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Private Member’s Bill Proposes to Extend Copyright Term

On Friday, June 17, 2016, Conservative MP Peter Van Loan introduced Bill C-299, a private member’s bill entitled “An Act to amend the Copyright Act (term of copyright).” The bill proposes to amend the Copyright Act to extend Canada’s copyright term to life of the author plus 70 years. Presently, most works are protected under Canadian copyright law for the life of the author plus 50 years (with the exception of sound recordings and performer’s performances, which are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years).

Given that this bill was proposed by a Conservative MP, and not the Liberal government, one questions whether it will proceed through the House to the Senate. However, in light of the fact that the Copyright Act is scheduled for a review in 2017, the next year will likely be filled with heated discussions and policy decisions regarding copyright term extension, creators’ and users’ rights, as well as the tariff setting process at the Copyright Board.

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