By omitting clauses from the updated Canada-United States-Mexico (CUSMA) implementation bill, the government has missed a huge opportunity to strengthen copyright protections in Canada.
In the CUSMA signed by Prime Minister Trudeau in November 2018, copyrighted works were to enter the public domain in Canada 70 years after the death of the author or composer. SOCAN and many other organizations in the Canadian music ecosystem had long advocated for this policy change, arguing Canada should afford the same protections to its creators as its major trading partners do.
“We fail to understand why Canadian creators need to wait when they’re clearly under-protected compared with their peers around the globe, including those who live in the two other countries involved in CUSMA,” said Eric Baptiste, SOCAN’S Chief Executive Officer. “We are disappointed not to see this copyright extension in the implementation legislation. US creators have enjoyed protection for life plus 70 years since 1998 and Mexican creators for life plus 100 years since 2003. We hope that the government will take the necessary legislative actions to be in compliance as soon as possible and expand without delay the copyright protection for the authors of musical and other works. This is simply about catching up with our trading partners and doing the right thing for Canadian creators and publishers now rather than maybe, in the future.”