• IP Monitor - The Copyright Act Has Finally Been Amended. Almost.
  • July 12, 2012 | Authors: Claude Brunet; Madeleine Lamothe-Samson
  • Law Firm: Norton Rose Canada LLP - Montreal Office
  • When the Act was last amended in 1997, a new section 92 ensured that, within five years after its coming into force, the Minister (Canadian Heritage) would report to both Houses of Parliament on the operation of the Act and on recommendations for further amendments. The Section 92 Report was therefore tabled on October 3, 2002 ("Supporting Culture and Innovation: Report on the Provisions and Operation of the Copyright Act"). It identified many areas where the Act needed to be amended further. Since then, there have been four attempts at revising the Act: bill C-60 in 2005, bill C-61 in 2008, bill C-32 in 2010 and bill C-11 in 2011. The first three bills died on the Order Paper as federal elections were being called.

    On March 15, 2012, a Special Legislative Committee reported bill C-11 with amendments back to the House of Commons where it received its Third Reading on June 18, 2012. It was immediately sent to the Senate where it received its Second Reading on June 20 and was sent to the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce committee. The Senate's committee closed its deliberations on June 26 and the bill was reported back to the Senate on June 27. In spite of last ditch efforts by Canada's cultural industries to bring the committee to amend its most grievous provisions, the bill that was reported back to the Senate was identical to the bill passed by the House of Commons.

    The controversial bill received its Third Reading and received Royal Assent on June 29.

    Section 63 of the Act as amended provides that the Act will come into force on a date fixed by order of the Governor in Council. It is expected to become law in September. Corresponding regulations are expected to come into force at the same time.