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Cablegate: Government of Canada Introduces Act to Amend

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DE RUEHOT #0794/01 1642019
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FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8018
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000794

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STATE FOR WHA/CAN AND EEB/TPP/IPE
STATE PASS USTR FOR MELLE, SULIVAN, AND GARDE
COMMERCE FOR SEBASTIAN WRIGHT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR CA
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA INTRODUCES ACT TO AMEND
COPYRIGHT ACT - AT LAST

REF: OTTAWA 586

1. (U) On June 12, the Government of Canada introduced Bill
C-61, An Act to amend the Copyright Act. This action had
been long awaited. Minister of Industry Prentice
characterized the bill as a "unique, made-in-Canada approach
to copyright reform...(which will) improve the protection of
cultural and intellectual property in Canada." Canadian
Heritage Minster Verner said "These proposed amendments
represent the first major reform of the Copyright Act in more
than a decade."

2. (U) Since Parliament is expected to adjourn for summer
recess by the end of next week, hearings on the bill in the
House of Commons Industry Committee are not expected until
fall. We expect that the hearings will last several months.
If the Prime Minister prorogues (adjourns and clears all
outstanding legislation from) Parliament as rumored, then the
bill would die on the table and would need to be reintroduced
in the fall.

3. (U) Stakeholders have begun analyzing the lengthy and
complex document but have not yet issued substantive
comments. Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa Law
Professor and influential critic of reforming the Copyright
Act, claims that the Canadian Act "is a close model of the
U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)" and the Act's
"digital lock provisions are worse (stronger) than the DMCA."

4. (U) The Embassy emailed the text of the bill to relevant
Washington Agencies and will report reactions to the
legislation in septel.


5. (U) Text of Industry Canada press release:

Government of Canada Proposes Update to Copyright Law:
Balanced Approach to Truly Benefit Canadians
OTTAWA, June 12, 2008 --Today the Government of Canada
introduced long-overdue and much-needed amendments to the
Copyright Act that will bring it in line with advances in
technology and current international standards.

"Our government has committed to ensuring Canada's copyright
law is up to date, and today we are delivering by introducing
this "made-in-Canada" bill that balances the interests of
Canadians who use digital technology and those who create
content," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of
Industry. "It's a win-win approach because we're ensuring
that Canadians can use digital technologies at home with
their families, at work, or for educational and research
purposes. We are also providing new rights and protections
for Canadians who create the content and who want to better
secure their work online."

"These proposed amendments represent the first major reform
of the Copyright Act in more than a decade. In that time, the
Internet and other new technologies have radically changed
the way we produce and access copyright material," said the
Honourable Jose Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage,
Status of Women and Official Languages and Minister for La
Francophonie. "Canadians are known around the world for their
creativity and ingenuity, and many of their ideas are found
in the books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we
watch, and the new digital technology we use in our
day-to-day lives. Our balanced copyright reform builds on
these successes."

Today's announcement follows the government's commitment in
the 2007 Speech from the Throne to proceed with copyright
reform. The proposed amendments include:

new exceptions that will allow Canadian consumers to legally
record television shows for later viewing and copy legally
Qrecord television shows for later viewing and copy legally
acquired music onto other devices, such as iPods or
cellphones;

new exceptions for some educational and research purposes;

new rights and protections for those who create content; and

provisions to address the liability of Internet service
providers and the role they should play in curbing
copyright-infringing activities on their networks.

Four principles motivated the government in the development
of the proposed changes to the Copyright Act:

OTTAWA 00000794 002 OF 002

1. The rights of those who hold copyright must be balanced
with the needs of users to access copyright works.

2. The Copyright Act must provide clear, predictable and fair
rules to allow Canadians to derive benefits from their
creations.

3. The Copyright Act should foster innovation in an effort to
attract investment and high-paying jobs to Canada.

4. Canada must ensure that its copyright framework for the
Internet is in line with international standards.

These amendments to the Copyright Act are part of the
government's broader intellectual property strategy, which
includes the recent amendments to the Criminal Code to combat
movie piracy and the announcement that Canada will work with
other international trading partners towards a possible
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

For more information, please visit the Copyright Reform
Process website at
http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/crp-prda.nsf/en /home.

End Text

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

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