COPYRIGHT BABY STEPS NOT ENOUGH
For immediate release, Wednesday, June 18, 2014 – TORONTO, ON – The Canadian Federation of Musicians reacted to the June 17th announcement of the Notice and Notice Regime being enacted in Canada. “Industry Minister James Moore and Minister of Heritage and Official Languages Shelley Glover have ensured that Canada’s so-called Copyright Modernization Act continues to lag behind other countries”, lamented Alan Willaert, AFM Vice-President from Canada. “For Creators in Canada, the onus is still upon them to discover, identify and litigate when their intellectual property has been infringed upon. This is both a lengthy and costly process.”
Canada has finally ratified the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) WCT and WPPT (WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty), which will be enacted on August 13th of 2014. However, these treaties allow for “National Treatment”, which means a country can decide the level of compliance it wishes to enforce. As of January, 2015, under this Notice and Notice Regime, the ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) are only required to notify a user if piracy is discovered, and then notify them again if the infringement does not cease. In stark contrast, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in force within the United States allows for a site to be taken down after initial notification, should the user still be infringing.
“Canada continues to lag behind the rest of the world. Two years after inception, we have still not signed on or ratified the Beijing Treaty, which provides for protection of audiovisual performances”, continued Willaert. Canada’s Copyright Act is scheduled for a five year review in 2017, at which time the CFM is hopeful that a number of improvements can be made, allowing for greater protection of Canadian Creators and a higher level of compliance with existing treaties.
The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) is the Canadian division of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM). Every day, CFM helps thousands of musicians with any number of issues related to the recording and performing of their craft including assistance with contract negotiations and specialized services ranging from immigration to media recordings to touring. The AFM and its 25 chartered locals across Canada negotiate agreements for their members which protect ownership of recorded music and secure benefits such as health care and pension. AFM actively lobbies government on Copyright reforms as well as other matters of interest to professional musicians living in Canada. Drawing on the experience and strength of its more than 90,000 members, with over 17,000 active musicians in Canada alone, the AFM’s mission is to assist its membership to optimize the level of their professional working environment at every stage in their careers.
Victoria Lord, VLPR Inc.
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