It seems to me that the crux here is whether we extend the exceptions relating to print material into the technological world. That's really what it's all about today.
I take my colleague Paul Bonwick's point that in five years, ten years, twenty years, as Mr. Morrison pointed out, it's going to be a technological world, where print will be the rare exception. We don't know how prolific this will be, but it will appear in very many ways, some of which were described by Mr. Morrison, including databases, webs, DVDs, and so forth. What we have to decide is whether we think this exception should carry forward to the technological age.
Now, we were just faced with very articulate points of view on both sides, and I noted, Mr. Hill, that you said we should extend the exception to those libraries equipped to safeguard rights of holders. Who decides which libraries are equipped to safeguard rights of holders? How do we frame that? How do we regulate this?
I recall Ms. Westcott asking, who oversees the safeguards if exceptions are brought in? Is it the Copyright Board? Is it the government? Is it some sort of new protection system?
You also made the point, Mr. Hill, that we own the books. Then you brought out the candle analogy, that a book is just like a candle. But then Ms. Crean was asking the question....
You also own IBM machines and computers, and yet Microsoft and IBM collect royalties and copyright rights, which they will not sacrifice at any cost. You accept that, but it's done through a different system, so we don't actually see it, as with the material you use. So really, what we have to ask ourselves is....
You make the point that, well, we're only talking about, in the definition of the exceptions, scholarly, scientific, and technical material, but it also talks about newspapers and periodicals after a year. As well, the law says that the Governor in Council can define what this means. So if tomorrow you have a government that is really wanting to protect the user completely, it could redefine periodicals and newspapers and scholarly, scientific, and technical material to mean anything they want it to mean. A government changes, and depending on the philosophy.... If it was a government that really was bent to help the user, that definition could change completely.
So you can't just take into account that your 3% represents what's going to be the case tomorrow. And even if it were 1%, I think we're talking about rights, and rights apply to 1% or 2% or 3%. I don't think percentages should apply. It's a question of policy.
Now, I heard Mr. Larivière say in one of his responses that what we want to do is negotiate between library and publisher.
That is what you said when Ms. Lill asked you who would pay if you were given an exemption that allowed you to make deals without going through the collective system. You said that you would like to negotiate, that there was no problem, that you would pay for everything. She asked you who would pay for the copyright, and you replied that there could be negotiations between the library and the publisher.
But isn't that what we're talking about in a licensing system?
And Mr. Hill talks about air and water being free. I suppose we would have to find out who produced the air and water. Some people would say God, and some people would say it's evolution; Darwin would say differently. That's why they don't charge for it. But in the case of authors, surely somebody has created this thing and they want to be paid for their copyright. That's why we have a copyright law.
So I must admit, after listening to both sides of the argument, I think we would be really taking a risk if we were to broaden the exception in an age when we can't control that exception. It's much easier to control it now with print. So how do we control it? I haven't heard the case that we can control it. How do we sort out the libraries that can safeguard and those that can't safeguard? And if we do give the exception to the libraries, because libraries are special cases and there's no problem, according to Mr. Larivière, then the educational people will say, oh, you've given it to libraries, so give it to education. And other people will say, well, then, the exception there must be carried in our sector as well.
So I think we have to look at it as one overall case, regardless of libraries or educational universities or whatever. Whether it's literary or whether it's scientific, we have to ask how we protect copyright holders, which is the objective of the law, and give access to users in the best way possible in an age when we don't know where technology is going. I think that's the question.
Can you tell me, Mr. Larivière or Mr. Hill, what is wrong with a system of licensing? I'm not talking about Access Copyright, or this licensing system, or Madam Messier's body, or the Canada Law Book institution, or whichever. What I'm talking about is the principle itself. What is wrong with a system whereby some collective outfit negotiates with you in advance, takes into account that you only use 3%, and arrives at some sort of fee? If you don't agree, there would be a way doing of it through the Copyright Board or something.
What is wrong with that?