On March 29, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology announced new details of the statutory review of the Canadian Copyright Act, mandated to take place every five years.

We now know that the Committee will hear testimony in three phases where representatives from creator and stakeholder groups, as well as legal experts, will be able to make their voices heard. The Committee is aiming to complete all three phases by early 2019.

  • Phase 1 will hear from “witnesses representing specific sectors of activity, including publishing, visual arts, software and telecommunications.”
  • Phase 2 will hear from “witnesses representing a range of stakeholders involved in multiple sectors of activity, such as Indigenous communities and various interest groups.”
  • Phase 3 will hear from “legal experts, including individual lawyers and academics, along with professional associations.”

In addition, creators from all over Canada will have opportunities to share their thoughts and views when the Committee travels across the country in May of 2018.

We encourage all those who signed the Focus On Creators letter, and all creators, to seize the opportunities available to them to be active and engaged in the review process. It is essential that creators be heard loud and clear.

Another opportunity that all Canadian creators should partake in is written submissions to the Committee. If you have never submitted a written brief to a House of Commons committee you can consult the Guide for Submitting Briefs to House of Commons Committees. Written submissions to the Copyright Act review must be no longer than 2,000 words and should be submitted to indu@parl.gc.ca.

Of particular interest to creators is that the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has invited the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to conduct a related study supporting the Copyright Act review on “remuneration models for artists and creative industries.”

We will continue to provide updates on the review and the various ways Canadian creators can take action as new details are made available.