On July 16, 2021, the Government of Canada (the Government) launched a public consultation on a modern copyright framework for artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) with a view to informing policy development and ensuring that Canada’s copyright framework reflects the evolving digital world. Along with the consultation, the Government published a consultation paper that (i) raises the challenges to the copyright framework around AI and IoT; (ii) presents possible approaches to address them; and (iii) outlines questions to help guide the development of policy measures.

With respect to AI, the Government is seeking feedback on the following copyright policy issues:

  1. the use of copyrighted content as part of text and data mining (TDM) to train and develop AI applications, where there is (i) uncertainty as to the extent to which existing exceptions under the Copyright Act apply to TDM activity; and (ii) difficulty for copyright owners to enforce their rights and seek remuneration;
  2. the determination of authorship and ownership of AI-generated works or AI-assisted works, where Canadian copyright jurisprudence suggests that an author of a work must be a natural person who exercises skill and judgment in creating the work; and
  3. the infringement and liability surrounding AI-generated works, where it may be difficult to identify persons responsible for infringement and prove liability.

With respect to IoT, the copyright policy issues relate to the use of technological protection measures (TPMs) that control access to or use of digital copyrighted content (such as software). Specifically, the Government is interested in questions around how the presence of TPMs affect (i) consumers' ability to repair software-enabled products; and (ii) the development of software-enabled products that are interoperable with those of other manufacturers. 

The Government welcomes comments from the public to assist in developing possible copyright-related measures that address these copyright issues. The consultation is open until September 17, 2021 and further information on how to participate can be found here.

Summary By: Anna Troshchynsky


21 08 04

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