Canada extends copyright term by 20 years

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Canada extends copyright term for 20 years

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">This change allows Canada to meet a commitment under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.

No new books or plays will be added to the public domain until 2043 in Canada, as the federal government extended the term of copyright protection by 20 years just before the end of 2022.

< p class="e-p">Until December 30, copyright protection for original works of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic nature applied for the life of the ;artist, in more than 50 years after his death.

Now, the new regulations apply for the life of the artist and 70 years after their death.

This change allows Canada to meet a commitment made in the framework of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement and ensures that the same rule will be applied in Canada and the United States, where the period of 70 years after the death of the artist is in force since 1998.

This agreement gave Canada until December 31, 2022 to comply and it moved up that deadline by one day. In a statement from the office of Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, the government said the change also puts Canada on a level playing field with many other countries like the UK and the US. x27;Australia.

Canada will continue to do its part to protect the interests of artists, creators and rights holders, while continuing to balance the needs of the #x27;industry, indicates the statement.

This means that artistic works that may have been republished or reused without permission since January 1 will receive an additional 20 years of protection.

This has enabled, for example, many adaptations, reprints, ante-episodes and sequels to Anne of Green Gables, which entered the public domain in the United States in 1983 and in Canada in 1992. The Public Domain also allows libraries, museums and archives to freely use works for historical research purposes, including the online publication of archives of important documents of men politicians and world leaders.

For example, copyright protection for some of the writings of former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, who died in December 1972, will expire on December 1, 1972. January 2043.

Copyright protection is not retroactive, but applies to any author, composer or screenwriter whose works would have been added to the public domain by 2043, which means that for 20 years nothing new will be added to the public domain in Canada.

This period includes novels by Canadian authors such as Margaret Laurence and Gabrielle Roy, but also international writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and Roald Dahl.

Writers' associations are generally supportive of these changes, because the more certain creators are of being paid for their work, the more incentive they have to create.

Academics, librarians, archivists and museums, however, argue that this limits their ability to access and use hundreds of works, most of which no longer have any commercial value. The reality is that the vast majority of works that enter the public domain have very little, if any, commercial value, said Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Intellectual Property Law. #x27;Internet and Electronic Commerce at the University of Ottawa.

And that's one of the reasons why many x27;others are really confused by this extension, because so many works may have historic cultural value, but no longer have commercial value.

Mr. Geist also disputes the idea that the 50-year time frame after death stifles creation.

He explained that in his view no one shied away from writing a great novel in the past few years then woke up thinking he can now move on since their heirs have 20 more years of protection after his death. People just don't think that way, he says.

He said the added protection was of commercial benefit to a small number of people, and that could have been solved with an opt-in clause, or obtaining consent from rights holders. x27;works that still have commercial value. The latter could ask for an extension, gives the example of Mr. Geist.

He also said it extends the limits of access or use of so-called orphan works, those whose rights holder is not easily reached.

Mr. Geist also accused the government of burying the amendment by placing it at the bottom of a nearly 450-page budget bill last spring. The government has not highlighted the copyright law changes in any of its documents regarding this bill.

It does not. Nor was there a government announcement when the cabinet decided in November to set the effective date for December 30. In total, the government issued 3,998 press releases in 2022 and none of them related to changes to copyright law.

Many people have literally woken up over the past two days to this issue and are shocked to learn that this is something Canada planned and did because it received so little coverage and of attention, Mr. Geist concluded.

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