Skip to main content Start of content

HERI Committee Meeting

Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.

For an advanced search, use Publication Search tool.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at accessible@parl.gc.ca.

Previous day publication Next day publication

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


EVIDENCE

CONTENTS

Thursday, October 9, 2003




Á 1200
V         The Chair (Mr. Clifford Lincoln (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.))

 1200
V         Mr. Bruce Stockfish (Director General, Copyright Policy, Department of Canadian Heritage)

 1205
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Bruce Stockfish

 1210

 1215
V         Ms. Susan Bincoletto (Director, Intellectual Property Policy, Department of Industry)

 1220

 1225

 1230

 1235

 1240
V         Mr. Paul Bonwick (Simcoe—Grey, Lib.)
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Paul Bonwick
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Bruce Stockfish
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Paul Bonwick
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Paul Bonwick
V         The Chair

 1245
V         Ms. Susan Bincoletto
V         The Chair
V         Ms. Susan Bincoletto
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Bruce Stockfish
V         The Chair
V         Ms. Susan Bincoletto
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Bruce Stockfish

 1250
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Bruce Stockfish
V         The Chair










CANADA

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


NUMBER 050 
l
2nd SESSION 
l
37th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Thursday, October 9, 2003

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

Á  +(1115)  

[English]

+

    The Chair (Mr. Clifford Lincoln (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.)): Madam Bincoletto, Monsieur Cloutier, Mr. Stockfish, Madam Bouvet, welcome again. Sorry for the delay. It took much longer than we thought it would take to get motions approved about the budget and so forth. It's always the case that members want to find out....

    So we don't have very much time for you, and there you have it. We've also lost a few players along the way.

    Mr. Stockfish, we're ready to listen to you.

  +-(1200)  

+-

    Mr. Bruce Stockfish (Director General, Copyright Policy, Department of Canadian Heritage): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and good morning, members.

    On Tuesday we presented background information on the Copyright Act--the legal provisions, the principles underlying the act, the various players interested in copyright, the international scene--as a bit of a foundation for the various issues at play. That's what we propose to talk to you a little bit about today.

    What are those issues? We presented over forty outstanding issues in chapter 2 of the section 92 report. Even that list is not exhaustive. Today we intend to talk to you about our reform process to deal with those issues; the status of the reform, which issues we're dealing with, the short-term issues; and the next steps that the government proposes to take with regard to that process.

    We've prepared for you a short deck, part II, which is being distributed now, I understand. I will speak to the first part of the deck, and then I will turn it over to my colleagues, Madam Bouvet and Madam Bincoletto, to discuss the issues, the short-term issues and the longer-term issues. After that, I will conclude before we take your questions.

    We'll try to keep the presentation brief, because I understand our time is limited this morning.

  +-(1205)  

+-

    The Chair: Before you start, Mr. Stockfish, I should explain something so that we have it on record.

    Part of the discussion this morning was on how we tackle the hearings. There were different formulations put forward by the researchers and members, that we should maybe block them in themes, that we had to straddle, as I think as we explained, the whole issue, regardless of short-term, long-term, and mid-term. We came to the conclusion that between now and the break, which will take place in either November or December, we're not sure which, we'll use the time to get the groups to come and tell us their reactions to the report, and their views in regard to the report, etc. We'll call it “phase one”. It will be a general introduction for us, by them, so that we know where the groups locate themselves in regard to the report and to copyright. Then when we come back, in February or January, we'll tackle the more specific issues.

    I just wanted to let you know that. Thanks.

+-

    Mr. Bruce Stockfish: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That's very useful to know.

    The term “phase one” might be a dangerous one to use in the context of that work, given that this was the expression used for the big 1988 reform. Certainly this approach is consistent with what the government itself has indicated in the section 92 report in terms of what it hoped to impart, at least, or achieve from the section 92 review. So we'll certainly be following that work over the coming weeks and take it into account.

    Let us give you, then, a bit of context for that work, and I'll discuss the background of the copyright reform process very briefly. If you turn to page 4 of your deck, that's where I will start.

    I would just state fairly categorically that the Copyright Act has done well over the years. It was first passed in 1924. It's held up well, given all the various technological, social, and economic changes over the years, all the changes in how copyright is administered. But in the 1980s, it became clear that major amendments would be required to update the act. That in fact is when phase one took place, in 1988, after a number of major studies conducted by the government and by Parliament.

    In phase one, legislation was introduced and dealt with. It dealt with a number of issues that were very necessary at the time. It provided for protection for computer programs, for example. More rights were extended. A new exhibition right was provided to visual artists, as I mentioned the other day. Collective societies were better provided for in terms of how they could operate, particularly in the context of a revamped Copyright Board. All of that was done in 1988.

    Even as phase one was being concluded, it was clear there would need to be a phase two, and that was Bill C-32 in 1997. That bill dealt with new rights, remuneration rights, for producers and performers, the so-called neighbours interested in neighbouring rights, which I mentioned the other day. A private copying regime was introduced, a system of compensation in the form of a levy that would be collected on blank media in association with an exception that would be allowed for the private copying of music.

    A number of exceptions were introduced for non-profit educational institutions, libraries, archives, museums, and broadcasters. Parallel imports were dealt with, provisions granting exclusive book distributors legal protection, and enforcement provisions were generally enhanced as well. All of that and more was dealt with in Bill C-32 in 1997.

    As I mentioned the other day, even then it was clear that there were leftover issues and additional issues that needed to be dealt with in the emerging technological environment. Of course, that's the reason section 92 itself was included. Keep in mind, too, that the 1996 WIPO treaties I mentioned were being concluded just at the time that Bill C-32 was being considered and passed. So it was clear that there were additional issues that needed to be dealt with.

    The question was whether there was to be a phase three, an all-encompassing phase. The government, after consideration of a number of the issues, concluded that, no, we should not be dealing with an all-encompassing phase of reform. The process that we experienced, certainly in phase two, was that it became too unwieldy, too difficult, and the issues could conceivably be better dealt with in smaller, balanced packages that would be done on an ongoing, gradual basis.

    These principles were set out in “A Framework for Copyright Reform”, which the ministers of industry and heritage both released in June of 2001. The principles set out in that report were to guide the government's efforts to group issues, to categorize issues, and to move on certain issues. They refer to the need to preserve the integrity of the act. Is the act working well? If not, then clearly those issues need to be dealt with. If there are externally driven timelines and deadlines that need to be met, then clearly we need to take that into account, as we provide for higher priorities. Have issues been thoroughly analyzed and consulted on? Is there consensus among stakeholders? In other words, are the issues ready to proceed, and are there early opportunities in the marketplace? On international developments we need to take account of international treaties and international trends.

    All of these make up the principles that we provided for in the framework document to help us assess just which issues we would move on, how we would categorize them, and in what sequence. We applied these in assessing three groups of issues in the short, medium, and long terms in the section 92 report in chapter 3. My colleagues will be addressing these issues in more detail shortly.

  +-(1210)  

    Turning to page 6, at the same time that framework document was released in June 2001 we launched a consultation process on two broad issues, which this committee would be familiar with, of course. The first was the compulsory licence applicable to retransmission on the Internet. The second was certain digital copyright issues that the government felt was important to consult on immediately. So that was done.

    I won't dwell on the Internet retransmission issue. The committee has already disposed of that issue in Bill C-11. Of course, the technique of referring to the status of the new media exemption order issued by the CRTC effectively closed the availability of compulsory licence to retransmission via the Internet for now. We may have to revisit that issue in the future, depending upon how the CRTC acts, but for now, at least, there is certainty with regard to free transmission via the Internet. Bill C-11 came into force just this past March of 2003.

    The other major consultation paper was regarding the digital issues. On page 8 we have listed the four issues: the making available rights; the technological protection measures, or TPMs; rights management information; and Internet service provider liability, how to clarify that and how possibly to limit it.

    The first three issues are issues drawn from the WIPO treaties, which we discussed. The fourth is another issue that was considered important. We continue to work on these issues in the context of the short-term group of issues, which my colleagues will expand on.

    We conducted major consultations. All submissions from stakeholders regarding the issues are posted online on a joint website of the two departments. We also conducted consultations the more traditional way. We crossed the country, visited six Canadian cities in the spring of 2002, and heard from stakeholders on these issues.

    We heard that these issues were contentious, and that was no surprise. We also heard that there were other issues of concern, digital and otherwise. These issues dealt with the status of photographers' rights and certain issues of access, educational and other. In fact, we have included those in the first group of issues, which, again, we will talk about in more detail shortly.

    On page 9, this takes us to section 92. As I mentioned, this was included to deal with the leftover issues and the additional issues that we would need to deal with concerning emerging technologies.

    That takes us finally to page 10. This is a table drawn from the section 92 report. You can see that the government has grouped issues in the short, medium, and long terms, and it is the short-term issues that we are working on now. This is an important slide, and my colleagues will spend a few more minutes on this.

    What we propose to do is take each of these issues, briefly explain them to you, what the status or work on these issues is, and some of the stakeholders' positions on these issues.

    I will ask my colleague Madam Bincoletto to deal with the short-term issues. Madam Bouvet will then turn to the medium- and long-term issues. You will hear that some of these issues are the concern of stakeholders who would like to see them considered in the short term. We have grouped these issues according to those principles I mentioned. Of course, we're open to your views in addition to stakeholders' views on those. I will then conclude, and we'll take your questions after that.

  +-(1215)  

    Susan, do you want to take it from here?

+-

    Ms. Susan Bincoletto (Director, Intellectual Property Policy, Department of Industry): Thank you, Bruce.

[Translation]

    On behalf of the Department of Industry, I want to thank the committee for having invited us to make this presentation. I will be saying a few words in French and will then continue in English.

    As Mr. Stockfish mentioned, our short-term work focuses on the issues you see here in the first column. The choice of these matters was dictated in large measure by the reform, the reform framework we had determined and the consultation process. More specifically, as we also mentioned Tuesday, the Internet and digital technology present us with significant challenges involving the basic concepts of the Copyright Act.

    It is in this context that we wanted to take a closer look at how to ensure that the copyright framework could be modernized and adapted to the new digital technological realities, by trying, among other things, to give stakeholders and rights holders more confidence in the protection they could enjoy vis-à-vis digital technology and the Internet. Since they are the ones who put their work on the Internet, they want to ensure that they will have adequate control over and compensation for their work.

    On the other hand, we have to ensure that those who use the Internet—which is becoming a vehicle, a repository for knowledge and a learning tool—can enjoy the clarity, certainty and simplicity needed to take advantage of it.

    It is in that context that you will understand why we identified, in the two broad short-term categories, the rights holders and recipients of potential additional rights who are covered by WIPO treaties. Here, we identified that clearly and we added the question— I'm sorry, I do not know the word in French—of ISP liability. Internet service providers are, necessarily, important agents in the delivery and dissemination of information.

    Moreover, we identified the education system as being a basic stakeholder that uses and benefits from the Internet and would merit or benefit from clearer rules for educators and students who use the material that is protected by copyright.

[English]

    So if I may, since we don't have much time, I would like to really focus on key issues and brush through the others that have been less subject to controversy but that are very important nevertheless.

    If you go to slide 11, as Bruce mentioned, the four issues that we've consulted upon are really the main issues that are of interest to stakeholders. The other four issues, other than the impact on private copying, I will touch upon briefly. Then I will also raise some issues about the private copying regime and how it is impacted by the possible WIPO treaty ratification.

    The two main additional rights that rights holders are looking for in order to ensure that they are well protected in an Internet and online environment are the making available right and what we call TPMs, or technological protection measures.

    On the making available right, that is a basic right that would allow a rights holder to control the Internet dissemination of their material. It is material that would be requested on demand. As an individual, you could download it whenever you want, wherever you want, but it would be on demand.

    In the Copyright Act it is generally agreed that the making available right is already available for creators, via either a communications or a reproduction right. So in the context of the WIPO treaty ratification, we believe there would be no changes required for works, for creators. However, on the side of performers and record producers, they do not currently have an equivalent right. It's also believed that we need to create that right in order to conform with the WPPT.

  +-(1220)  

    In examining the creation of such a right, we need to be mindful of the impact this added right might have on creators themselves. We know that creators' communication rights are currently managed collectively, just for ease of access. For example, broadcasters, in exchange for royalties, can get access to music.

    If we were to incorporate a similar right for performers and record producers, we'd have to take into account the fact that, traditionally, the approach in the Copyright Act has been to treat creators a little better than what we call “neighbours”, such as performers and record producers. So we want to make sure that, to retain the integrity of the act, we implement a right for those groups that would be consistent with what exists currently in the act. That has been the focus of our attention. It's also been the focus of some legal advice that we've asked of the Department of Justice.

    On technology protection measures, basically what the provision would require is to provide the legal recourse to rights holders when somebody tries to circumvent that technological protection measure--an encryption, for example--in order to get access and subsequent use, which would not be authorized by the rights holder. In this case, we know that in the music business, especially sound recordings, they have started to copy protect their works via encryption techniques. That has been done in order to control the dissemination of their work.

    The WIPO treaties would require that these circumvention techniques be made illegal. There are basically three ways of doing so, which we've been focusing on. We could be outlawing the act of circumventing itself, we could be outlawing the act and the development and/or distribution of the devices that are used in order to circumvent, or we could just prohibit the devices themselves.

    I know that Danielle Bouvet will be speaking about the international comparative work that we've been doing, and the lessons we've learned from our trading partners. Clearly, that is also the subject of our ongoing work.

    Options as we move forward need to be assessed against fundamental Canadian values. There are charter issues, freedom of speech issues that we're looking into, which the Department of Justice is helping us in clarifying.

    As well, when we were here last May, I think I made the analogy of a CD that is copy protected but is protecting, for example, information that's in the public domain. We have to make sure that the copy protection does not lock up information that should be readily available because it is in the public domain, and neither should it nullify certain exceptions in the Copyright Act that currently exist and that would provide legitimate access for certain groups to certain material.

    Those are really the two most important rights that have been sought by the music industry, I think.

    The other clarification in the act that we're looking at is the ISP, the Internet service provider liability. The issue here is the potential liability of the service providers under the current Copyright Act, what it is, what is the current liability, and the role that ISPs should be playing in trying to curtail the circulation of allegedly infringing material.

  +-(1225)  

    We believe the changes that are being contemplated would help clarify the rules applicable to ISPs and ensure that they are fair and proportionate to the problem to be solved. What we heard through the consultations has been that there have been two basic approaches put forward: a notice and notice approach, or a notice and take-down.

    In the case of a notice and notice, it would entail an Internet service provider notifying the subscriber of its service of an allegation of infringement, leaving it up really to the rights holders to then pursue the matter directly with the subscriber. The other approach that is in fact promoted and has been put in place in the United States is the notice and take-down approach, where the ISP would be under an obligation to physically take down the allegedly infringing material from its service.

    Obviously, in examining these options we're looking at other statutes. There is currently the Criminal Code in the case of child pornography, for example, or hate literature, which has developed a model. We're looking at that as well to make sure that once again in developing our options the solutions are proportionate to the problems that we're trying to solve. There are also obviously privacy considerations. We're examining that as well with the Department of Justice.

    I've jumped through the rights management information, but that is very close to TPMs in the sense that it would be a provision that would prevent the tampering with or changing of rights management information, such as basic information about the author and the work and the publisher, that would be embedded in the material. That tampering would be there to really conceal potential infringement. That is of a less controversial nature, but we're still examining it closely.

    In terms of the other rights that would put us in a position to ratify the WIPO treaties, there are the distribution rights, the moral rights for performers, the term of protection for sound recordings, and the exclusive right of reproduction for performers.

    Now, because of the time, unless you want me to go into detail, I'm willing to go very quickly to discuss each of them. The distribution right would allow creators, performers, and record producers to control the channels of trade in respect of the material that is being embedded in tangible objects. So we're talking about diskettes, music CDs, and books. We're not talking about downloading of Internet material.

    The basic question for us is whether the existing rights that currently are in the Copyright Act already provide essential protections that would be similar to the distribution right. Here we are consulting the Department of Justice to see whether, for example, the publication and the reproduction rights are sufficient to meet the requirements of a distribution right.

    Now, some stakeholders, such as the sound recording industry, believe they need a distribution right. That's why we're spending some time looking at whether there is a need for a distinct distribution right.

    From a public policy perspective, we are looking at it in terms of whether it's desirable to add an additional right, given the possible adverse effects that overlapping rights may have on rights holders themselves and users as they try to clear those rights. So again, based on what will be a decision by the Department of Justice as to whether or not we would be required to do so, we'll also have to consider whether it's also desirable. But we're not there yet. We are clearly waiting for some legal advice on that matter.

    In terms of moral rights for performers, Bruce mentioned what a moral right is, frankly, for creators in terms of safeguarding the integrity of work. Such moral rights for performers do not exist in our act, and the WPPT would require more rights to be included.

  +-(1230)  

    On this matter specifically, there have been no consultations as of yet. We have not heard any objections, but we still would probably need to consult a few key stakeholders to determine whether there are concerns associated with that.

    The final one...well, actually, no, there's a term of protection for sound recordings that, again, gives us very little room to manoeuvre if we are to abide by the international obligations. In Canada, sound recordings now are protected for 50 years from the year of the recording, and the WPPT would require sound recordings to be protected for 50 years from the year of publication.

    Now, when recording and publication coincide, it's easy, but when they don't, it could lead to a situation where in fact you have publication years after a recording is recorded, and it could, in the extreme, lead to a protection of almost 100 years, if the publication is 50 years after the recording is done. In practice, it's unlikely that would happen, because when you record you publish right away--there's a livelihood associated with it--so we don't expect much impact on it. But again, on this particular issue, we have not consulted, so there may be concerns that we haven't heard about.

    Finally, on the full reproduction right for performers--I'm sorry I have to go so quickly, but if we want to really go through the whole litany of rights, it's almost inevitable--in the Copyright Act, as it stands today, performers have a limited reproduction right. They can basically prevent the making of bootleg recordings, and they can also prevent the making of copies for purposes not anticipated when their performance was legitimately recorded. For example, if their performance is made part of a film soundtrack, they have the right to be asked whether they agree. However, for purposes anticipated, they currently do not have a reproduction right. Again, the WPPT would extend that right to a full reproduction right.

    This would obviously require an amendment to the act. The issue here is not what latitude we have to do that, but how and if we need to deal with existing contracts and existing recordings to see whether there's a problem when a contract does not explicitly state the reproduction right or new rights that may be granted to performers. Again, it's in that context that we are looking at the application of this new right from that perspective.

    Now, the impact of the private copying regime, or the impact of the WIPO treaty ratification on the private copying regime, has been identified in the report. My colleague Danielle will be examining the regime itself more fully, but we're looking at it, and we have sought advice from the Department of Justice as well, on whether our regime would require any tinkering or changes in order for Canada to comply with the obligations under the WPPT.

    Why is that an issue? Because the WPPT does limit the ability of countries to grant certain exceptions, and we want to make sure whether the regime, which is basically an exception in exchange for a levy, would comply with that kind of limitation that the WPPT provides for.

    I think that concludes the part on the WIPO treaties. Now, that would provide additional rights to rights holders so that they can better control and be better compensated for the material in a digital environment. The counterpart of this is, well, if there's material out there but people who want to access this material are infringing on the Copyright Act because the act hasn't taken into account those needs, then we owe it to ourselves to look at that.

  +-(1235)  

    In the context of the section 92 report, we have looked at the educational issues specifically. There's a belief that the Internet is being used more and more, as I said earlier, by students and educators as a good source of knowledge and information.

    If you look at slide 12, we show the three basic issues that we have been looking at, some more advanced than others, that would have an impact on the access and educational use.

    The first one is educational use of what is called the “publicly available” material on the Internet. As I mentioned, a lot of material from the Internet is being used by students and educators. Some of the uses are infringing, and the issue is how to amend the act to ensure fair and legitimate access to Internet material.

    We've had a series of consultations on this. Not surprisingly, the views are somewhat divided. The educators, whether it's CMEC or the universities, would like to have an explicit recognition that some material on the Internet is free. There is no expected compensation of payment, and therefore they are seeking an exception so that they would be free to use, without infringement, the material that is free.

    On the other hand, the rights holders and collectives would like to see an extended licensing regime apply to all of the Internet. Within that regime a discount could be made to reduce the amount of the licence to take into account the fact that some material is free.

    Either option would require an amendment to the act, and we are in the final stages of writing a report that would summarize, in fact, what the consultations have led to, and that would also contain a bit of the government assessment of this. We're working towards finalizing this.

    On distance education, the same sort of principle applies. If we want technologies to be adopted and we want to ensure that our society is continuously learning, we want to increase the flexibility of workers to be able to work at home, to be able to work at the hours they choose to study. If one lives in a remote area, they might want to have access to secondary and post-secondary education from the place where they live without having to actually physically move. So we were thinking, “Is the Copyright Act an impediment to that?” Currently there are certain exceptions that apply to non-profit educational institutions, but those are limited to the premises where the educational sector operates. Is there value in extending such exceptions or creating rules so that we can take into account the ability of people to now, via technology, be distance educated? Again, we have just begun to broach the issue with stakeholders, and we can anticipate the same kind of reaction as for the first issue.

    Finally, on inter-library loans, or the electronic delivery of documents, currently the Copyright Act does have a provision that allows a library to lend electronically a copy of a document to another library, but the patron of that second library would only get a physical copy of that document. The question now is that some patrons, some consumers, would like to have an electronic version of those documents. They find that the technology is available for them, so why not use it? Well, clearly there are concerns on the parts of rights holders in terms of the further dissemination of the material when it is so ready available and easily distributed. We are looking at whether or not it is possible to contemplate rules that would allow the libraries to use the technology to their advantage and respond to their patrons' requests.

  +-(1240)  

    I will go fairly quickly through slides 13 and 14, on photography issues--

+-

    Mr. Paul Bonwick (Simcoe—Grey, Lib.): [Inaudible—Editor]...because obviously I have questions and I assume others do. You're going to have enough time for one person to....

+-

    The Chair: Do you want to leave at 1 o'clock, or do you want to prolong for 15 minutes? You can't?

+-

    Mr. Paul Bonwick: I have several people meeting in my office at 1:15. The only thing I can suggest is that we have to have them back again. We have nobody in opposition, and I assume they're going to have questions as well.

+-

    The Chair: Yes.

    Would you be prepared to...? We're very sorry that we took much longer this morning. Maybe just a smaller number of you could be here again. I feel very bad having to drag you out again.

    Is it at all possible, Mr. Stockfish?

+-

    Mr. Bruce Stockfish: We'll make ourselves at your disposal, Mr. Chairman.

+-

    The Chair: Perhaps members might consider that when we get back the week after next maybe we could have a session on the Wednesday afternoon or something.

+-

    Mr. Paul Bonwick: [Inaudible—Editor]...another session for this.

+-

    The Chair: Yes, I agree.

+-

    Mr. Paul Bonwick: What have you got scheduled for Tuesday? We need to finish this before we move on to witnesses.

+-

    The Chair: Yes, we could sort of schedule you for Tuesday, and maybe have our first witnesses on Wednesday, because we'd like to finish this part of it. It's really important for us, certainly.

    So that would be October 21, even if you came as a smaller group. Thank you.

    Good point, Paul.

    Ms. Bincoletto.

  +-(1245)  

+-

    Ms. Susan Bincoletto: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

    Just very briefly, perhaps we can finish the short-term issues and then maybe I don't have to come back for the mid-term or long-term. I'm sure you'll have questions on the short-term.

    There are two other issues that have been identified, photography issues and unpublished works. On the photography issues, part of the issue relating to the term of protection of photographs is a WIPO treaty issue. That's why we're looking at it. We've used this opportunity to also look at the general rules that are applicable to photographs, which deviate from the way other creative works are being treated--hence, a more holistic approach on photography issues.

    You all know that these issues are the subject of Senator Day's bill, Bill S-20, which is currently before Parliament. So I will leave it at that for photographs.

    For unpublished works, you're also quite aware of what the issue is. I won't necessarily go into detail unless you ask me to. It is currently part of another bill, Bill C-36, that is before Parliament as well.

    So I'll just finish here.

+-

    The Chair: Ms. Bincoletto, if you could come back...because there will be questions for you. Sorry about that.

+-

    Ms. Susan Bincoletto: It would be my pleasure.

+-

    The Chair: Tell me, just as a matter of interest, what are the departments' views on Bill S-20? Does it contain the type of provision that generally the Minister of Justice and your department support so that if Bill S-20 comes up before us, it would take care of the photography issues?

+-

    Mr. Bruce Stockfish: Let me speak for my minister, and Ms. Bincoletto can speak for the Minister of Industry.

    Minister Copps has indicated her support in principle for Bill S-20. I can tell you that at the officials level, the issues in Bill S-20 are the issues that we are considering as part of the short-term package that Susan was referring to. And these issues, as I mentioned the other day, are relatively uncontentious. They have the support of most stakeholders. However, we are currently assessing whether additional issues need to be addressed as part of the photographers' issues, issues related to privacy and personal use of the people who commission photographs. We've not yet taken a position on that, but as far as the bill goes, Mr. Chairman, I can say that certainly Minister Copps is in support of it.

+-

    The Chair: Ms. Bincoletto.

+-

    Ms. Susan Bincoletto: Thank you.

    We have not had a formal view expressed by our minister on the bill, but I should echo what Bruce has just said in that, on the face of it, the way the bill is drafted coincides with the way we had cast it in the short-term issues. We are looking at two additional issues, such as privacy, to determine whether or not the current privacy statutes, federal or provincial, adequately protect consumers should the changes go forward; and on personal use, whereby here authorship and ownership would change from the person who commissions the photograph to the photographer. We want to make sure that we examine more closely the impact it may have on personal use.

    But overall, the bill clearly, the way it is written, coincides with or is in line with the way we had cast our analysis.

+-

    The Chair: Okay.

    Considering that we won't have questions today, and we'll break very shortly, I have just one point. If you look at the short-term, medium-term, and long-term chart, I was wondering why clarification and simplification of the act wouldn't be in the short term and start first. Why would it be last?

+-

    Mr. Bruce Stockfish: In a sense, it's last because it's the biggest, Mr. Chairman. Clarifying the act on a provision by provision basis is always underlying our policy consideration, but we're talking about something more fundamental here. It involves rationalizing the number of rights and the number of exceptions that are in the act, and this entails consideration not just of the domestic concerns with our own Copyright Act, but doing something potentially more radical in conjunction with our international partners.

    As I mentioned, we have to be consistent with the rights and provisions that are provided for in the Berne and other conventions. It may be that to do something a little more radical it needs first to be done at the international level. So it's a long-term issue that needs to be done in conjunction with our partners.

  -(1250)  

+-

    The Chair: Thank you very much.

    Again, we apologize if we held you back for so long. It was very unfortunate. We couldn't help it.

    If it's okay, then, we'll convene a week Tuesday.

+-

    Mr. Bruce Stockfish: Very good, Mr. Chairman.

-

    The Chair: Thank you. We appreciate it.

    Meeting adjourned.