Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association

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Submission to the Consultation on a Modern Copyright Framework for Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

September 17, 2021

Brian Kingston
President & Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association
222 Queen Street, Suite 1404
Ottawa, ON K1P 5V9

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA) and its’ members, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited, General Motors of Canada Company, and Stellantis (FCA Canada Inc.) appreciates this opportunity to provide input on the consultation paper, a Modern Copyright Framework for Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things.

The CVMA is committed to ongoing collaboration with the government on policies to support automotive innovation including technologies related to automated vehicles (AVs), connected vehicles (CVs), carbon or GHG-reducing vehicle technologies and enhancements to critical vehicle safety and security systems. The automotive sector is a key economic driver, regularly contributing $16 billion to GDP, $42 billion in trade exports and employing 135,000 directly and approximately half a million Canadians indirectly. In 2020/21, CVMA members announced $5.7 billion in investments that will underpin continued innovation and the transition to an electrified vehicle fleet.

Automotive is constantly innovating and developing technologies and enhancements both to provide enhanced safety and security features for consumer and societal benefit as well as in response to regulations, including those under the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA) and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

As the government consults on potential updates to the Copyright Act and possible measures to facilitate repair, it will be important to consider the automotive perspective to ensure proposals support continued innovation and mitigate impacts to established mechanisms that support vehicle repair and service. We also note that there is some overlap between this consultation exercise and Bill C-272, tabled in the last session of parliament, intended to legislate certain requirements for the repair of consumer products. We strongly encourage government to ensure automotive is not impacted by legislative proposals that are intended to address gaps in the repair approaches taken by other industries that do not have measures in place. Vehicle systems are complex, and the industry has established an effective model to share technical repair information with the automotive aftermarket to maintain vehicle system integrity and regulatory compliance and to provide flexibility to consumers for choice of where service/repairs are conducted.

We submit the following for careful consideration:

3.2.1 Call for evidence regarding repair

Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS)

Automotive is a leading sector in the development and implementation of an effective model to provide access to necessary OEM repair information to the automotive repair and service sector.

In 2010, representatives from automotive manufacturers and the aftermarket auto service industry, including the CVMA, Global Automakers of Canada (GAC), the National Automotive Trades Association (NATA) and the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada, implemented CASIS, a voluntary agreement, to provide a framework for Canadian automobile manufacturers to share their service and repair information with the automotive aftermarket industry on a level equivalent to that of their authorized dealers. Under the CASIS, "Service Information" includes mechanical, collision, trim and glass information as well as initialization information. It also includes information in vehicle repair manuals, wiring diagrams, and technical service bulletins ("TSBs") as well as access to tools and repair equipment.

Most repair facilities subscribe to third-party information systems (e.g. Mitchell OnDemand, AllData) to satisfy their day-to-day repair information needs. When the information required is not available through those third-party systems, such as a new software update download, for example, repairers will need to go to the relevant OEM website. The CASIS ensures the automotive aftermarket has access to the same level of repair and service information as OEM authorized dealers necessary to perform vehicle repair jobs properly and efficiently.

The CASIS agreement has been an effective model to support proper repair and participants remain committed to ongoing review to address issues as they may arise.

Given the CASIS model, it is important to differentiate automotive from other consumer products, such as appliances and/or electronics (for example), as the automotive repair and service sector already has access to all of the necessary diagnostic and repair tools and information.

Regulatory Compliance

Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) in automobiles are critical to protect copyrighted vehicle firmware and to ensure safety, security, and regulatory compliance, including federal safety (MVSA) and emissions regulations (CEPA) and federal and/or provincial privacy regimes. Allowing unrestricted modification of motor vehicle firmware and certain software could result in compliance issues including those related to fuel consumption, emissions controls, and the safety of vehicle occupants, pedestrians and other road users.

Further to this, unrestricted access may compromise data that is personal to the user which may be in contravention of federal and/or provincial privacy regimes. Automotive manufacturers provide access to the information needed to undertake repairs but that excludes modifications of firmware not required to repair a vehicle but that could otherwise negatively impact regulatory compliance or that may affect the proper operation of critical safety or emission control systems. This restricted access applies to both dealership technicians and aftermarket repair facilities.

CVMA members are committed to the CASIS as it has demonstrated an effective voluntary approach to ensure the aftermarket has access to necessary repair information across Canada. Aftermarket pre-pandemic data suggests that the sector was thriving with employment increasing 2.2%Footnote 1 per year and contributing approximately $14 billionFootnote 2 annually to GDP. As 2/3 of the Canadian light duty vehicle fleet is over 5 years old, there will be continued growth opportunity for the aftermarket.

As the government moves forward, we would welcome an opportunity to discuss this further with you and to provide any additional information that would be helpful. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions.