CIMA requests accessibility, transparency for music industry in key Copyright Consultation

Last week, CIMA provided  comments to the federal government on how its new Copyright Modernization Act’s ‘Notice-and-Notice” system should be regulated (see the note at end of article for description of this system).

CIMA applauded the government’s decision to not charge a fee for submitting copyright infringement notices to Internet Service Providers (ISPs). CIMA did request that the government guarantee transparency, ease of access and flexibility for all Canadian copyright holders whenever they issue a notice of infringement.

CIMA argued that the process of submitting a notice of infringement must be easy for Canada’s music industry. “Canada’s domestic music industry is made up entirely of small businesses, almost half of which in English Canada are sole proprietors,” said CIMA president Stuart Johnston. “Asking music creators to research information such as port numbers, IP addresses or other technical information on those who illegally share or post copyrighted material will place further pressure on an already resource-strained industry.”

CIMA requested that the notice-submission be as transparent as possible. ISPs should be required to formally acknowledge receipt of a notice-submission from a copyright holder, as well as inform copyright holders of when that notice has been sent to the infringing party. This will allow copyright holders to have a formal record of both receipt of the notice by an ISP, and when the ISP has informed the appropriate party of a copyright infringment.

Given that regulations governing the Notice and Notice process are not yet law, CIMA has asked that all stakeholders be given the opportunity to review and provide comments on the regulations when they are in final draft form. This will ensure that the process of bringing this section of the Copyright Modernization Act into force is an open, predictable, and fair process.

About Notice-and Notice: Notice-and-notice is a provision of the new Copyright Modernization Act that requires Internet Service Providers to serve notice to individuals who illegally host and share copyright-protected content, upon complaint from the copyright holder. The law does not require ISPs to remove copyrighted content from distribution, making it unclear how effectively the new copyright regime will deter copyright violation.

Under notice-and-notice, an ISP is required by law to retain information for six months on the subject of a copyright infringement notice, which can be extended if legal proceedings are initiated. Failing to do so can result in a fine of between $5,000 and $10,000.

In order to submit a notice, copyright holders must submit the following information to an ISP:

  • (a) state the claimant’s name and address and any other particulars prescribed by regulation that enable communication with the claimant;
  • (b) identify the work or other subject-matter to which the claimed infringement relates;
  • (c) state the claimant’s interest or right with respect to the copyright in the work or other subject-matter;
  • (d) specify the location data for the electronic location to which the claimed infringement relates;
  • (e) specify the infringement that is claimed;
  • (f) specify the date and time of the commission of the claimed infringement; and
  • (g) contain any other information that may be prescribed by regulation.

The government had asked stakeholders whether or not other information is required to be added to the regulations. The notice-and-notice section of the Copyright Modernization Act will only come into force when such regulations are approved by Cabinet.

For more information  or to submit comments on the contents of this article, please email Chris Martin, CIMA’s Research and Communications Coordinator at chris@cimamusic.ca.

Read Our Submission here: CIMA Notice and Notice Submission

For more information on the Copyright Modernization Act, click here.