Copyright law: Episode III, the saga continues

So the saga of Bill C-32 continues in Parliament with many wondering if it makes sense to push through such a landmark piece of legislation before the Christmas break. The Bill passed second reading on November 5 and is now in Legislative Committee, with a few committee meetings already completed.

The Committee will consider further amendments to the proposed bill. The activity has been at a high pace on Parliament Hill recently with hearings allowing interested parties to make submissions on various aspects of the Bill.

As expected, the main debate is surrounding the digital locks (anti-circumvention measures; see my previous blogs on this issue of copyright law:  Episode I, Episode II) but other controversial issues are currently being discussed (e.g. proposed private copying levy as an indirect way to compensate copyright owners for illegal copying and fair dealing expansion for educational use of copyrighted material).

It appears that we may have a new Canadian copyright regime in place for 2011 but if an election is looming (and some say it is) I would not be surprised if this again bites the dust for yet another time. The Government of Canada though seems determined to get this legislation through the House before the holiday break; we can only hope it is well thought out and balanced in its approach to some very difficult issues with broad impact for the digital media sector in Canada.