Bill C-11 Contains Positive Elements but Digital Lock Amendments Still Needed
OTTAWA, July 3, 2012 /CNW/ - While critical amendments are still needed, the Canadian Library Association (CLA) is pleased to see that the government has finally passed its long-awaited update to the Copyright Act, Bill C-11. The bill received Royal Assent on Friday.
CLA is disappointed that the digital locks provisions have remained unchanged; however, there are some positive elements to acknowledge in the new legislation, including fair dealing provisions for education, parody and satire, and improved user rights for people with perceptual disabilities.
"Copyright is a very complex issue, and we note the government's attempts to attain a balance between all of the competing interests," noted Victoria Owen, Chair of the CLA Copyright Advisory Committee. "The role of libraries is to facilitate the flow of information essential for access to research, ideas and innovation. Libraries meet societal needs the market cannot meet."
CLA believes that the government has missed an opportunity to introduce a truly balanced and nuanced information policy. The digital locks provision compromises the public interest by allowing content providers, not Parliament, to determine Canadian statutory rights. CLA will continue to press for amendments, particularly to allow circumvention of technical protection measures for non-infringing purposes.
A new provision in the Copyright Act stipulates that the Act will be reviewed every five years by a committee of Parliament.
"The CLA Copyright Advisory Committee is to be commended for its vigorous and unwavering efforts to provide input to the federal government on this legislation, and to keep the library community apprised of its potential impacts on access to information," stated CLA President Karen Adams. "This legislation has been many years in the making, and our Copyright Committee has been engaged at every stage to try to influence the best possible outcome for Canadian library users. Our community should be pleased with the results of these efforts."
CLA extends thanks to the dozens of Members of Parliament who have met with library representatives in Ottawa and in their ridings to discuss Bill C-11.
CLA will continue to work with libraries across the country to provide guidance on the implementation of the new legislation, and to track specific aspects of the provisions in C-11 to determine their impact.
The Canadian Library Association is Canada's largest national library association, representing the interests of approximately 57,000 library staff in libraries of all kinds, as well as all those concerned with enhancing the quality of life for Canadians through access to knowledge, literacy and lifelong learning.
For further information:
Kelly Moore, CLA Executive Director, at 613-232-9625 or [email protected].