Canada Seeks to Crack Down on Copyright Infringement

Ottawa’s Bill C-32 , the Copyright Modernization Act, is currently making its way through the Canadian Parliament. If it passes, it will bar Canadians from breaking digital locks on entertainment products—including music and movies—to duplicate the content. The bill also includes a “notice-to-notice” provision that allows copyright holders to warn internet service providers of suspected piracy. The service providers are then obliged to tell their customers that they are breaking the law. The bill is Canada’s attempt to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s treaty that it signed in 1997.

This bill is great news for copyright holders, intellectual property rights advocates, and innovators in general. As noted in the 2010 International Property Rights Index, “copyright piracy levels continued to be somewhat high for a well developed country – estimated at an average of 33 percent. As a result, the country was added to the “priority watch list” by the U.S. Trade Representative. Moreover, reflective of the lack of progress with respect to IPR protection is the fact that expert option on protection of intellectual property rights has deteriorated since 2009.” With Canada’s lax attitude towards IP protection, this new bill is a step in the right direction. It gives more power and protections to the people who help drive the Canadian economy.  
Canada remains one of the only developed countries not to have implemented internet protections agreed to in copyright treatys. Implementation of C-32 would be a positive step in combating IP theft and copyright infringement in Canada.