June 16, 2003  ·  Lessig

As reported in Michael Geist’s great Internet Law News service:

>CANADA TO SCRAP COPYRIGHT EXTENSIONS ON UNPUBLISHED WORKS
>Decima’s Canadian New Media reports that the Canadian
>government plans to drop controversial provisions from a
>bill that would have extended the term of copyright for
>unpublished works by deceased authors. Dubbed the Lucy Maud
>Montgomery Copyright Term Extension Act, members of a
>committee considering the bill noted that they had been
>flooded with calls and emails of people concerned with the
>copyright extension.

Help us flood more members with calls and emails!

  • http://home.telepath.com/~hrothgar Timothy Phillips

    The CTEA as originally drafted also would have delayed the expiration of the right of first publication (erroneously called “copyright in unpublished works”) for old works. This provision was eliminated, but the CTEA still stank.

    If this is the only revision of an otherwise odious Canadian bill, it is not much of a victory.

  • http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/lebwog.html Matthew Skala

    Have you read the rest of the Bill? It’s not a general copyright extension act; it’s mostly about the national archives, and actually includes some new exemptions to copyright in relation to that. The only term extensions were the ones on unpublished works, which now sound like they’re being eliminated.

  • http://www.darrenbarefoot.com Darren

    As a Canadian, I’ve been wondering how things on this side of the border compare to the manic goings-on down south. Google had very little on the Lucy Maud Montgomery Copyright Term Extension Act. It’s also known as Bill C-36.

    There’s more information on this at Industry Canada.

    In case anyone is wondering, Ms. Montgomery wrote the ubiquitious (at least in Canada) Anne of Green Gables.

  • Laura Murray

    Matthew is right that this is not a copyright term extension bill but a bill to amalgamate the National Library and National Archives. The pertinent provision, proposed as an amendment, would extend copyright in the unpublished works of authors who died between 1929 and 1949 through the end of 2017, or for 20 years after publication if published within the CR term. The history of this provision is complicated, and in itself perhaps it wouldn’t be earth-shattering. In any case the House has adjourned for the summer and it’s unclear in what form this bill will return in the fall. Nonetheless, the way it was done, and the possible implications/precedents are worrying. I don’t have a website but can send further info to anybody interested. I’m particularly keen to hear from Canadians skeptical about copyright extension and expansion.

  • http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/ Matthew Skala

    If we’re going to bring up Anne of Green Gables, it’s important to realise that that book’s copyright would not be extended by these provisions. It’s *not* like the Steamboat Willie copyright that got extended by the Sonny Bono act in the USA. The Lucy Maud Montgomery works affected by the proposed changes are as-yet-unpublished diaries, letters, and so on.

  • http://astron.berkeley.edu/~jhall Joseph Hall

    for completeness… from today’s (2003-06-18) BNA ILN:

    CANADIAN COPYRIGHT TERM EXTENSION LIVES AGAIN
    A proposed Canadian copyight term extension for unpublished
    works of deceased authors, which earlier this week appeared
    to headed for elimination by a Canadian parliamentary
    committee, surprisingly made it through committee yesterday.
    Despite an all-party agreement to drop the clauses, members
    of parliament from the ruling Liberal party took advantage
    of the absence of opposition party parliamentarians to pass
    the bill with the provisions intact. The bill now heads to
    the House of Commons for its final reading when the House
    reconvenes in the fall.

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