegal file sharing sites that facilitate online piracy worth millions of dollars from statutory damages.

Make ISPs do their part
The bill’s notice-and-notice regime has no teeth. We need to put greater responsibility on ISPs for their role in copyright infringement.

Make broadcasters pay their fair share, keep the Broadcast Mechanical provisions

By removing the Broadcast Mechanical provision, Bill C-32 kills the collective licence broadcasters have used for years, when paying to make copies of the music they use, once again taking money out of creators’ pockets. Broadcasters make millions in profit from playing music that artists create, why should they get a free ride?

Learn More:

WATCH! Canadian writers speak out on C-32

Op Ed by Yannick Bisson: As published in Playback

Press Release: Performers Urge MPs to Fix Bill C-32

ACTRA’s Amendments to Bill C-32

Private Copying Levy: Q and As

A Response to Michael Geist

CCA Position Paper on Bill C-32: Creators Speak Out Against Copyright Bill

FACT CHECK: Ministers Moore and Clement on the Private Copying Levy


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