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When in Rome ... Amending Canada's Copyright Act

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  • Michael Rushton

Abstract

Bill C-32, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act, received royal assent on 25 April 1997. This was known as "Phase II" of copyright reform, "Phase I" having been enacted in 1988. Along with a number of technical amendments, there are four substantial changes to copyright law in the bill: a clarification of exemptions for non-profit institutions such as universities and libraries; stronger rules against "parallel importation" of books; a levy on blank audio tapes, with proceeds to go to copyright collectives; and "neighbouring rights" for sound performers and their producers. There are two distinct ways of thinking about copyright law. One focuses on the natural rights of creators to the income generated by their works. The other focuses on the economic problem of designing a copyright regime which maximizes social welfare. The author suggests that while both views of copyright have been put forward in Canada throughout the debate over reform, the natural rights view had more influence on the design of Bill C-32 than the economic view.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Rushton, 1997. "When in Rome ... Amending Canada's Copyright Act," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 23(3), pages 317-330, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:23:y:1997:i:3:p:317-330
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    References listed on IDEAS

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