RIDA 239 | 01-2014
THE REFORM OF THE CANADIAN COPYRIGHT ACT: IN THE SPIRIT OF THE TIMES?
Copyright reform in Canada is a long-term process. In the post-war years, studies began to be conducted to determine how to modernize the intellectual property laws.1 At a fairly early stage, however, copyright became a subject in its own right and studies devoted specifically to it appeared.2 The more time passed, the more complex the issues grew. The situation became practically untenable with the advent of information technology. The magnitude of the task was due, inter alia, to the fact that the law’s founding text dated back to 1921 and was itself based on the imperial law of 1911. 3 Although some changes had been made to it since then,4 it was obvious that the law was no longer in step with the times. Given this situation, the decision was taken to divide the reform process into two phases in order to deal with the most urgent issues without further delay. The outcome was the start of phase I of the revision of the Copyright Act in 1988,5 with the next stage due to follow a few years later.
In fact, phase II of the revision to Canadian copyright law did not occur until 1997 because, in the meantime, another dynamic interfered in the revision process,
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