On February 11, 2021, the Government of Canada launched a consultation on how to implement an extended term of copyright protection in Canada in accordance with the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
Currently, the Copyright Act provides for a term of copyright protection of the life of the author plus 50 years. Under the CUSMA, which came into force on July 1, 2020, Canada agreed to extend the term of protection from 50 years to 70 years after the life of the author. Canada has until December 31, 2022 to extend the term of copyright protection.
The consultation paper states that some stakeholders have expressed concern that the extended term of protection may result in reduced access to works, and, in particular a 20 year period during which no works will enter the public domain. The consultation invites stakeholders to share their views on whether accompanying measures to term extension should be adopted, and if so, what measures should be considered. The consultation paper presents some possible approaches to facilitating access to orphan works and out-of-commerce works, including remuneration models or exceptions, such as exceptions for use of works during the final 20 years of protection.
The consultation is open until March 12, 2021. Please see the Government of Canada’s news release for more information on the consultation.
Summary By: Michelle Noonan
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